LONDON, Nov 30, 2019, The Guardian. London Bridge attacker Usman Khan was jailed for terrorism offences in 2012, the Met said. He was part of the Stock Exchange plot which was disrupted by MI5 and the police. He is also understood to have been a supporter of al-Muhijaroun, the extremist group which scores of terrorists were involved with, according to the anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, The Guardian reported.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said the event began at Learning Together, a justice conference featuring ex-prisoners, academics and justice advocates. Organiser the Learning Together Network has locked its twitter account.
Basu said in a statement:
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.
The Times has reported that the attacker, who police have identified as Usman Khan, was invited to attend the conference and sat through a morning session.
Bryonn Bain, an associate professor with the University of California in Los Angeles, spoke at the conference prior to the attack.
Basu said police would be increasing patrols across London in the wake of the attack, and asked anyone with images or footage to submit it to police here.
Usman Khan was convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences and released from prison in December 2018 on licence, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.
In a statement, Basu said police were searching Khan’s Staffordshire residence and that he is believed at this stage to have acted alone.
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 who had been residing in the Staffordshire area. As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.
Basu said a man and a woman were killed in the attack while three others, one man and two women, remained in hospital.
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.
Police identify the suspect of the London Bridge attack
Police have identified the suspect of the London Bridge Attack as 28-year-old Usman Khan from Staffordshire.
‘I did what any Londoner would do’
A man who helped tackle a knife-wielding terrorist who killed two people near London Bridge said he intervened because it was “what any Londoner would do”.
Thomas Gray, 24, was among a group of men who dragged the killer to the floor near Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday.
The tour firm manager said he stamped on the terrorist’s wrist to try to make him release one of two large knives he was carrying
Gray told the PA news agency:
I was brought up on rugby and the rule is ‘one in, all in’. I did what any Londoner would do and tried to put a stop to it.
Gray said he had been driving northbound on London Bridge with a colleague when they saw several people running towards the south of the bridge.
He said they did not know what to do, so he turned the car off and by the time he got to the attacker, he had been “wrestled” to the floor by “five or six other blokes”. He said:
He had two knives on him, one in each hand, and it looked like they were taped to his hands.
I stamped on his left wrist while someone else smacked his hand on the ground and kicked one of the knives away.
I went to pick up the knife when I heard a cop say ‘he has got a bomb’.
I then got back and hid behind a school bus which was full of kids at the time.
Gray said he saw “two or three” shots fired by police hit the attacker, who then “hit the deck”.
I then heard a fourth one and then a pop and a bang, followed by ‘run, run, run’.
I turned and ran and then heard a volley of shots from behind us.
Gray told ITV News the attacker was being chased by five men with a “fire extinguisher” before he was wrestled to the ground.
Scott Morrison has offered his sympathies to the victims of attacks in London and the Hague. He said he is not aware of any Australians caught up in either incident.
The maintenance worker who witnessed the London Bridge knife attack claims he was told the assailant had been in prison for terrorism offences.
One witness said he spoke to one of the men who helped wrestle the knifeman to the ground after they were taken to the Salvation Army headquarters to be interviewed by police.
He told the PA news agency:
The guy who was on top of him said he [the attacker] had been in prison for terrorism, apparently.
Some of the guys who were on top of him were ex-prisoners and they had all been in the Fishmongers’ Hall.
The guy told me he was in prison with the attacker.
One witness, a 24-year-old maintenance worker from Croydon, said he was driving his van across the bridge when he saw four men tackle the attacker.
He told PA News Agency:
As I got on the bridge armed police pulled in front of me. There were already four pedestrians on top of the guy on the floor.
One of them [pedestrians] was shouting ‘shoot him in the f***ing head’.
I’m still in my van at this point, trying to turn around. Then the police say ‘get out of the van’, so I had to leave it there.
I then saw them [police] shoot him three or four times.
I was in shock. I wanted to get away. Everyone was shouting run because he had something across his chest. It was crazy.
One of the bystanders who helped restrain the attacker was armed with a five-foot narwhal tusk. Amy Coop, a writer and director who was in Fishmongers’ Hall when the attack occurred, said the man took the tusk from the wall.
He was known to the authorities at MI5 and police because of his previous conviction, sources confirm.
Thomas Gray said he was among those members of the public who helped tackle the attacker on London Bridge. He told ITV News:
Me and my colleague Stevie were driving northbound over London Bridge and we sort of came up behind a double-decker bus and we noticed several people jumping over the central reservation out to the right and sort of just peered our heads around and saw there was one chap running away from five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher.
So Stevie and I just thought what to do, and just ran towards it, left the cars where they were and tried to do our best to apprehend the suspect.
When we got there, he was wielding two knives, one was duct-taped to his hand so all I could do after the guys had held him down and were pinning him to the ground, tried to stamp as hard as I could on his wrist to try and release the knife as it were.
Someone kicked the knife away, somewhere northbound up London Bridge and then after that the police armed response were really quick, got there almost instantaneously and, at that point, we were told he had a bomb vest so we cleared house and got out the way.
At that point, saw a guy get shot a couple of times and then hit the deck. I hid behind a school bus full of little children … got the bus turned around and they went back south over London Bridge.
At that point, we were told to stay where we were, as we were then told he had a gun as well. So we just stayed put, heard another shot and a little explosion and we just heard ‘run’ so we just turned and high-tailed it south over London Bridge and heard 15 or so gunshots.
The prime minister has described the deaths of two members of the public at London Bridge as “heartbreaking” and said there would be an “enhanced” police presence on the streets following the attack.
Johnson said he had “long argued” that 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, that I think the public will want to see”.
Speaking in Downing Street ahead of the Cobra meeting, Johnson declined to say whether the individual was known to the security services or the police before the incident took place. On the election campaign, he said:
I think it’s very important that in a democracy we continue to get on with the democratic process and I think it’s vital that we show respect to the victims, to their families and certainly we’ve acknowledged that and campaigning has been suspended and the opposition parties have also suspended campaigning in London.
But I think it’s very important in a democracy that we are not bowed and we are not intimidated by terrorism and that we get on with the normal democratic processes and that’s what we’ll be doing.
We’ve received the heartbreaking news tonight that two members of the public have lost their lives in this attack and obviously our thoughts are very much with them, their families, their loved ones and everybody affected by the attack.
My thanks go first of all to the emergency services, the police for their bravery and their professionalism, and to repeat again my thanks to those members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and I think they represent the best of our country and I thank them on behalf of the rest of our country.
A British Red Cross spokesman has said:
The British Red Cross is in communication with the authorities regarding the incident that occurred at London Bridge today. We are closely monitoring the situation and are ready to make the UK Solidarity Fund available to those affected by the attack. The fund was set up in 2017 following the attacks in Manchester and London and offers financial support to victims of terror attacks in need anywhere in the UK.”
One person in critical but stable condition, health officials say
Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive, has just released this statement on the conditions of the three people being treated in hospital:
Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who responded to this incident, both the extraordinarily brave members of the public and our emergency responders.
As the Met police have confirmed, sadly two people have died in addition to the suspect. London Ambulance Service treated people at the scene and three were taken to hospital.
We can confirm that one patient is critical but stable, a second person is in a stable condition and a third person has less serious injuries.
Our deep sympathies are with the families and all those affected by today’s incident.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has released an updated statement following Scotland Yard’s briefing earlier this evening.
Heartbreaking confirmation from the Met Commissioner that two people who were attacked this afternoon have tragically died – victims of the appalling terrorist attack at London Bridge.
My heart goes out to them, their loved ones and to everybody affected.
London will never be cowed by terrorism. Terrorism will never win. I want to reassure Londoners and visitors that there will be enhanced police patrols, including firearms teams, on the streets of London this weekend. I will be attending the government’s emergency Cobra meeting tonight.