By Aditi Khanna :
Usman Khan was jailed seven years ago over a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp on land owned by his family in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He was shot dead by armed officers in London on Friday
LONDON, THE man who stabbed and killed two people in the London Bridge terrorist attack on Friday has been identified as a convicted terrorist who was jailed seven years ago over a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp on land owned by his family in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The suspect, identified as Usman Khan, had also discussed staging a Mumbai-style attack on the UK Parliament and described by the judge who sentenced him for terrorism offences in 2012 as an ongoing risk to the public with a “serious, long term venture in terrorism”.
Khan went on a rampage while out of parole on Friday and killed one man and a woman and injured three other people before being shot by armed police officers. “We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been residing in the Staffordshire area,” said Scotland Yard’s Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu on Saturday. “This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences. He was released from prison in December 2018 on licence and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack,” the senior Indian-origin top police officer said.
The profile of Khan dating back to his conviction in 2012 reveals his links with Islamist terrorism, believed to be Al-Qaeda but could also have an Islamic State (IS) connection. He had been secretly recorded talking about plans to recruit UK radicals to train at a camp in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the region his family comes from.
“There’s victory, what we hope for, there’s ‘shahada’ (death as martyrs), or there’s prison,” Khan had said at the time. He and two other co-conspirators had conducted a surveillance trip around central London as they talked about launching a Mumbai-style attack on UK Parliament. The then-20-year-old pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism, which included travelling to and attending operational meetings, fund-raising for terrorist training, preparing to travel abroad and assisting others in travelling abroad.