LONDON – A British court convicted an Islamic State-inspired taxi driver of attempted murder Wednesday after he tried to behead a musician at an east London subway station and threatened other travelers with a knife.
A Central Criminal Court jury convicted Muhaydin Mire, 30, of the unprovoked and brutal attack at Leytonstone station on Dec. 5 that was captured on closed circuit television and by mobile phone cameras.
Prosecutors told the trial that Somalia-born Mire had suffered "delusions of a persecutory, religious and grandiose nature," including a belief he was being followed by British spy agencies, and that his family had sought mental-health treatment for him.
They also said he had images of slain British soldier Lee Rigby and the Islamic State militant known as Jihadi John on his phone. He claimed his attack was "for Syria."
Video of the attack taken by a member of the public captured a bystander's remark, "You ain't no Muslim bruv," that later became a rallying cry for Muslims who reject violence.
Mire targeted 56-year-old Lyle Zimmerman, who had a guitar strapped to his back and was carrying a mandolin in one hand and an amplifier in the other. As Zimmerman approached the barriers, Mire grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground.
Mire then tried to saw at his neck with the serrated blade in front of shocked passengers. When he wandered to street level, a doctor rushed to Zimmerman's side and stemmed the flow of blood.
Mire continued to threaten people until police arrived and he was finally subdued with a stun gun.
He admitted the attack but denied attempted murder. He was committed to Broadmoor secure mental hospital before his sentencing on July 27.
Commander Dean Haydon of the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command praised the general public who came into contact with Mire as he went on his rampage.
"I would like to focus not on the terrible actions of Mire last December but the bravery of all of those involved," he said. "This was Londoners responding calmly and sensibly to a very dangerous individual and all should be praised."