Court Hears Reading Stabbing Suspect Allegedly Shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ Before Attack

READING, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 27: Candles and flowers on June 27, 2020 in Reading, United Kingdom. David Wails, Joseph Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong were killed after being attacked in Forbury Garden, shortly before 7pm on June 20, 2020. The suspect, Khairi Saadallah, has been charged with 3 counts of …
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Khairi Saadallah, 25, has appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on charges of murdering three men and the attempted murder of three other men in a park in Reading, in what police have described as a terrorist incident.

Appearing via videolink from Coventry Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Saadallah confirmed his name, his residence in Reading, and his death of birth.

The Libyan refugee, who arrived in the UK in 2012 and was granted leave to remain in 2018, has been accused of murdering James Furlong, 36, Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and David Wails, 49. He is alleged to have stabbed the three men to death with a large kitchen knife in Forbury Gardens at just before 7 pm on Saturday, June 20th, according to the BBC.

Mr Furlong and Mr Ritchie-Bennett had been stabbed once in the neck. Mr Wails had been stabbed once in the back. All three were declared dead at the scene.

During the two-minute attack, Saadallah also allegedly stabbed three men sitting nearby. Stephen Young needed 28 stitches after “serious and deep” cuts to the forehead. Patrick Edwards was stabbed in the back. Nishit Nisudan suffered knife wounds to his face and hands. All three have since been released from hospital, according to Sky News.

The court heard that Mr Young was a friend of the deceased men.

Police had questioned Saadallah under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, before charging him on Saturday. At the ten-minute hearing on Monday, he did not enter pleas related to the murder and attempted murder charges.

Prosecutor Jan Newbold told the court that Saadallah allegedly stabbed the men “without warning or provocation”.

“At the time of the incident, the defendant was heard to shout words to the effect of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great),” Ms Newbold said, according to The Telegraph.

The Libyan has been remanded in custody until his next hearing on Wednesday at the Old Bailey, likely again via videolink.

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