The 28-year-old British man who killed two people in a stabbing spree on London Bridge before police shot him dead had been released from prison after a previous conviction for terrorism offenses, prompting recriminations ahead of an election, Reuters informs.
Wearing a fake suicide vest and wielding knives, Usman Khan went on the rampage on Friday afternoon at a conference on criminal rehabilitation beside London Bridge. He was wrestled to the ground by bystanders and then shot dead by police.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has called a snap election for December 12 and is due to host NATO leaders including President Donald Trump next week, said it was a terrorist attack and that Britain would never be cowed.
Khan, whose family is from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, was convicted in 2012 for his part in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange. He was released in December 2018 subject to conditions.
“This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses,” Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Neil Basu, said in a statement. “Clearly, a key line of inquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack.”
Two people – a man and a woman – were killed in the attack, while a man and two women were injured and remain in hospital.