‘Because He Had A Knife In His Hands, Everybody Hesitated’

Jayce-Ebony Bell spoke to someone who saw the ‘This is for Syria’ knife attack.

Leytonstone pic

Computer technician Leslie Bradstock, 27, witnessed the terrifying scene in which three people were slashed and stabbed at Leytonstone Tube station shortly before 7pm on Saturday 5 December.

She recalls “the victims were screaming and calling out for help.

“The guy with the knife was hovering over an old man shouting at him saying ‘This is for Syria, go on, try and run, go on then’.”

Afterwards it was suggested that bystanders were using their phones to video the incident when they ought to have intervened to stop the knifeman. But Leslie believes they were simply frightened of being injured themselves.

“People were shouting out abusive things. They tried to stop him with words. One young man said ‘you ain’t no Muslim bruv, shut up, get out of here!’ Because he had a knife in his hands everybody hesitated, including myself. I didn’t want to be hurt or stabbed and I am sure they were thinking the same thing.”

Ms Bradstock is not able to confirm the identity of the attacker. “I couldn’t see much of his face as he covered most of it with a black scarf.” But she remembers the knifeman taunting travellers by chanting, singing and shouting in what sounded like Arabic.

It has been suggested that the attacker was quoting from the Quran but this remains unverified.

The knife attack has left some Londoners feeling vulnerable. “I work in King’s Cross station,” said one Leytonstone resident. “I am scared to go to work.”

Over the weekend the off-the-cuff comment ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’ became a Facebook and Twitter trend.