Terrorist shouts "Allahu Akhbar" before Reading stabbing spree

A terrorist who stabbed three people to death, and injured three others, has pleaded guilty to their murders.

Khairi Saadallah shouted "Allahu Akhbar" before the killing spree which lasted a matter of seconds.

The defendant, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday to begin sentencing.

Saadallah launched an offensive knife attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading as many people, including the victims, were enjoying the sun.

Amongst the fatally wounded were history teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist David Wails, 49, and US citizen Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39. Three of their friends were seriously injured.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said Saadallah, who hails from Tripoli in Libya, aimed to kill as many people as he could in the name of violent jihad.

And upon opening the case, Ms Morgan said: “In less than a minute, shouting ‘Allahu akhbar’, the defendant carried out a lethal attack with a knife, killing all three men before they had a chance to respond and try to defend themselves.

Forbury Gardens- The scene of the crime.

“Within the same minute, the defendant went on to attack others nearby, stabbing three more people – Stephen Young, Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan – causing them significant injuries.

“The defendant was ruthlessly efficient in his actions. The prosecution’s case is that the attack perpetrated by the defendant was carefully planned and executed with determination and precision.

“The defendant believed that in carrying out this attack he was acting in pursuit of his extreme ideology, an ideology he appears to have held for some time.

“He believed that. in killing as many people as possible that day. he was performing an act of religious jihad.”

Saadallah arrived in the UK in 2012 after he fled war-torn Libya in North Africa.

It is believed that he had been involved with militias who played instrumental roles in the uprising against Muammar Gadaffi, and has previously been pictured handling firearms.

The defendant's time in Britain has proved tormented, with a history of petty and violent offences spanning over seven years.

In 2017, he found himself in HMP Bullingdon with infamous radical preacher, Omar Brooks, who holds links with the banned terrorist organisation, Al-Muhajiroun.

The court heard how Saadallah was keen to associate with Brooks, and how since leaving prison, he has accessed terrorist related material from his phone on a number of occasions.

The day before the attack, the defendant was spotted on CCTV purchasing a knife.

The sentencing, before Mr Justice Sweeney, is expected to go on for two to three days.

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