The suspect in yesterday’s London Bridge terror attack has been identified as Usman Khan who had been living in Stafford prior to the attack and had previously targeted then-London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Confirming his identity shortly after midnight, Metropolitan Police shed light the previous convictions of Khan, who was originally from Stoke-on-Trent.
He pled guilty to preparing acts of terrorism, including plots to fund terror training camps in Pakistan, to target Stoke pubs with explosives, and to attack the London Stock Exchange in 2010. The name and address of Boris Johnson, now Prime Minister, was written among targets by the terror group.
The terror attack yesterday (29 November 2019) saw two people murdered and at least three more seriously injured, before Khan – who was wearing a hoax explosive vest – was shot and killed by armed police on the scene after a struggle with bystanders shortly before 2pm.
Khan was initially given an inderterminate sentence in 2012 after MI5 and the police foiled the 2010 plot, however in 2013 this was replaced with a fixed term of eight years minimum of a 16-year sentence. He was released from prison in December 2018.
Police sources have confirmed that Khan was on an electronic ankle tag as a condition of his release, monitoring his movements, and due to his conviction was being monitored by security services.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a COBRA meeting late Friday night and released a statement condemning the attack while praising members of the public who tackled the suspected jihadist and emergency services as “the very best of our country”.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police said: “The investigation into the attack near London Bridge continues at a pace.
“While 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.
“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 Unman 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.”
Prior to his 2010 arrest, Mr Khan had lived in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
Releasing information about the London Bridge attack, Assistant Commissioner Basu said: “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 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.”
It is understood Mr Khan was a supporter of various Al-Qaeda and jihadist terror groupds, including al-Muhijaroun, an extremist group with dozens of terrorists involved according to anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate.
In the foiled 2010 plot, Mr Khan and 8 other accomplices had planned to bomb multiple targets across the UK, including nightclubs and pubs in Stoke-on-Trent, the London Stock Exchange, Royal Mail, tourist attractions including Big Ben and the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the names and addresses of two rabbis, the Dean of St Paul’s, the American embassy, and the name and address of Boris Johnson – then London Mayor of two years.
Enhanced patrols are taking place across London and other major cities around the country, including Manchester and Birmingham. Through Friday night a number of large police vans could be seen driving through Hanley city centre.
Staffordshire Police have been approached for a comment.