Police name two London attackers, still confirming identity of the third
© France 24 screengrab
London’s Metropolitan Police have identified two of the three men who killed seven people on a rampage late Saturday in a busy area of London as Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane.
Police said Butt, a British citizen who was born in Pakistan, was known to both police and MI5 but that there had been no evidence to suggest that an attack was being planned.
The Guardian reported that Butt had begun taking a "fundamentalist approach" to religion in recent years, sparking concern among those who knew him, and featured in a Channel 4 documentary about UK jihadis that was broadcast last year.
Redouane, a pastry chef of Moroccan and Libyan descent, had been living in Dublin until recently, according to Irish police.
Investigators are still working to identify the third attacker.
The three men targeted an area of London that is full of bars and restaurants, first ramming a white van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then rampaging through Borough Market with knives, slashing and stabbing at the Saturday night crowd shortly after 10pm.
At least 48 people were injured, more than a dozen of them critically.
The attackers, who wore fake suicide vests, were shot to death by police within minutes of the first call to emergency services. The Islamic State (IS) group has since claimed responsibility but it is not known the extent of any links the men have to the terrorist group.
British counterterrorism investigators arrested "a number" of people in raids at two homes on Monday, Metropolitan Police said. At least 12 people were also arrested Sunday, including five men and seven women ranging in age from 19 to 60. One has since been released without being charged.
The IS group has claimed responsibility for three attacks in Britain since March, and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the recent wave of violence as "unprecedented in my working life".
"We in this country have faced a terrorist threat throughout my life – it changed and morphed and we will change and adapt to what appears to be a new reality for us," she said.
Prime Minister Theresa May warned that the country faced a new threat from copycat attacks. She said Britain must do "more, much more" to combat what she called the perverted ideology of radical Islam.
The country’s major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning with only days to go before Thursday’s general election. May said the vote would take place as scheduled because "violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process".
The political rhetoric ratcheted up again on Monday, with May saying opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to handle security and Brexit. Corbyn in turn called for May to resign because of her role in cutting police staffing during her tenure as home secretary.
Most of the London Underground stations reopened Monday in the neighbourhood where the attack took place, allowing normal life to resume in the area after more than 24 hours of lockdown.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP)
Date created : 2017-06-05