Scotland Yard has named the terrorist responsible for yesterday’s attack on London Bridge as 28-year-old Usman Khan.
Anti-terror police have raided a house in Staffordshire area which was linked to Khan.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu confirmed that a man and a woman had been killed in the attack.
He confirmed Khan, who was from Stoke-on-Trent had a prior terrorism conviction and had been jailed for eight years in 2012.
He was released on licence in December 2018 and was still wearing a monitoring tag.
Commissioner Basu confirmed Khan had been attending a seminar in Fishmongers’ Hall run by Cambridge University’s Criminology Department to help offenders reintegrate into society following their release from jail.
Khan had threatened to blow up the building at the start of his five-minute rampage which ended in his death on London Bridge.
Police found a handwritten list of targets which included the U.S. Embassy and the homes of London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and two rabbis.
The terrorists also carried out surveillance of other possible targets including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye.
The group planned to send five bombs in the post to London synagogues and the Church of Scientology headquarters, as well as spreading panic in Stoke-on-Trent by planting bombs in pub and club toilets.
Their plot was foiled after the security services bugging their homes and cars heard discussions of a ‘Mumbai’ atrocity on the streets of Britain, mirroring the guerrilla-style 2008 attack in India.
When first sentenced, Khan has handed an Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) with a minimum term of eight years by Mr Justice Wilkie in February 2012.
This was overturned by the Court of Appeal in April 2013, when the indeterminate sentence was quashed. Instead, he was handed 16 years in Jail with an extended licence period of five years.
At the time he was jailed, Khan had spent 408 days on remand and this was taken into account when considering his release date.
He was eligible for release after serving half of his 16-year jail term, less the time he had already spent on remand.
Khan was obliged to adhere to the notification provisions of the 2008 Counter Terrorism Act for a total of 30 years.
Speaking before chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Friday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had ‘long argued’ that 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 and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists, that I think the public will want to see’.
Meanwhile, a maintenance worker who witnessed the London Bridge knife attack says he was told the assailant had been in prison for terrorism offences.
Jamie Bakhit, a 24-year-old from Purley, Croydon, said he spoke to one of the men who helped wrestle the knifeman to the ground after they were taken to the Salvation Army headquarters to be interviewed by police.
He told said: ‘The guy who was on top of him said he [the attacker] had been in prison for terrorism, apparently.
‘Some of the guys who were on top of him were ex-prisoners and they had all been in the Fishmongers’ Hall. The guy told me he was in prison with the attacker.’
The maintenance worker said he had just turned onto London Bridge and was heading southbound when he saw the four men tackle the attacker.
Mr Bakhit said: ‘As I got on the bridge armed police pulled in front of me. There were already four pedestrians on top of the guy on the floor. ‘One of them [pedestrians] was shouting ‘shoot him in the f***ing head’.
‘I’m still in my van at this point, trying to turn around. Then the police say ‘get out of the van’, so I had to leave it there.
‘I then saw them [police] shoot him three or four times.
‘I was in shock. I wanted to getaway. Everyone was shouting run because he had something across his chest. It was crazy.’
Around six members of the public worked to disarm the attacker after he went on a rampage outside Bank station and Fishmongers’ Hall on the north side of the bridge, killing two.
An unnamed hero, who was inside the conference hall, was said to have grabbed a five-inch narwhal tusk from the wall’ and went to confront the terrorist, the Mirror reported.
Mr Johnson, called a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Friday evening and canceled his General Election campaigning events on Saturday. The Lib Dems have also decided to temporarily suspend campaigning.
Several people were stabbed by the knifeman before he was stopped in his tracks on London Bridge, which was the scene of the bloody massacre in summer 2017 where eight people were killed and 48 seriously injured.
Scotland Yard said the incident started at nearby Fishmongers’ Hall, and that police had ‘bravely and professionally confronted the suspect’ within five minutes of being called.
Footage on social media showed one man being urged to move away by armed officers before the suspect was shot at point-blank range, as another bystander – understood to be a plainclothes officer – could be seen carrying a large knife from the scene.
Another video appeared to show a person on a stretcher, surrounded by emergency services staff and vehicles, being given CPR by responders following the attack.
The members of Usman Khan’s terrorist group who plotted to blow up the London Stock Exchange and kill Boris Johnson. From left to right: Mohammed Moksudur Chowdhury, Mohammed Shahjahan, Shah Mohammed Rahman. Middle row: Mohibur Rahman, Gurukanth Desai, Abdul Malik Miah. Bottom row: Nazam Hussain, Usman Khan, Omar Sharif Latif