The News
The News
Wednesday 30 of September 2020

Two London Bridge Attackers Named as Pre-Election Heat Rises

This undated handout photo provided by the Metropolitan Police shows Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane,photo: Metropolitan Police, via AP
This undated handout photo provided by the Metropolitan Police shows Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane,photo: Metropolitan Police, via AP
Both were shot dead, along with a third attacker who has not been identified

LONDON – British police named two of the three men who left a trail of bloodshed with a van and knife in central London and appealed for the public’s help Monday to learn more about their movements in the days leading up to the deadly rampage that killed seven people and left dozens wounded.

Khuram Shazad Butt was a 27-year-old Pakistan-born Briton known to authorities, according to a statement issued by London police. Rachid Redouane — who had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, variously gave his age as 30 or 25 and also used Elkhdar as a surname — was not on the radar of police or intelligence agencies until the attack.

Both were shot dead, along with a third attacker who has not been identified, by officers called to the chaotic scene on Saturday night.

Ten others who were arrested in the east London neighborhood of Barking where the two named suspects had lived remained in custody.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the brazen attack that started on London Bridge, then continued in the streets surrounding Borough Market.

Most of the London Underground stations reopened in the neighborhood where the attack took place, allowing normal life and commerce to resume after more than 24 hours of lockdown. Some residents cooped up inside all day Sunday emerged from their homes for the first time since the attacks.

“We were all stuck!” said Marcia Rainford, a 58-year-old who said she was sealed into her building complex with her mother and two children.

“We got blocked in. One whole day,” she said. Luckily she had a full fridge. “I always stock up!”

Dozens were injured, 18 of them critically, in the attack that started on the London Bridge, when three attackers swerved the vehicle into pedestrians then, armed with knives, rampaged through Borough Market, slashing and stabbing anyone they could find. The three men wore fake suicide vests — to make them even more imposing.

The sister of a missing 32-year-old man said Monday her brother is believed to have died in the attack. Melissa McMullan told Sky News that police said her brother James McMullan’s bank card had been found on one of the bodies.

“While our pain will never diminish, it is important for us all to carry on with our lives in direct opposition to those who wish to destroy us and remember that hatred is the refuge of small-minded individuals and will only breed more,” she said.

She said authorities are “unable to formally identify him until the coroner’s report begins tomorrow.” London police say they cannot confirm the names of people caught up in the attack.

Undated handout photo issued on Monday, June 5, 2017, of James McMullan. Photo: PA, via AP

The country’s official terror threat level had been set at “critical” in the parlous days after the Manchester concert bombing on May 22 that killed 22 people — reflecting a judgment that an attack might be imminent because accomplices with similar bombs might be on the loose.

It was lowered once intelligence agencies were comfortable that this wasn’t the case. The London attack, carried out by three knife-wielding men in a rented van, is apparently unconnected to the Manchester bombing.

May has said the three attacks — including one on Parliament in March — weren’t connected in any operational sense but were linked by what she called the “perverted ideology” of extremist Islam.

Khan and Police Commissioner Cressida Dick toured the site of the attack and praised the quick police work that they said prevented further deaths.

Dick said the attack was “ghastly,” but that Londoners are pulling together and refusing to be cowed by extremists.

She said providing more firearms for London police wouldn’t be a sensible solution to the increased tempo of attacks, saying the strategy of having special mobile units of heavily armed officers is effective.

Khan and Dick were briefly heckled by a man who called for more police to be put on the streets.