London Bridge attack victim named as Jack Merritt

Ruben Fields
November 30, 2019

He had been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses and served time in prison for the part he played in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

Police named the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan, saying they were not actively seeking others in relation to the incident.

London Bridge was the scene of an attack in 2017 when three militants drove a van into pedestrians, then attacked people in a nearby area.

He was released on probation in December past year on condition he wore an electronic tag to monitor his movements.

Attention has swiftly turned to how Khan could have been released from prison after serving less than seven years of his sentence.

It has also emerged one of the people who helped tackle Khan was James Ford, who was jailed in 2004 for the murder of 21-year-old Amanda Ford, who had the mental age of a 15-year-old.

Khan had been convicted as part of a group that denied plotting to target major sites including Parliament, the U.S. Embassy and individuals including Johnson, then the mayor of London, the dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and two rabbis.

"It was envisaged by them all that ultimately they, and the other recruits, may return to the United Kingdom as trained and experienced terrorists available to perform terrorist attacks in this country", Wilkie said.

Armed police surround the knifeman on London Bridge.

A passerby picks up the attacker's knife and moves it away as armed police move in for the arrest.

"The long, monitored, discussions of Usman Khan about the madrassa (training camp) and his attitudes towards it and terrorism are highly eloquent of the seriousness of their goal", Wilkie said.

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The attack took place just hours before three minors were stabbed in a main shopping street in the centre of Dutch city The Hague, with the victims later released from hospital.

"I think that the practice of automatic, early release where you cut a sentence in half and let really serious, violent offenders out early simply isn't working, and you've some very good evidence of how that isn't working, I am afraid, with this case", Johnson said.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from London, said Merritt was a coordinator for prisoner rehabilitation programme Learning Together and had been attending the conference on Friday.

The Prime Minister chaired a Cobra meeting on Friday to lead the response, and the Government will take every measure to keep our citizens safe - as hard as it is to intercept every "lone wolf" attack, which have become increasingly common.

Khan had been living in the Staffordshire area, north of Birmingham, police said.

Several British media outlets reported that he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet at the time of Friday's attack.

The White House has offered its support to the United Kingdom, following the horrific stabbing attack.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope said he was "devastated" that the university's staff, students and alumni may have been targeted.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick echoed Johnson and Khan's sentiments in an interview near London Bridge Saturday morning.

On November 4, Britain downgraded its terrorism threat level from "severe", the second-highest of five levels, to "substantial" - the lowest rating in more than five years.

He wrote: "My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack, would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily". All three were shot dead by police.

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