Suspect in London Bridge Knife Attack Served Time for Terrorism Charges
The man was released from prison in 2018 and was still under court supervision
Photo Kirsty O’Connor/PA via AP
UK counterterrorism police on Saturday searched for clues into how a man imprisoned for terrorism offenses before his release last year managed to stab several people before being tackled by bystanders and shot dead by officers on London Bridge. Two people were killed and three wounded during the attack on November 29, 2019.
Neil Basu, London’s police counterterrorism chief, said 28-year-old Usman Khan was attending a program that works to educate prisoners when he launched the attack just yards/meters from the site of a deadly 2017 van and knife rampage.
Basu said the suspect appeared to be wearing a bomb vest but it turned out to be “a hoax explosive device.” Police said they were treating the stabbings as a terrorist attack and were not actively looking for other suspects, reports AP.
Health officials said one of the wounded was in critical but stable condition, one was stable and the third had less serious injuries.
Moments after the stabbings, witnesses saw a man with a knife being wrestled to the ground by members of the public on the bridge before officers shot him dead.
The attack raises difficult questions for Britain’s government and security services. Police said Khan was convicted in 2012 of terrorism offenses and released in December 2018 “on license,” which means he had to meet certain conditions or face recall to prison. Several British media outlets reported that he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet at the time of the attack.
Khan had been convicted as part of a group that denied plotting to target major sites including Parliament and the US Embassy. Khan admitted to a lesser charge of engaging in conduct for the preparation of acts of terrorism.
|Source||The Associated Press|