Train knifeman stabs passenger at Forest Hill threatening: ‘I want to kill a Muslim’

Police officers outside Forest Hill station following the stabbing. Pic: Press Assocation

A man brandishing a knife stabbed a fellow train passenger  and then ran through Forest Hill station today shouting, “I want to kill a Muslim,” according to eyewitnesses.

The knifeman yelled, “Whoever is Muslim, I will kill you,” reportedly threatening a women wearing a hijab before stabbing the man on the London Overground train.

The 40-year-old male victim suffered from stab wounds in the attack at lunchtime today. He was taken to hospital and is in a serious condition. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A 38-year-old-man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of GBH, British Transport Police confirmed. They are appealing for witnesses to come forward with more information about the incident.

A witness to the scene told the Daily Mirror,  “The man came running out of the station with a knife and everybody started running and screaming.

“He was shouting, ‘Whoever is Muslim, I will kill you’. He was looking for anybody that was Muslim.

“Everybody was running and screaming. He was walking up and down the street for about 15 minutes.

“The looks on some peoples faces, they looked terrified and very scared.”

Channel 4 reported accounts of a woman in a hijab pleading for help with blood on her hands as the attacker appeared to have run.

Witnesses also took to Twitter to explain what had happened and warn others away from the scene of the attack.

Miguel Oliveira saw a “wave of people” coming towards him as he arrived at Forest Hill station. “The first few were shouting ‘he’s got a knife, he’s got a knife’ and then all of a sudden the next ones said ‘Oh he’s been stabbed call the police’,” he said.

British Transport Police said they were treating the incident as a serious hate crime, but not as a terrorist offence.

Some on social media saw a disparity between the fact that this incident was not being treated as terrorism, and their belief that a Muslim man wanting to kill non-Muslims would immediately be linked to terrorist groups.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley, has appealed to witnesses to give more information about the incident.

He said: “This was a serious assault on a man in broad daylight and we are aware that other passengers may have seen what happened or been threatened themselves.

“We have spoken with many witnesses from the train but if you saw what happened and haven’t yet contacted police, please do so as soon as you can.”

Transport for London reported severe delays on London Overground services between New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace, and New Cross Gate and West Croydon, as a result of the incident.

Follow Rebecca Pinnington on Twitter

Additional reporting by Georgina Laud.

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