A police officer was heralded a hero yesterday after he disarmed a knife-wielding attacker at a mosque despite being stabbed in the chest and stomach.
The incident is understood to have occurred during the final prayer session of Saturday evening at the Washwood Heath Muslim Centre.
The 31-year-old officer was attacked after being called to the Birmingham centre where a mentally ill man had allegedly gone beserk attacking worshippers and shouting “don’t mock Islam”.
Three people had already been stabbed when the officer arrived.
He was confronted by a man armed with a large combat knife who bypassed officer’s stab vest to attack him despite being fired on with a Taser.
Despite his serious injuries, the unnamed officer still managed to take the knife off the man, understood to be of Somali descent, and wrestle him to the floor before arresting him.
The officer, who was helped by a female colleague, was then taken to hospital to undergoing surgery for his injuries, which are not life-threatening. Two other victims were also in hospital following the attack.
Police said the attack was not a hate crime and praised the heroics of the worshippers at the mosque for helping the police, including an off-duty surgeon who carried out “life-saving” first aid at the scene.
The alleged attacker was last night transferred to a mental health unit after doctors said he was unfit to be interviewed.
A neighbour said one witness heard the man shout “’I told you not to mock Islam” as he launched an attack on worshippers at the mosque on Saturday evening.
Chief Superintendent Alex Murray of West Midlands Police said: “I’d like to thank the brave officers for their heroic actions, as well as the people inside the mosque who acted extremely bravely despite being in substantial danger.
“There were people inside the mosque who needed help, police needed to act even though a dangerous individual was inside.
“As the male officer approached the suspect he deployed his taser, but it had no effect.
“The suspect then stabbed the officer in the chest and in the stomach, despite his injuries the officer and his female colleague wrestled the man to the ground, restrained him and made an arrest”.
The incident happened at around 11pm on Saturday at the Washwood Heath Muslim Centre on Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham.
Police arrived within minutes of reports that a man was stabbing people inside.
Local residents said they heard screams coming from the mosque and saw people running out.
Inside a 28-year-old man was stabbed in the arm, a 36-year-old man was stabbed once in the thigh and a third man suffered a hand injury.
Witnesses reported an argument breaking out between worshippers but the alleged attacker had not attended the mosque before.
Mohammed Yaasar, 31, a software engineer who lives nearby, said: “A man who had been inside the mosque at the time, said the attacker was shouting- ‘I told you not to mock Islam, I told you not to mock Islam.’
“Then he said the man went and washed his hands after stabbing the three men.”
The injured officer has been with the force since 2007 and had his family at his bedside yesterday.
Liam Byrne, a former Home Office minister, said the incident was “tragic, sad and isolated”.
Local resident Madaser Hussain said the atmosphere in the community was unpleasant following the incident.
“There shouldn’t be any bloodshed on the streets or anywhere,” he said, “we should be one community, really.”
Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of national Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, said: “Our immediate thoughts are with the victims injured and their families.
“It is too early to speculate on the circumstances of the stabbings but we must be clear there should be no place for this sort of violence in our country.”
Chief Supt Murray said he would examine why the Taser appeared to have no effect on the suspect.
Police officer a ‘hero’ after tackling mosque knife attacker despite being stabbed
See – Police Officer Stabbed In Mosque Attack
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