British police have identified the London Bridge attacker on Friday as 28 year-old Usman Khan, who was once convicted of terrorism and was released from jail last year.
Two of Khan’s victims, a man and woman, died.
“This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences,” Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Neil Basu, said in a statement.
“He was released from prison in December 2018 on license and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack,” Basu said.
A person who is released on license is subject to conditions for the duration of their sentence after leaving prison. The Times newspaper reported that Khan had agreed to wear an electronic tag.
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.
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.
Khan was living in Stafford since being released from prison, BBC reported.
In addition to the man and the woman who were killed, a man and two women were injured and remain in hospital, Basu said.
Just before news broke of the suspect’s previous conviction, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is seeking re-election on Dec. 12, said criminals must be made to serve their sentences.
“It is a mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early, and it is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists,” he said.
During the 2017 election campaign, London Bridge was the scene of an attack when three militants drove a van into pedestrians and then attacked people in the surrounding area, killing eight and injuring at least 48. The attack focused attention on cuts to policing since the governing Conservatives took power in 2010.
“We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our police and emergency services, and the brave members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others,” Corbyn said late on Friday.
Statement from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu:
“The investigation into the attack near London Bridge continues at a pace.
“Whilst we are still in the early stages of the investigation, at this time we are not actively seeking anyone else in relation to the attack.
“However, we continue to make fast time enquiries to ensure that no other people were involved in this attack and that there is no outstanding threat to the public.
“As I stated earlier, police were called at 13:58hrs to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge, EC1. Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.
“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers and I can confirm that he died at the scene.
“We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan (10.03.1991), who had been residing in the Staffordshire area. As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.
“This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences. He was released from prison in December 2018 on licence and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack.
“Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack. Three others – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital.
“The circumstances, as we currently understand them, are that the attacker attended an event earlier on Friday afternoon at Fishmonger’s Hall called ‘Learning Together’. We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers.
“Extensive cordons are likely to remain in place for some time and I would ask the public to continue to avoid the area.
“Public safety is our top priority and we are enhancing police patrols in the City and across London.
“I would ask anyone with information, images or footage of the incident that this be shared with the investigation team on the UK Police Image appeal website https://ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk/.
“I would also appeal to anyone who may have information that could assist the investigation to call police, in confidence on 0800 789 321.
“The public should continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns they have to police. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting to police, in confidence, at www.gov.uk/ACT.