Manchester stabbing: Counter-terror police probe attack at Victoria station that left three injured
British counter-terrorism police are investigating an attack by a man armed with a kitchen knife at Manchester Victoria train station that injured three people, including a police officer, on New Year’s Eve.
Victoria Ward Helena Horton Jack Hardy, The Telegraph|AIWA! NO! |British Police are treating a stabbing in Manchester as a terror attack, after arresting a 25-year-old man and raiding a house in the north of the city.
On New Year’s Eve, three people, including a police officer, were stabbed by a man who was heard shouting “Allah” at Victoria station.
British Transport Police (BTP) said a 25-year-old man had been arrested and added there was nothing to suggest a wider threat.
In a statement, BTP said they received a call shortly before 9pm on New Year’s Eve.
On Tuesday morning, the Greater Manchester Police force confirmed that they were still treating the stabbing as a terror investigation.
Police also raided a house in Cheetham Hill, North Manchester in relation to the investigation.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, of Greater Manchester Police, added: “I know that the events of last night will have affected many people and caused concern.
“That the incident happened so close to the scene of the terrorist attack on 22 May 2017 makes it even more dreadful.”
The former Chief Constable of Manchester Police, Peter Fahy tweeted : “It would certainly appear police officers showed incredible bravery in tackling the attacker at Manchester’s Victoria Station last night saving lives”
A man and a woman – both in their 50s – were taken to hospital. The woman had injuries to her face and abdomen and the man had injuries to his abdomen. Their injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening.
Police later revealed that the two victims were both from the Manchester area and suffered ‘very serious’ injuries, adding that they will be in hospital ‘for some time’.
A BTP officer suffered a stab wound in his shoulder and was later released from hospital.
Theresa May tweeted her condolences, writing: My thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night. I thank the emergency services for their courageous response.”
A man was arrested near Metrolink platforms A and B on suspicion of attempted murder, officers said.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: “We believe we have identified the man in custody.
“In fact we are currently searching an address in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, we commenced that in the last 30 to 40 minutes.
“We know the attacker arrived at the location and soon after he attacked two people, a man and a woman, who have suffered very serious injuries.
“Whilst serious thankfully these are not life threatening.”
GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins added that officers had been working through the night to identify the suspect.
He said: “Police officers at Victoria Train Station responded to a man armed with a knife and swiftly detained him. The officers acted with incredible bravery in tackling the armed attacker at the busy Metrolink station and ensured he was immediately detained. He remains in custody here in Manchester.
“We are treating this as a terrorist investigation which is being led by counter terrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester Police. They were working throughout the night to piece together the details of what happened and to identify the man who was arrested.
“This detailed work will continue and we are currently searching an address in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester which is believed to be where the man had most recently been living. Our work will continue to ensure we get to the full facts of what happened and why it took place.”
Police later said the public would see an increased police presence on Tuesday morning but said this was not as a result of any increased threat.
Sam Clack, 38, a BBC producer who witnessed the attack, said he heard “this most blood curdling scream” on 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,” he said.
“It looked like they were having a fight, but she was screaming in this blood curdling way. I saw police in high-viz 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 him.
As the suspect was held down he heard him say: “As long as you keep bombing other countries this sort of s— is going to keep happening.”
Mr Clack said he realised the male victim had been stabbed as there was blood “splattered” on the platform. “He was stabbed in the head and once in the back,” he added.
“His shirt was covered in blood. His partner was 60-ish. She had a bandage on her head.”
Mr Clack described it as “the most terrifying thing” and said he was close to jumping on the tracks to avoid the attacker.
He said the victims had managed to walk out of the station, “albeit covered in blood.”
ACC Sean O’Callaghan, from British Transport Police, hailed the bravery of the police officers.
He said: “I am incredibly proud of the four officers who were immediately on scene last night, detaining a man who was wielding a knife. They were fearless, running towards danger and preventing further harm coming to passengers.
“Unfortunately however, one of our police officers suffered a stab injury to their shoulder and we’re all relieved that this is not more serious. It is good news that he has now been discharged from hospital, we are all wishing him a speedy recovery.
“As this incident occurred on Greater Manchester Police jurisdiction, they are now leading this investigation and we doing everything we can to actively support them.
“Understandably, incidents of this nature are likely to cause concern, but I would like to reassure the public they are incredibly rare and we have officers on duty throughout the national rail network.”