Locals in Wester Drylaw Drive said the victim was targeted and stabbed in the head, leg and arm at around 3.45pm on Tuesday, March 9.
Police confirmed hewas “seriously injured” and taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment for head, leg and arm injuries.
Officers have been carrying out door-to-door enquiries and are checking CCTV footage in the surrounding areas.
Locals say the victim is believed to be a leading member of a crime gang which was involved in a drugs war which raged across the north of Edinburgh in the early 2000s.
Detective Inspector Bob Campbell said: “The motive for this attack is unknown and we are still working to establish exactly what has happened. It’s clear from the man’s injuries that he has been assaulted and we need to find out who is responsible and why.
“I am appealing to members of the public who were in the area around the time of the incident to contact us. I would also ask motorists with dash cams to check their footage as they may have captured images which would assist our investigation.”
Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor said: “I know there will be concerns around this incident and I would like to reassure local residents that we will have additional officers on patrol.
“It is imperative we trace whoever is responsible for this attack and we can do that with the support and cooperation of local people, so I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Police Scotland via 101 quoting incident number 1880 of 9 March 2021. Alternatively, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be given anonymously.