Police was called to Forest Hill Station just after 1.15pm after a passenger was stabbed
The wife of a man who was critically injured in an anti-Muslim attack on a Forest Hill overground station on December 12 last year has described the horrifying ordeal.
Kulsuma Ali, 39, who wore a hijab, was sitting beside husband Muhammed Askar Ali when a man stabbed him in the head first, then twice in the chest and finally three times in the back.
Kulsuma said the man was screaming, “I am going to kill a Muslim” and “go back to Syria”.
“The blade was a big kitchen knife. The man was wandering around with it and showing it but no one had stopped him. No one came to help us at first. My husband had been stabbed loads of times before anyone moved,” said Kulsuma.
She then revealed how a nurse helped her wounded husband as there was “blood everywhere”. “I have not slept since. The scene keeps playing in my head”, she added. Passengers said they ran for their lives after a man was seen waving a knife at the station and shouting “kill all Muslims”. It was claimed travellers were asked if they were Muslim before knifing Ali.
Miguel Oliveira, 36, said saw a wave of people when he arrived at the station shortly after 1 pm following the incident. He said: “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 added that some members of the crowd were shouting: “He wants to kill Muslims”.
“I doubled back and I went back to the station and actually came face-to-face with him. He had just come out – not the way they were saying. He was walking towards me and he was shouting stuff like ‘Death to Muslims’ and ‘Go back to Syria’,” said Oliveira.
Richard Etienne from Forest Hill said a “man with the knife was marching down the train kind of muttering loudly to himself, so everyone could hear: ‘I’m going to kill me a Muslim’, that’s what I kept hearing him say. His facial expression was like a man on a mission, full of anger and rage.”
It was then said, Etienne, that he “turned away from me to look at a woman with a hijab sitting opposite me. She looked in her twenties. I could see the back of him and that’s when I saw the knife in his right hand. The blade looked about five to six inches and it looked like a kitchen knife with a black handle. He was holding it at hip level but his hands were stiff and the blade was pointing towards her, so he was holding it to her. A woman next to her said: ‘Oh God, he’s got a knife.’ After a tense few seconds, the attacker said: ‘I don’t want me a Muslim woman, I want me a Muslim man.’ He then stormed off towards the first carriage.”
Several passengers began setting off alarms on the train and hurrying towards the back carriage. Etienne said: “I set off an alarm. It was like everything was in slow motion.”
Then as the train pulled into Forest Hill station, the attacker launched his assault, it was said. Shellby Curry, 24, was with her one-year-old child when she saw a man “waving what looked to be a knife in his hand” near the station and screaming words like “Muslims f****** hate them, kill them all”.
Adrian Brown, 38, appeared at the Old Bailey on January 11, charged with the attempted murder of Muhammed Askar Ali at Forest Hill station in London; he will go on trial in June.