Sat. Apr 13th, 2024
alert-–-counter-terror-probe-after-iranian-journalist-is-stabbed-‘multiple-times’-outside-his-london-home-in-ambush-by-two-men-–-with-attackers-still-‘on-the-loose’Alert – Counter-terror probe after Iranian journalist is stabbed ‘multiple times’ outside his London home in ambush by two men – with attackers still ‘on the loose’

A counter-terrorism probe has been launched after an Iranian journalist was stabbed ‘multiple times’ outside his London home. 

The Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said they were ‘keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim.’ 

Pouria Zeraati is in a stable condition after being attacked with a knife yesterday, Iran International said. But his two attackers are still on the loose. 

He was heading to work when he was approached by a man who tried to talk to him outside his home in south west London.

Another male then came from behind and started slashing him with a knife, The Telegraph understands. The pair are then said to have fled the scene in a car driven by a third suspect. 

Pouria Zeraati is in a stable condition after being attacked with a knife yesterday, Iran International said

Pouria Zeraati is in a stable condition after being attacked with a knife yesterday, Iran International said

He was heading to work when he was approached by a man who tried to talk to him outside his home in south west London

He was heading to work when he was approached by a man who tried to talk to him outside his home in south west London

Another male then came from behind and started slashing him with a knife, The Telegraph understands. Pictured: Mr Zeraati with his partner

Another male then came from behind and started slashing him with a knife, The Telegraph understands. Pictured: Mr Zeraati with his partner

Counter-terror police were revealed to have stopped 15 plots linked to Iran, with critical journalists reportedly among those targeted. Pictured: Armed police outside the Iran International offices in November

Counter-terror police were revealed to have stopped 15 plots linked to Iran, with critical journalists reportedly among those targeted. Pictured: Armed police outside the Iran International offices in November 

Police and paramedics were called to an address in south London at 2.49pm after a man in his 30s suffered an injury to his leg, the Metropolitan Police said.

 Speaking to The Sun, Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: ‘While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and our publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organisation, the investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

‘I must stress that, at this early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this.

‘While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of inquiry and our priority at this time is to try and identify whoever was behind this attack and to arrest them.’

READ MORE: Heavy Met Police presence remains at London HQ of Iran news channel whose journalists have received death threats after broadcasting footage of anti-regime protests into the Middle East country

No arrests have been made. While the motive is not clear the broadsheet understands that MI5 have been made aware.

Iran International English posted on X, formerly Twitter, saying: ‘Iran International’s journalist @pouriazeraati has been attacked with a knife outside his house in London.

‘He has sustained injuries but is in a stable condition. The matter is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

‘The attack comes after the Iranian regime’s 2022 plot to kill two @IranIntl television anchors @Sima-Sabet and @FardadFarahzad.’

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘An investigation has been launched following a stabbing in south London.

‘Police were called at 2.49pm on Friday, 29 March to an address in south London after a man in his 30s was attacked and sustained an injury to his leg.

‘London Ambulance Service paramedics attended with police and the man was treated before being taken to hospital. Thankfully his condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

Police and paramedics were called to an address in south London at 2.49pm after a man in his 30s suffered an injury to his leg, the Metropolitan Police said. Pictured: Armed police outside the Iran International offices in November

Police and paramedics were called to an address in south London at 2.49pm after a man in his 30s suffered an injury to his leg, the Metropolitan Police said. Pictured: Armed police outside the Iran International offices in November 

High metal fencing and concrete Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HMV) barriers were put up around the building overnight in November

High metal fencing and concrete Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HMV) barriers were put up around the building overnight in November

Mahsa Amini (pictured) was just 22-years-old when she died in police custody in Tehran, sparking global protests

Mahsa Amini (pictured) was just 22-years-old when she died in police custody in Tehran, sparking global protests

‘A scene is in place and police are working to understand the circumstances. There have been no arrests at this time.’

READ MORE: Terrorist is facing jail for spying on London TV channel that criticised Iranian regime after he claimed was only filming their HQ because he was ‘in wonder at the architecture’ of Chiswick Business Park 

Counter-terror police were revealed to have stopped 15 plots linked to Iran, with critical journalists reportedly among those targeted.

The state said that broadcaster Iran International was a ‘terrorist organisation’ in December.

The Farsi language news channel has enraged Iran with its coverage of huge street protests that have engulfed the nation since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September. 

Amini died in custody after she was detained in Tehran by Iranian morality police who believed she was wearing her hijab too loosely.

It sparked widespread protests which Iran International broadcast 24-hours a day back to Iran on satellite.

Detectives were reported last year to have uncovered a plot to assassinate two London journalists by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. 

It was claimed the assasins were offered more than £150,000 to murder Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad in a knife ambush outside their homes, before one double-crossed the country.

Protesters march through St Peter's Square in Manchester in November, protesting against the Islamic Republic

Protesters march through St Peter’s Square in Manchester in November, protesting against the Islamic Republic

Iranians have used the World Cup stage to voice their disapproval at the Islamic Republic. Pictured: A woman holds up a shirt for Mahsa Amini during Iran's game against Wales

Iranians have used the World Cup stage to voice their disapproval at the Islamic Republic. Pictured: A woman holds up a shirt for Mahsa Amini during Iran’s game against Wales

Body camera footage of Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev being arrested by counter-terrorism police officers

Body camera footage of Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev being arrested by counter-terrorism police officers 

Last year armed police were spotted outside the Iran International offices in Chiswick, west London, alongside multi-role armoured vehicles called Jankels. 

High metal fencing and concrete Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HMV) barriers also surround the building – which were reportedly put up overnight in November.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, called the incident a ‘cowardly attack’ and ‘deeply shocking’.

She said: ‘Our thoughts are with him, his family and all of his colleagues at Iran International. We hope he makes a swift recovery.

‘It is too early to know whether this violent assault is connected to the escalating intimidation and harassment by Iran, including the plot to assassinate journalists Fardad Farahzad and Sima Sabet in 2022.

‘However, this brutal stabbing will inevitably raise fears amongst the many journalists targeted at Iran International and the BBC Persian Service that they are not safe at home or going about their work.’

Ms Stanistreet added: ‘The NUJ sends its collective best wishes to Pouria and hopes he has a swift and full recovery.

‘We will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police and the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, as part of our wider work to stamp out the harassment and targeting of journalists.’

In late December a terror scout was found guilty of spying on Iran International, after claiming he was in ‘wonder at the architecture’ of the site. 

Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev, 31, took seven videos detailing the security arrangements of Volant Media, which runs the Persian-language television channel. 

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, the Chechnya-born Austrian national was found guilty of attempting to collect information on the news organisation, described as an ‘independent Farsi language news channel which has been critical of the current regime in Iran.’ 

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