Man handed life sentence for attempted beheading at London Underground station

Muhiddin Mire targeted random passersby during IS-inspired attack in 2015

Muhiddin Mire

Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Muhiddin Mire

A man who tried to behead a musician during an Islamic State-inspired attack at a London Underground station has been jailed for life.

Muhiddin Mire will serve a minimum of eight-and-a-half years for the attack on Lyle Zimmerman at Leytonstone station in December 2015 before he can be considered for parole. 

The 30-year-old targeted strangers at random in the ticket hall at the station, before grabbing Mr Zimmerman and attempting to murder him after they travelled on the same train from Stratford to Leytonstone.

The attack was captured on CCTV and mobile phone footage taken by a passerby, who carried on filming even after Mire lunged at him with a knife.

One onlooker shouted, "You ain't no Muslim, bruv" after Mire claimed he was going to "spill blood" for his "Syrian brothers".

Sentencing him today at the Old Bailey, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said that he accepted Mire suffered from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the offence, but that he also believed he had been motivated by events in Syria.

He said: "In other words, because Muslims were being bombed in Syria, he was going to attack civilians here.

"That was designed to intimidate a section of the public, and it was to advance and extreme cause. 

"This was an attempt to kill an innocent member of the public for ideological reasons by cutting his throat in plain sight for maximum impact."

Mire had images of Fusilier Lee Rigby and a British IS member known as Jihadi John on his mobile phone, along with material linked to IS.

'Revenge attack'

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said the stabbing was a "revenge attack" for events in Syria.

He told the court: "We suggest that it can be no coincidence that the attack was carried out some three days after Parliament had voted to extend the UK bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria."

Last week, Mr Zimmerman said he was "fortunate" to have received prompt first-aid treatment from a passing junior doctor.

During a pre-sentence hearing, he said he was "quite lucky" to survive.

Mire suffered his first episode of paranoid schizophrenia in 2006, the court heard.

He was found guilty of attempted murder, and admitted four counts of attempted wounding and an alternative count of wounding with intent to cause Mr Zimmerman grievous bodily harm.