DARK PAST: Identity of London Bridge terrorist revealed

 

THE London Bridge attacker who went on a murderous rampage - killing two people and injuring three others - has been named as Usman Khan.

British police released his identity about 12 hours after the incident, where he was reportedly attending a seminar on prisoner rehabilitation, organised by Cambridge University at the Fishmongers Hall, in London, when he threatened to blow the venue up and started slashing at people about 1am AEDT on Saturday (2pm London time Friday).

Khan, 28, was previously known to police and jailed for Islamist terror-related offences.

The Pakistan-origin man was wearing an electronic tracking foot tag and a fake explosive belt at the time of the horrific indecent.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said police were now searching his home.

The UK's head of counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu, right, and chief medical officer for England Dame Sally Davies speaking at a news conference at New Scotland Yard in London. Picture: AFP
The UK's head of counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu, right, and chief medical officer for England Dame Sally Davies speaking at a news conference at New Scotland Yard in London. Picture: AFP

"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," he said.

"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 inquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack."

 

Khan was jailed for his part in a plan to bomb the London Stock Exchange and fund an overseas terror camp.

He was sentenced to eight years jail in 2012, but was released last year after agreeing to wear an electronic tag.

The group planned to set up a jihadi training camp in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to be used by British jihadis.

Justice Wilkie said when sentencing: "It was envisaged by them all that ultimately they and the other recruits may return to the UK as trained and experienced terrorists available to perform terrorist attacks in this country, on one possibility contemplated in the context of the return of British troops from Afghanistan."

Court documents reveal that Khan wanted to be a jihadi.

"At some time, the accused each became a committed Islamic fundamentalist, believing in jihad, that is to say, they wished to support and commit acts of terrorism in furtherance of their religious beliefs," a court document states.

"They came to the attention of the security services who monitored them using covert surveillance techniques and devices and were able to effect their arrest prior to advanced steps having been taken to implement their plans."

THE HEROES WHO BROUGHT DOWN A CRAZED TERRORIST

The crazed Islamic terrorist who went on a murderous rampage on London Bridge was stopped in his tracks by a group wielding a fire extinguisher and animal tusk.

Thomas Gray and Stevie Hurst were two of several who risked their lives to stop the attacker after noticing a commotion, while driving as tour guides, and jumping out of their cars to help.

An unidentifiable third man, dressed in business attire, has also been commended for bravery - running through traffic and jumping over cars to tackle the attacker and snatch one of two of the 20cm kitchen knives he was carrying.

In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a bystander holds the knife he has taken from a suspected terrorist. Picture: @HLOBlog via AP
In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a bystander holds the knife he has taken from a suspected terrorist. Picture: @HLOBlog via AP

 

Mr Gray said it was only when the group pinned the terrorist to the ground he noticed one of two of the knives he was wielding was duct-taped to his hand.

"All I could do after the guys had held him down and were pinning him to the ground (was try) to stamp as hard as I could on his wrist to try and release the knife as it were," he said.

"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."

 

Mr Hurst told BBC radio of how he kicked the killer in the head to keep him on the ground.

The terrorist was reportedly attending a seminar on prisoner rehabilitation, organised by Cambridge University at the Fishmongers Hall, in London, when he threatened to blow the venue up and started slashing at people about 1am AEDT on Saturday (2pm London time Friday) before heading to London Bridge.

"Everyone was just on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground," he said.

"We saw that the knife was still in his hand … I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head.

"We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn't harm anyone else.

"The guy was just screaming 'get off me, get off me!' as if people were just going to let him go.

"But we wanted to make sure he would never do this again, that he was never going to harm another human being on the planet."

New footage shows another man, standing over the attacker with what looks like a large white pole, grabbed a 5ft narwhal tusk from the Fishmongers' Hall to confront the terrorist.

Amy Coop tweeted the man was a hero.

 

 

Reflecting back on having the terrorist pinned to the ground, Mr Gray said shots were fired by police, killing the attacker on scene, as soon as knives were kicked away.

The terrorist attack comes just two years after a van ploughed into pedestrians on the London Bridge on June 3, 2017, and its occupants went on a stabbing spree. Eight people were killed during this event, including two Australian women.

"I hid behind a school bus full of little children … got the bus turned around and they went back south over London Bridge," he said on ITV.

"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 hightailed it south over London Bridge and heard 15 or so gunshots."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has commended the bravery of those who stepped forward to disarm the knife-wielding terrorist.

Of those injured during this incident, UK newspapers are reporting one is a child.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have confirmed no Australians were involved in the incident.

The attack comes just weeks after the UK terrorism threat level was downgraded - on November 4 - from "severe" to "substantial", the BBC reported.

This meant the attacks were thought to be "likely" rather than "highly likely".

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre reviews the terror threat level every six months.

ANOTHER STABBING

The attack also came just a few hours before three more people were wounded in another stabbing at The Hague on a busy shopping strip.

Police are searching for a man, about 45 to 50 years old, in a grey jogging suit.

The condition of those injured and motive of the attacker is currently unclear.

 

London Bridge stabbing: How it happened Bloodshed started in historic Fishmongers’ Hall, next to London Bridge on the north side, at 1am Australian time Saturday (2pm local time Friday) Members of the public, armed with a fire extinguisher and a large stick, chased the terrorist out of the building and on to the bridge Terrorist tackled to the ground Police tell heroes to get off terrorist because he has a bomb then shoot him twice, killing him Police confirm the terrorist was wearing a fake bomb vest

 

BACK IN LONDON

Tour guide Stevie Hurst, one of the brave men hailed as a hero, told BBC radio of how he kicked the killer in the head to keep him on the ground.

He said the attacker kept "screaming 'get off me, get off me' as if people were going to let him go."

"Everyone was just on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground," he said.

 

London Bridge stabbing: How it happened

  • Bloodshed started in historic Fishmongers' Hall, next to London Bridge on the north side, at 1am Australian time Saturday (2pm local time Friday)
  • Members of the public, armed with a fire extinguisher and a large stick, chased the terrorist out of the building and on to the bridge
  • Terrorist tackled to the ground
  • Police tell heroes to get off terrorist because he has a bomb then shoot him twice, killing him
  • Police confirm the terrorist was wearing a fake bomb vest

 

"We saw that the knife was still in his hand … I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head.

"We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn't harm anyone else.

"We wanted to make sure he would never do this again, that he was never going to harm another human being on the planet."

Commenting on the bravery of another man, dressed as a businessman who grabbed the attacker's knife, a male onlooker said: "He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others.

"We ran away but looks like he disarmed him. Amazing bravery."

 

In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a bystander runs with a knife, after an incident on London Bridge. Picture: @HLOBlog via AP
In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a bystander runs with a knife, after an incident on London Bridge. Picture: @HLOBlog via AP

 

In Fishmongers Hall, a woman by the name of Coralie told The Sun she saw a girl bleeding from her arms run out of the hall, before witnessing the attacker strike a number of people including a child.

"One minor and the other two were proper bleeding," she said.

"One of our colleagues is in the hospital with three stabs."

As a result of the murderous attack, the Prime Minister wants tougher sentences for jailed terrorists to prevent them getting out of jail.

He said earlier: "I've just been briefed by the commissioner and the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about the events at London Bridge this afternoon.

"And while this is an ongoing investigation, the police can confirm that this is a terrorist incident and clearly my thoughts are first with the emergency services - the police and the bravery that they showed going towards danger as they do.

 

 

"I also want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others and for me they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country."

British police shot a man on London Bridge in the heart of Britain's capital on Friday after a stabbing that left several people wounded. Picture: AP Photo
British police shot a man on London Bridge in the heart of Britain's capital on Friday after a stabbing that left several people wounded. Picture: AP Photo

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: "We must, and we will, stay resolute in our determination to stay strong and united in the face of terror. Those who seek to attack and divide us will never succeed."

Another woman, who witnessed the incident, said she heard at least five or six gunshots before being evacuated from the store she was in.

It was reported a number of buildings were on lockdown and police with automatic weapons patrolled the bridge, as well as a truck that had been turned around blocked the road.

Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Neil Basu makes a statement to the press outside New Scotland Yard. Picture: Getty Images
Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Neil Basu makes a statement to the press outside New Scotland Yard. Picture: Getty Images

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I was approaching London Bridge and a policeman would not let me through.

"We heard shooting, it was about five or six shots, I heard five or six quite clearly.

"All my staff have been evacuated."

AS THE EVENT UNFOLDED
Dan Wooton, executive editor at The Sun, tweeted: "Police dogs at work on London Bridge. We are currently in lockdown in the News building after advice for police."

From the roof of a nearby building people could be seen running out of Borough Market.

At least 15 police cars were on the famous bridge and sirens could be heard..

 

 

Guy Lawrence, 48, told The Times of London newspaper: "I saw all traffic stopped in front of me. I heard shooting - there was an attack. And I saw a guy on the floor. I heard two shots: bang, bang.

"Police were running towards us and they told us to get out and run."

 

A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after an incident on London Bridge in central London. Picture: AP
A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after an incident on London Bridge in central London. Picture: AP

 

 

BBC correspondent John McManus told BBC News that he had heard several gun shots on London Bridge.

"Just a few minutes ago I was walking across London Bridge on the south bank to the north bank of the bridge," he said.

"There appeared to be a fight going on the other side of the bridge, with several men attacking one man."

 

 

 

 

Another eyewitness told Sky News she heard around four shots followed by another four shots.

She described the incident as "extremely frightening.

"You don't know what to do, you hear the gunshots and you just don't know what to do. You just think, why is gunshots going off in London, again?" she said.

People are evacuated from London Bridge in central London following a police incident. Picture: AP
People are evacuated from London Bridge in central London following a police incident. Picture: AP

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Very concerned by ongoing incident at London Bridge. My thoughts are with all affected. I am grateful for the rapid response of our police and I urge everyone to follow their advice."

Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident. Picture: AP
Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident. Picture: AP

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