Police name third London Bridge attacker

Police have detained more than a dozen people and continue to gather evidence after another terror attack in London. It's the third attack in Britain in three months. USA TODAY

British police named the third attacker in the deadly terrorist rampage that killed seven people in London over the weekend as Youssef Zaghba, 22, from east London.

Zaghba, who is believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent, was shot dead along with accomplices Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane following the incident on London Bridge and at nearby Borough market on Saturday night. Butt and Redouane were named by authorities on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police said Zaghba was not a subject of interest to police or MI5, the domestic security agency.


Police searched the homes of Butt's relatives and a restaurant run by his family members in Jhelum, a city 60 miles southeast of the Pakistani capital Islamabad Monday night, the Telegraph and the Sun reported. Authorities suspect Butt was radicalized in the U.K. and not in Pakistan, the newspapers said.

Butt, 27, a Pakistani-born British citizen, worked for the Tube service as a trainee customer services assistant for just under six months, leaving in October last year. The Telegraph reported that he worked at Westminster tube station, just a stone's throw from Parliament, itself the victim of a terror attack in March that killed five people.


Butt and Redouane were both from Barking in east London. Redouane, 30, who claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, also used the name Rachid Elkhdar, with a different date of birth.

All three attackers were shot dead by police after ramming a van into pedestrians on the bridge and stabbing people in the market. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

A 27-year-old man was arrested in Barking Tuesday in connection with the investigation.

A minute's silence was held across the country in memory of the victims at 11 a.m. local time Tuesday. Thousands of people attended a vigil for the victims in London on Monday evening.

Authorities said Butt was known to security services but Redouane was not. Twelve people who were arrested in Barking on Sunday in connection with the attack have been released without charge.

Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday that Zaghba was held at Bologna airport in March 2016 as he was about to catch a flight to Istanbul in Turkey. He raised suspicion because he had just a small backpack, a passport and a one-way ticket. Many foreign fighters travel from Turkey to neighboring Syria to join militants such as the Islamic State.

Police searched his home but no "particular elements" were found apart from religious documents that were downloaded from extremist sites, ANSA reported. Zaghba was released.

Police named Kirsty Boden, 28, an Australian nurse who lived in London, as one of the victims on Tuesday. Christine Archibald, 30, a Canadian social worker who moved to Europe to be with her fiancé, was the first victim to be named. French authorities said a French national was also killed.

Melissa McMullan told reporters on Monday that she believed her brother James McMullan, 32, from Hackney in east London, was also killed in the attack after police told the family that his bank card was found on one of the bodies.

Forty-eight people were injured, 21 of them critically. NBC News reported that an American man who was shot in the head by a stray police bullet was expected to survive. The U.S. Embassy in London said it was aware of reports that U.S. citizens were injured, and was not aware that any had been killed.

 

 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested that President Trump’s state visit to Britain, scheduled for later this year, should be cancelled in an interview Monday.

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought Khan was doing "a great job,” after President Trump derided and misrepresented the London mayor’s attempt to calm Londoners after the attack.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!" Trump tweeted Sunday.  Khan had told Londoners there was no “reason to be alarmed” by an increased police presence, and said of the terrorists, “we will never let them win.”

Early Monday, Trump tweeted: "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!"

Khan told British TV station Channel 4 on Monday evening: "I don't think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.

"When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong."

Lewis Lukens, the acting U.S. ambassador to the U.K. tweeted: “I commend the strong leadership of the mayor of London as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack.”

 

 

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was not “picking a fight” with Khan and that it was “utterly ridiculous”that his criticism was because Khan is Muslim. Some social media users in Britain pointed out that Trump had not criticized Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, whose city was targeted by a deadly suicide bombing last month.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Tuesday that he saw “no reason to rescind" the invitation to Trump for a state visit.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said more than 130 imams and religious leaders from around the country refused to perform funeral prayers for the attackers.

“In an unprecedented move, they have not only refused to perform the traditional Islamic prayer for the terrorist - a ritual that is normally performed for every Muslim regardless of their actions - but also have called on others to do the same,” the MCB said in a statement.

The London attack followed a bombing that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, northern England, on May 22.  Ismail Abedi, 24, the brother of the suicide bomber Salman Abedi, was released without charge after he was arrested during the police investigation. Ten men remain in police custody in connection with that attack.

 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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