7 Dec 2015

Leytonstone attack: accused had “mental health problems”

Channel 4 News has spoken to the brother of a man who appeared in court today charged with attempted murder following an alleged terror attack at a tube station in East London.

Muhaydin Mire’s brother Mohamed has told Channel 4 News of his sibling’s history of drug taking and mental health issues and how he had bought his brother a ticket to fly home to Somalia at the weekend.

He also told Channel 4 News that before this incident happened his brother was “working as an Uber driver. He was doing a good job.”

“He had drugs influenced on him. Just cannabis. It give him mental problem. Bit paranoia. He was diagnosed by a doctors and treated in 2007 for paranoia.

“He had mental issues. Mental problem. He was in hospital for three months in 2007.

Mohamed told Jon Snow how he came out of hospital and “got a bit better.

“He was working as an Uber driver and then he got back into the same thing and went a bit crazy. Started calling me and talking funny, funny.

“That started in August of this year. He started calling me up and saying odd things.

“Not radical, it’s a bit like jumping around talking nonsense and sort of like talking saying he’s seeing demons and stuff, people following him. Bit of paranoia.

‘Tried to get help’

“I explained to the family the situation. They were aware of it. We tried to get him help. We tried to call the local authority, they could not help him because they said he’s no harm to people and he’s no harm to himself.

“I talked to the police and they came and looked at him and that was 22 October.

“And then I decided to move him out the country. I decided to book a ticket for him on this Sunday. He was okay as far as I know. He wanted to go.”

Uber’s general manager for the London area, Tom Elvidge, confirmed that Muhaydin Mire had worked for Uber, saying: “We’re appalled by this terrible attack and our hearts go out to the victims.

“Muhaydin Mire was a private hire driver who was licensed by Transport for London. He started driving on the Uber platform in June 2015 and has not taken a trip since August.”

‘Pray for the victims’

Mohamed Ibrahim, Chair, London Somali Youth Forum told Channel 4 News: “We want to pray for the victims. These were people who were getting on with their lives. It could have been me, it could have been my daughter.”

“But the context is we have a young man who has a mental health issue and it seems the family have alerted the authorities – the family were appealing for some urgent [medical] help.”

Sahel Ali, Chairman, Darussalam Mosque and Cultural Centre says: “There is a fear among the Somali community especially…in the context of a minicab driver we are fearful that everyone else will look at us with suspicious eyes.”

“I think highlighting the man’s mental condition will help the population here understand that there is something behind it.”

The Metropolitan Police has told this programme: “They were contacted approximately three weeks before the incident on Saturday. There was no mention of radicalisation. The conversation related entirely to health related issues and the family were therefore correctly referred to health services for help.”