Terrorist who spent late teens in Pak identified as London Bridge attack suspect

A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after the attack by an Islamist terrorist on the London Bridge. Photo: PTI

A convicted Islamist terrorist, who spent part of his teens in Pakistan and released last year from a UK prison, is suspected to be the man who stabbed two people to death in a terror attack on London Bridge, police said on Saturday (November 30).

Police have identified the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan, inspired by the ideology of al-Qaeda terror group, who was previously sentenced to 16 years in prison term for his role in the London Stock Exchange bombing in 1990.

According to The Telegraph, at the time of his sentencing in 2012, the judge warned that he was a “serious jihadist” who should not be released while he remained a threat to the public.

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Khan left school with no qualifications after spending part of his late teens in Pakistan, where he lived with his mother when she became ill, it said.

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The BBC reported that Khan was out on licence from prison when he killed two people and injured three others in the stabbing attack on Friday (November 28), before he was shot dead by the Scotland Yard.

Khan was living in Stafford since being released from prison on December last, it said. In February 2012, Khan was sentenced to eight years in prison. In 2013, the Court of Appeal sentenced him to a 16-year jail term.

Two people were killed and several others injured in the London Bridge attack on Friday. The Scotland Yard confirmed that a male suspect, later identified as Khan, wearing a hoax bomb vest was shot dead at the scene.

Scotland Yard’s Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said in a statement at New Scotland Yard headquarters in London that a “number” of people had been injured, some of whom are said to be critical.

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The senior Indian-origin top police officer said that Khan had attended an event on Friday afternoon at the Fishmongers Hall, a historic building near the London Bridge.

London Bridge was one of the areas targeted by an ISIS-claimed terrorist attack in June 2017, when 11 people died as terrorists went on a stabbing spree after ramming a van into pedestrians.

The UK had just earlier this month downgraded its terror threat level from “severe” to “substantial”, which means a terrorist threat is likely rather than highly likely in the country.

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