Third London Attacker Named, Was on Intelligence Radar Since 2016

The UK Police have identified and named all three of the London attackers, and have released their images. 

2 min read
All three attackers in London’s knife and van attack have been named by the police. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter Screenshot / <a href="">Metropolitan Police</a>)

British police on Tuesday named the third of the jihadis who killed seven people in a knife and van attack in London, and an Italian investigative source said he had been flagged to Britain as a potential risk after moving to England last year.

British police said the third assailant was Youssef Zaghba, 22, and that he had not been a subject of interest for them or the MI5 domestic intelligence agency. The two other attackers were identified by London’s Metropolitan Police on Monday as 27-year-old Khuram Shazad Butt, and 30-year-old Rachid Redouane.

The London police said on Monday:

However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritised accordingly. 

An investigative source in Rome said that Zaghba, who had a Moroccan father and an Italian mother, had been stopped at Bologna airport in 2016 on suspicion of being on his way to Syria, and carrying material about Islamist extremism on an electronic device.

A second source said Italian authorities had flagged him up to British authorities after he moved to England last year. Zaghba had lived in Morocco for much of his life but had made short visits to Italy to see his mother in Bologna.

Butt was previously known to the police and domestic spy agency, MI5, and was a British citizen born in Pakistan, the police said. Moreover, Butt had appeared in a British TV documentary broadcast last year called The Jihadis Next Door. Redouane, who also went by the name Rachid Elkhdar, was not known to the police and claimed to be of Moroccan and Libyan origin.

The fallout from the attack has eclipsed other issues in the British political campaign ahead of Thursday's parliamentary election, with both the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour Party battling to defend their records on security.

In particular, the revelation that at least one of the attackers, Khuram Butt, was known to security services has raised concerns that they lack the resources to prevent attacks.

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