A knife-wielding attacker shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ stabbed three people at Manchester Victoria station last night, before he was Tasered to the ground and arrested.
A man and a woman in their 50s and a British Transport Police officer were injured during the terrifying knife attack, which unfolded as revellers travelled into the city ahead of the New Year’s celebrations.
Anti-terror police are handling the investigation, but officers have yet to confirm whether the incident was a terror attack.
Footage from the scene shows a man being pinned down by five police officers, with blood stains on the pavement next to them.
Another video shows him shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, meaning ‘God is most great’ in Arabic, as he was put in the back of a police van.
A witness said he shouted: ‘As long as you keep bombing other countries, this sort of s*** is going to keep happening.’
Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in custody.
A witness who considered jumping onto the tracks to escape the knifeman took this photo of the aftermath after two rail passengers and a policeman were stabbed last night
In footage, said to show the suspect being put in the back of a police van after his arrest, he can be heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’
A close-up of a police officer at the scene shows the suspect’s knife lying on the ground
The station is next to Manchester Arena, where suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people on May 22.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said police were keeping an ‘open mind’ over the motive.
Speaking last night, he said: ‘Tonight’s events will have understandably worried people but I need to stress that the incident is not ongoing, a man is in custody and there is currently no intelligence to suggest that there is any wider threat at this time.’
Witness Sam Clack, who came within touching distance of the attacker, said he heard the man shout ‘Allah’ as he launched the attack.
Mr Clack, a BBC producer, was on a platform at Manchester Victoria railway station waiting for a tram home when he witnessed the attack.
The 38-year-old said: ‘I just heard this most blood-curdling scream and looked down the platform. What it looked like was a guy in his 60s with a woman of similar age and another guy all dressed in black.
‘It looked like they were having a fight but she was screaming in this blood curdling way. I saw police in high-vis come towards him.
‘He came towards me. I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good, 12-inch blade. It was just fear, pure fear.’
Mr Clack said police officers used a Taser and pepper spray before ‘six or seven’ officers jumped on the man and held him down.
He said he heard the suspect saying: ‘As long as you keep bombing other countries this sort of s*** is going to keep happening.’
Mr Clack said it looked like both the man in his 60s and the woman with him had been stabbed, but both were conscious and were walked to a waiting ambulance.
He said he also heard the knifeman shouting ‘Allah’ before and during the attack.
A man and a woman were pictured receiving treatment after the incident on Monday evening
A discharged taser pictured on the platform alongside police restrained the suspect on Friday evening
Police appeared ‘within seconds’ and the knifeman backed down the platform towards where Mr Clack was standing alone.
Mr Clack described how he feared the man would attack him.
‘I just had a feeling in the pit of my stomach,’ he said. ‘Here’s a man who’s very agitated, angry, skittish. It appears he had already attacked someone. He had police coming towards him and he’s coming towards me.
‘I thought what I need to do is jump onto the tracks because next thing he’s going to do is turn around and stab me. He’s looking about, side to side and jumpy.
‘At one point one of the police officers fired the Taser but it missed him. Then he got pepper sprayed and tasered and he want to the ground.
‘The guy, his exact words were, he said: ‘As long as you keep bombing other countries, this sort of s*** is going to keep happening’.’
He added: ‘It was scary. I have never been so scared in my life. Someone with a knife six to eight feet away, he had just stabbed someone. It was the proximity.
‘It just highlights the fact that it can happen anywhere. It’s just a guy with a knife on a platform. It can happen anywhere. Anyone can do it.’
A police officer (right) could be seen bending down to pick up what appears to be a long knife and put it in an evidence bag as the attacker is restrained just a few feet away
Police officers were quickly on the scene and one witness said he heard the knifeman shout ‘Allah’
A police sergeant in his 30s injured in the attack has been released from hospital, while the other two victims are currently receiving treatment.
A British Transport Police spokesperson said the woman has injuries to her face and abdomen and the man has injuries to his abdomen, while a BTP officer has a stab wound in his shoulder – all of which are described as ‘serious but not life-threatening’.
In footage posted on Snapchat reportedly showing the suspect being put in the back of a police van, he can be heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he is led away by officers.
Another eyewitness, named only as Rebecca, told Mirror Online: ‘I heard the most bloodcurdling scream I’ve ever heard and turned to see everyone running towards me.
‘Some guy told me to run. ‘Keep running’ was all he kept saying – ‘just keep running’. I jumped off the tram track and started to run down the tram lines and hid behind some concrete slabs under one of the arches.
The Metrolink has been cordoned off and the station is currently shut down while police investigate the scene.
Police worked quickly to cordon off the scene of the attack and Metrolink services have since been suspended as they investigate
A view of the platform where the attack took place shows a discarded shoe lying on the ground
Paramedic equipment was also left at the scene after emergency services attended
The attack took place just a few hundred meters away from the Manchester Arena, scene of the deadly bombing in May 2017 which killed 23 revellers at an Ariana Grande concert.
British Transport Police said in a statement: ‘Officers are attending Manchester Victoria station following reports of a man wielding a knife. We received the call at 8.52pm on Monday, 31 December.
‘A man has been detained and two members of the public, a man and a woman have been taken to hospital with knife injuries.
‘A BTP officer is also receiving treatment for a stab wound to the shoulder. British Transport Police remain at the scene along with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police and the North West Ambulance Service.’
Greater Manchester Police tweeted: ‘We are currently managing an incident at Victoria train station in Manchester. The Metrolink through the station is suspended. More updates will follow.’
ISIS urge British extremists to carry out ‘horror and misery’ UK attack during festive season
by Larisa Brown, Middle East Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Islamic State jihadists yesterday used encrypted apps to urge extremists in Britain to carry out a knife attack in Westminster during the festive season.
They told members of closed groups on the encrypted Telegram messaging app to bring ‘horror and misery’ to non-believers over the New Year, it can be revealed.
One image circulated showed a crowd of people outside Big Ben watching fireworks with a man carrying a bloodied knife. There was also a splatter of blood over the image of Parliament.
In Arabic and also translated in English, it read: ‘Hunt them O Muwahid (a believer in Allah).’
It had chilling echoes of the Westminster terror attack in March 2017 when Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians before fatally stabbing an unarmed police officer.
Armed police patrolling through central London on Monday night as New Years Eve celebrations got underway
In a separate document posted on the app, known for its use by terrorists, IS extremists explained in graphic detail who to target with a knife.
The terror manual suggested targeting a ‘drunken kafir (non-believer)’ or someone ‘in an alley close a night club or another place of debauchery’.
‘It may also help to carry a baton or some kind of concealable blunt object, such as a baseball bat, to strike the victim’s head’, it said.
This would immobilise him ‘before cutting his throat or stabbing him in other lethal areas to finish him off’, it recommended.
The call to inflict bloodshed in Europe has significantly increased in recent days, with the group appearing to have a ‘new energy’, according to intelligence experts.
The documents were circulated in closed groups on Telegram and intercepted by cyber intelligence company Global Intelligence Insight.
They said most of the accounts are managed by individuals with extensive operational experience, both in recruitment and radicalisation.
‘According to our analysis we have been seeing a growing increase in the level of threat that has been used,’ a spokesman for the company said.
There were also threats against the US, France, Italy and Spain in numerous languages including in Arabic, English and Russian.
A Metropolitan Police boat patrols the River Thames as revellers wait for the start of fireworks on London’s Embankment for the New Year celebrations
Some of the Telegram groups have hundreds of members, others with just a few which are used for ‘operational tasking’.
They are also actively pushing and circulating old terror manuals from Rumiyah Magazine.
These are urging extremists to inflict mass casualties with vans such as the one used in the London Bridge attack.
Vasco Amador, CEO of GGII, who intercepted the terrorists communications, said: ‘They are putting a lot of effort into increasing their online reach in order to stimulate terror attacks and recent trends in activity are greater than we have seen for some time.
‘There are thousands of people interacting in theses communications channels all over the world and it is clear there are British supporters in there as well.’
Philip Ingram MBE, a former Colonel in British military intelligence and chairman of GII, said there was a seeming ‘new energy’ in IS’s online radicalisation efforts.
He said: ‘The volume of information that is circulating about how to carry out attacks, where to acquire weapons, how to manufacture explosives, how to maintain security, is huge.
‘Extremist terrorism has not gone and the threats to Europe and the UK through 2019 will remain extremely high.’
IS has nearly been defeated militarily in Syria and Iraq but many have fled to countries such as Afghanistan.
There are fears battle-hardened jihadists could also try to return to the UK.
Crowds go through a security check on The Mall as over 100,000 people arrive to celebrate New Year’s Eve in central London last night
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