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Queen praises 'brave individuals' who tried to tackle convicted terrorist during London Bridge attack

The Queen has praised members of the public who helped tackle a convicted terrorist who killed two people on London Bridge before being shot dead by armed police.

Police have confirmed that the knifeman was 28-year-old Usman Khan, who was convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences including a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange but released from prison in December 2018.

Khan sparked terror in the capital when he went on a rampage, leaving a man and a woman dead, before being shot dead himself by armed police.

As investigations began into the incident and how Khan was freed from jail after serving less than half of his sentence, the Queen sent “thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones” and praised the “brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others”.


Police have named the man who killed two people on London Bridge before being shot dead by police Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who was released from prison last year (Picture: PA/West Midlands Police)
Investigations were underway on Saturday following the rampage on Friday afternoon that left two people dead (Picture: PA)

Khan was wearing a fake suicide vest when he was killed on Friday afternoon in full view of horrified onlookers.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has said police are “not actively seeking anyone else” over the attack.

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He said: “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. As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.

“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.”

London Bridge terror attack. See story POLICE LondonBridge. Infographic by PA Graphics
The attack on London Bridge on Friday afternoon sparked panic (Picture: SWNS)

Three people – a man and two women – were also injured in the rampage.

In February 2012, Khan was ordered to serve at least eight years in prison over his part in an al Qaida-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp.

He and two co-conspirators originally received an indeterminate sentence for public protection but it was changed to a determinate 16-year-jail term on appeal in 2013.

Prisoners are usually released halfway through a determinate sentence but Khan had served less than seven years when he was freed on licence in December last year.

Police have been searching addresses in Stafford following the attack on London Bridge (Picture: PA)

The Parole Board said it had no involvement in his release and Khan “appears to have been released automatically on licence (as required by law), without ever being referred to the board”.

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”.

Mr Johnson and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have praised members of the public who intervened, tackling the perpetrator and trying to remove knives from his hands after videos circulated on social media.

Members of the public have been praised for tackling Khan (Picture: @HLOBlog/Twitter/PA Wire)

US President Donald Trump has also pledged his support after being briefed following the attack.

Khan was attending a conference on prisoner rehabilitation organised by University of Cambridge-associated Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall and “threatened to blow up” the building.

Mr Basu said police believe the attack started inside the venue before he left the building and made for London Bridge.

He said “extensive cordons” would remain in place for some time and asked the public to continue to avoid the area.

“Public safety is our top priority,” he added, “and we are enhancing police patrols in the City and across London”.