UK

One Of The London Terrorists Appeared On National TV

Khuram Shazad Butt, one of the three London Bridge assailants, was "known" to the authorities, but had recently fallen off the radar

UK
Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba — London Metropolitan Police
Jun 06, 2017 at 6:07 AM ET

London police have identified the three assailants in Saturday night’s terror attack, that killed eight people and injured nearly 50 more, as Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22.

The men rammed a white van into a crowd of pedestrians on Saturday before they exited the vehicle and embarked on a stabbing rampage at nearby Borough Market. All three were shot dead by police within eight minutes.

The assailants may have done a dry run minutes before carrying out the attack, the Times reported, saying their rented van was first captured on CCTV some nine minutes before the attack. The car was “maneuvering” through the area, potentially checking on the number of civilians and policemen at the scene, according to witnesses.

Butt was a Pakistani-born British citizen who wore conservative Muslim garb and was known in his neighborhood by the nickname “Abs.” Neighbors told police that Butt had lived in an apartment in Barking with his wife and young children, including a newborn.

He was investigated by police in 2015 and was “known” to them and to MI5, the British intelligence service. Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer Mark Rowley said police had found no evidence Butt was planning an attack and he was “prioritized in the lower echelons of our investigative work.”

Redouane, who claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, but whose citizenship has not been confirmed, had not been known to the security agencies. Youssef Zaghba, an Italian-Moroccan dual citizen, was stopped by Italian authorities in an airport in Bologna in March 2016 as he tried to board a flight to Turkey and then travel to Syria, according to Corriere dela Sera newspaper.

Butt was reportedly considered an extremist by his neighbors. Last year he featured alongside local imam Abu Haleema in a Channel 4 documentary, “The Jihadis Next Door.” Abu Haleema was accused of radicalizing a British youth who was convicted over a plot to behead police officers during an Anzac Day parade in Australia. He maintains an active Youtube page, which has 1,687 followers, including 25 new followers who registered since the Saturday night attack.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that Pakistani police have searched a restaurant belonging to Butt’s relative in Jhelum, a city 60 miles southeast of Islamabad. British police said they believe Butt was radicalized in Britain rather than in his native Pakistan, but that the Pakistani operation was being done as a precaution.

Police raided homes in east London and arrested 12 people as part of the investigation into the terror attack, but tweeted that those detained had been “released without charge” as of Monday night.

“People are going to look at the front pages today and they’re going to say ‘how on earth could we have let this guy or possibly more through the net? ‘What happened, how could he possibly be on a Channel 4 program and be committing atrocities like this?’” said foreign secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday, speaking two days before a tight parliamentary election in which national security is expected to dominate the agenda.

The first named victim of Saturday’s attack was Christine Archibald, a 30-year-old Canadian from British Columbia, who had worked at a homeless shelter in Calgary before moving to Europe to live with her fiancee.

“Please honor her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labor or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you,” her family said in a statement.