A Muslim convert from Leeds was seen on private premises at a military air base just days before he repeatedly stabbed a stranger in the neck in the street.
Alex Davies, 26, stabbed Jaroslaw Poterucha six times from behind as he walked towards a bus stop in Manchester in August 2016.
One of Mr Poterucha’s wounds was so deep, he was lucky to be alive, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Davies, also known as Ahmad Ibn Abdillah, fled the scene undetected and was later spotted at RAF Northolt in west London two weeks later.
The court heard how police were informed of a male wearing full Islamic dress and heard to be chanting was seen in an accommodation area for RAF personnel.
Davies refused to give any personal details and was taken to a local police station by the Met where he was searched but nothing was found and he was allowed to leave.
The following month he threatened two men in a takeaway pizza shop in Slough, Berkshire, with a large kitchen knife and said to them “Can I kill you now?” and “You are not Muslims”.
The defendant was arrested and while on remand at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire in October 2016 he attacked prison officers in two separate incidents - one in which he brandished a wooden stake with three razor blades embedded on its side and said: “Allahu Akbar, God is great.”
In February 2018 the defendant, formerly of Fencot Drive, Longsight, Manchester, but originally from Leeds, was arrested in jail over the Levenshulme stabbing.
When he was charged he replied: “I am saying it is a case of mistaken identity.”
But at his trial at Manchester he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Davies accepted he stabbed Mr Poterucha but his lawyers argued he did not know what he was doing was wrong and that he believed he was stabbing an alien.
Psychiatric experts for the prosecution and defence agreed that Davies is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
However, Carey Johnston QC, prosecuting, pointed out Davies’s initial explanation when charged and that he had stopped using his mobile phone soon after the attack and disposed of the sim card.
It also emerged that in November 2017 Davies wrote a letter in prison which read: “To whom it may concern. This is Ahmad Ibn Abdillaah, leader of the Muslims, confessing to a crime of which I am wanted for. Whilst in Birmingham I heard a voice saying ‘The Muslim Leader’ whilst in astonishment ... I later went to Manchester and stabbed a man so I could establish myself as a fighter.”
The court heard he is a devout Muslim who prays 15 times a day after he converted to Islam on his 20th birthday while in prison.
He is being treated at Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside after being transferred from jail where he was serving a 10-and-a-half-year jail sentence, with an extended licence period of five years, imposed last May for the prison attack.
He will continue to be treated at Ashworth for an indefinite period for public protection after a jury found him guilty of attempted murder.