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Homeland Security

London Attacker Had Been Convicted on Terrorism Charges

By VOA News November 30, 2019

British security officials said police are not looking for any more suspects in the stabbing attack in London Friday that killed two people and left three victims in the hospital.

London police were called to Fishmongers' Hall, at the north end of London Bridge, in the early afternoon where Cambridge University was holding a symposium on prisoner rehabilitation entitled "Learning Together."

The BBC reports that the suspect, 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been convicted in 2012 on terrorism offenses and was released on probation in December 2018, attended the event and began his blitz inside the building before moving onto London Bridge, where he was confronted and killed after stabbing several people.

Police say the knife-welding Khan was wearing a fake suicide device when he began his attack.

A number of civilians apparently fought Khan, tackling him and snatching the knife away from him.

Amateur video posted on Twitter shows police converging on the London Bridge struggle and an individual being dragged off by police. Police then shot Khan dead at close range.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of London's Metropolitan Police told reporters the incident has been deemed a terrorist attack.

British media, citing unnamed government sources, said Khan had links to Islamic extremist groups. Officials would not confirm the information. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, said: "It is a mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early, and it is very important that we get out of that habit."

He tweeted earlier that anyone responsible for the attack will be "hunted down and will be brought to justice."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the incident. Speaking outside Scotland Yard, the mayor appealed to Londoners to remain united in the face of terrorism. He said, "Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed."

The mayor also praised the "breathtaking heroism" of the civilians and the first responders who ran toward danger "not knowing what confronted them," calling them "the very best of our humanity."

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