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Saturday, December 14, 2019

London stabbing: Attacker named, was previously convicted of terrorism offences

London terror attack: "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.

By: Reuters | London | Updated: November 30, 2019 10:53:49 am
london, london stabbing, usman khan, who is usman khan, london attack, london terror attack, boris johnson, Indian Express Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA via AP)

British police named the man who stabbed two people to death in London on Friday in what the authorities called a terrorist attack as 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been convicted of terrorism offences and was released from prison last year.

“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.

Also Read | Usman Khan: What we know about the terrorist behind London bridge attack

“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,” Basu said.

A person who is released on licence 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.

The attacker went on the rampage just before 2 pm, targeting people at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge in the heart of the city’s financial district — the scene of a deadly attack by Islamist militants two years ago.

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.

Johnson leads opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, according to opinion polls.

London: Several stabbed, suspect shot dead by police in terror incident London stabbing: Armed police officers on the north side of London Bridge in London, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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.

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