One Saturday evening in December 2015, Muhiddin Mire, 30, randomly slashed the throat of a stranger at Leytonstone tube station in East London, claiming it was “revenge” for Syria.
Days before, the British parliament had voted to join the air strikes against so-called Islamic State (IS) there. Shocked onlookers heard him shout: “This is for my Syrian brothers, I’m going to spill your blood.”
Mire was a Somali-born British citizen whose family had arrived as refugees to Britain in the 1990s. He was a former Uber driver, who had a known history of mental health problems.
A year later another young man of Somali origins, and Norwegian national, Zakaria Bulhan, 19, randomly attacked strangers in London’s Russell Square, killing an American tourist and injuring five others.
In August last year, Belgian soldiers shot dead a Belgian-Somali man, after he attempted to attack them with a knife shouting, “Allah Akhbar”.