By Michael Holden
LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A man appeared in court in London on Monday after being charged by counter-terrorism officers with attempted murder in what British Prime Minister David Cameron said was a “hideous attack” at an underground station in the British capital last weekend.
Wearing a grey t-shirt and grey track suit bottoms, Muhaydin Mire, 29, of east London spoke only to confirm his name, age and address at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
A 56-year-old unnamed man suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries in the alleged knife attack at Leytonstone underground station, about six miles (10 km) east of central London, while a second person suffered minor injuries.
Last week, British war planes joined air strikes for the first time against Daesh fighters in Syria.
After the attacks claimed by Daesh militants in Paris on Nov. 13 which killed 130 people, police in London said they had boosted the number of armed officers able to respond to any incidents.
Prosecutor David Cawthorne said the Leytonstone attack occurred on Saturday evening as the victim walked through the station.
“It was a violent, sustained and unprovoked attack during which the victim was punched, knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked on the ground,” he said.
The victim suffered a 12-cm (5-inch) wound to his neck and was in surgery for five hours, he said.
Mire was remanded in custody to appear at London’s central criminal court, the Old Bailey, on Friday.
“It’s obviously a hideous attack and we’ve all seen pictures about and read about it,” Cameron told reporters in Burton-on-Trent in central England where he was giving a speech.
“First of all, full credit to the person and people who took on this attacker, and full credit to the very brave police officers who managed to subdue him.”
“YOU AIN’T NO MUSLIM”
Footage of the aftermath of the incident has been published on social media and the phrase “You ain’t no Muslim bruv”, which was shouted by one onlooker at the scene, has been widely repeated.
“Let me also pay credit to the person – you can’t quite see who it is – from the film who made that brilliant statement about ‘You ain’t no Muslim,'” Cameron said.
Britain is on its second-highest security alert level of “severe”, meaning a militant attack is considered highly likely, though not imminent, mainly because of the threat posed by Daesh militants in Syria and Iraq.
The authorities say British security forces have thwarted seven militant plots in the past year.
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock from the British Transport Police said the number of firearms teams had doubled in the last year and since Saturday they had boosted the number of officers and patrols across the London underground network.
Four British Islamists killed 52 people in suicide bombings on the capital’s transport network in July 2005, and the last militant attack occurred in May 2013 when two Muslim converts hacked a soldier to death in east London.