Tube stabbing suspect appears in London court

London (AFP) - A man who appeared in court Monday charged with attempted murder after a stabbing at London Underground train station was allegedly found with pictures associated with the Islamic State group on his phone.

Muhaydin Mire, 29, from east London, is accused of attempting to murder a 56-year-old man at Leytonstone station on Saturday night.

He was driven to court in a police van escorted by other vehicles which went into the court building through a back entrance and appeared at the Old Bailey wearing a light grey T-shirt and tracksuit trousers.

During a brief hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

Mire was remanded in custody until Friday when he will again appear at the Old Bailey in London, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.

Prosecutors allege that Mire punched his victim to the ground and repeatedly kicked him before taking hold of the victim's head and cutting a 12-centimetre wound in his neck.

The victim, referred to in court as Male A, was in surgery for five hours after the attack, the prosecution said.

Prosecutors also allege that images and flags associated with IS jihadists were subsequently found on Mire's mobile phone.

- Increased patrols -

Police have increased patrols at transport hubs following the incident at Leytonstone station, a suburban stop on the Central Line, one of London Underground's busiest.

"The safety of the travelling public remains our top priority," said transport police spokesman Mark Newton.

Patrols "involve both uniformed and plain-clothed officers, supported by other resources, such as armed officers, police dogs, a network of CCTV cameras, and the thousands of rail staff we work alongside.

"We ask the public to remain calm and carry on using public transport as normal."

Britain's official national threat level from international terrorism was raised in August 2014 to severe, the second highest of five levels, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

Speaking at Burton in central England, British Prime Minister David Cameron voiced his thanks for a bystander in Leytonstone station who shouted a phrase at the suspect that later went viral on social media.

"Some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and soundbites and everything to this subject, but 'You ain't no Muslim, bruv' said it all much better than I could have done," Cameron said.

"Thank you, because that will be applauded around the country."

The Central Line, running on an east-west axis through the British capital, is the longest of London's Tube lines serving 49 stations along 46 miles (74 kilometres) of track.

A section of the Central line was closed after the incident but Leytonstone station was open on Monday.

The stop contains murals with scenes from the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The director, born in 1899, hailed from Leytonstone, as do football icon David Beckham and Blur frontman Damon Albarn.

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