01:09 - Source: CNN
London stabbing suspect charged with attempted murder

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NEW: The suspect drove for Uber for two months this summer, an Uber official says

The suspect has been charged with attempted murder; prosecutors say attack was an act of terror

A prosecution document says the victim's neck was cut in a sawing motion

London CNN —  

A man who allegedly stabbed two people at a London subway station Saturday has been charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors called the attack an act of terror.

Muhyadin Mire, a 29-year-old from the London suburb of Leytonstone, appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He spoke only to confirm details of his identity and say that he understood the charge before he was remanded in custody to appear at a preliminary hearing at London’s Old Bailey on Friday.

Sketch of Muhyadin Mire appearing in court.
Priscilla Coleman/MB Media
Sketch of Muhyadin Mire appearing in court.

Mire was arrested Saturday night after what police described as an unprovoked knife attack that left a 56-year-old man hospitalized with serious injuries. A second person suffered a minor injury that did not require treatment, authorities said.

The Crown Prosecution Service argued that the attack constituted an act of terrorism under the UK’s Terrorism Act.

The legislation defines terrorism as the use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organization, or intimidate the public, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

Police were called Saturday evening by witnesses who said a man had stabbed people and was threatening others at the Tube station in Leytonstone.

The prosecution says Mire approached his victim from behind and, unprovoked, hit him multiple times, before forcing him to the floor, kicking and stomping on him, according to a document detailing the prosecution case that was distributed to reporters in court.

Police investigate the scene at the Leytonstone Tube station late Saturday.
Tolga Akmen/London News Pictures via ZUMA/ZUMAPRESS.com
Police investigate the scene at the Leytonstone Tube station late Saturday.

He then allegedly held the victim’s head and cut his neck in what was described by witnesses as a “sawing motion,” according to the document.

Leaving the victim in a pool of blood, Mire waved his knife at others and attempted to attack some of them, said the document.

Police then arrived and, fearing for their safety, used a stun gun to disarm and arrest him.

As he was led away, Mire shouted “This is for Syria, my Muslim brothers,” and made similar statements when interviewed at the police station, according to the document. Mire’s phone contained images and material relating to the war in Syria, it said.

The document said the victim of the attack spent five hours in surgery with multiple wounds to his neck, including one that was 12 centimeters (nearly 5 inches) long.

Police said in the aftermath that they were investigating the attack as an act of terror, and have advised the public to “remain calm but alert and vigilant” in relation to any potential threat.

Mire started driving for the ride-hailing shuttle service Uber in June but hasn’t taken a trip since August, said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s London general manager. He was a “private hire driver who was licensed by Transport for London,” Elvidge added.

“Many private hire drivers in the (British) capital are from ethnic minorities,” Elvidge said. “It’s important that the despicable actions of one person are not used to tarnish the reputation of entire communities.”

CNN’s Andrew Carey and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.