Convicted Islamic Terrorist Shot Dead by Police After Stabbing Attacks
Two members of the public have died and several more have been wounded after a convicted Islamic terrorist launched a series of knife attacks in central London on Friday afternoon.
Shortly before 2 p.m., the 28-year old who police have named as Usman Khan who was born in Pakistan and who resided Staffordshire, England began his attacks in Fishmongers’ Hall where he had been invited to attend a conference called ‘Learning Together’, a justice conference featuring ex-prisoners, academics, and justice advocates.
His attacks continued for a short distance onto London Bridge where he was initially detained by members of the public before being shot dead by specialist armed officers from the City of London police.
Those members of the public who detained Khan have been described by police and others as ‘exceptionally brave’, including the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
There are reports that members of the public sprayed Khan with a fire extinguisher before wrestling him to the ground and disarming him.
Once surrounded by armed officers, Khan was seen to be wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest loaded with explosives and was fatally shot. The vest was later determined by Scotland Yard to be fake.
A police cordon was set up around the area and remains in place, with a large area of the London Square Mile remaining in lockdown on what is normally a very busy Friday evening
The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Unit has taken the lead role in the investigation and officially declared they are treating the attacks as a terrorist incident.
A number of addresses, including in the Staffordshire area are currently being searched.
Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner with the Metropolitan Police said that they were not looking for anyone else considered an immediate threat.
Bryonn Bain, an associate professor with the University of California in Los Angeles, spoke at the ‘Learning Together’ conference prior to the attack and Tweeted this following the attacks;
Learning Together Network, who organized the conference has since locked their Twitter account.
Khan was on parole and wearing an electronic tag, having been arrested in 2010 along with 8 others for planning to bomb the London Stock Exchange, Big Ben & Westminster Abbey and convicted for those offenses in 2012.
The terrorist group he was part of also had a list of personal targets, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But following an Appeal Court hearing in 2013, Khan received a fixed term of 8 years and was released on license in December 2018.
Mr. Johnson immediately suspended his election campaigning and returned from his constituency to Downing Street where he was briefed about the incident and where a short time later he held a COBRA meeting.
Three more members of the public remain in hospital being treated for their injuries.