The 25-year-old Libyan man accused of stabbing three people to death at a park in Reading, shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), moments before the attack, a court has heard.
Khairi Saadallah, of Basingstoke Rd in Reading was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder on Saturday.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday via video link from Coventry Magistrates' Court, dressed in a grey, prison-issue tracksuit and wearing a surgical face mask.
He spoke only to confirm his name and address and did not enter a plea.
Prosecutor Jan Newbold told the court: “At the time of the incident, the defendant was heard to shout words to the effect of 'Allahu akbar'.”
Saadallah, who came to the UK as a refugee in 2012, is accused of murdering three friends, James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39 in Forbury Gardens on 20 June using a large kitchen knife.
History teacher Mr Furlong and Mr Ritchie-Bennett, a US citizen, were each stabbed once in the neck while scientist Mr Wails was stabbed once in his back, the court heard.
All three men were declared dead at the scene.
Saadallah is also charged with attempting to murder their friend Stephen Young as well as Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sat in the the nearby group.
The court heard that Mr Young required 28 stitches for a “serious and deep” cut to his forehead, while Mr Edwards was stabbed in the back and Mr Nisudan suffered wounds to his face and hand. The three have been released from hospital.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot has remanded him in custody ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
A socially distanced vigil was held in Reading on Saturday, for the three men who lost their lives in the attack.