In February this year, the nation was shocked as news channels were once again emblazoned with the horrific aftermath of a brutal knife crime incident. On the 20th of February, during communal prayers at a London mosque, an armed attacker unleashed a violent stabbing attack mid-prayer. Thanks to the heroic actions of fellow worshippers, the crazed knife attacker was promptly arrested. However, not before inflicting serious knife wounds on a prayer leader who was in the front line of the worshippers. 70-year-old Raafat Maglad was stabbed once in the neck, prior to the assailant being apprehended. Since the knife wound was not life-threatening, the prayer leader was treated at hospital for his injuries and returned to the mosque for Friday Prayers the next day. In response to the shocking scenes, Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed he was “deeply saddened” by the knife crime incident and his “thoughts are with the victim and all those affected.”
After his prompt apprehension by worshippers and immediate arrest by police, the suspect was latterly confirmed to be 29-year-old Daniel Gorton, of no fixed address. An eye-witness who saw the shocking scenes unfold before him, described the stabbing incident, “He was praying behind him and then he stabbed him. He was waiting for him I think to start praying. He was right behind him.” Another representative of the Muslim community described the attack as “one stab, one strike, around the neck.” However, since then, few details of the attacker’s motives have emerged. At the time, Scotland Yard revealed that it was not treating the stabbing as terror related.
Describing the stabbing, Raafat Maglad said, “it was like being hit by a brick.” He also added that the attacker had been a regular worshipper at the mosque in recent months but had never shown any signs of aggression.