London attack: Two terrorists named, one '˜has Scottish wife'
Police on Monday named two of the three perpetrators behind the weekend's terror attack in London, amid reports one of the men responsible was married to a woman from Scotland.
Khuram Butt, a 27-year-old married father, and Rachid Redouane, 30, who both lived in Barking, east London, killed seven people and left 48 injured along with their accomplice, who has yet to be named.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that Butt was known to security services, but that there was no evidence of “attack planning”.
Butt was a British citizen born in Pakistan, while Redouane, who also used the name, Rachid Elkhdar, claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan. Together with the third man, they were shot dead by armed police after driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge then stabbing people in the city’s Borough Market area.
It comes as tributes continued to be paid to the victims and the emergency services following the third terror attack on British soil in as many months, with hundreds joining the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, for a vigil in the capital’s Potters Field Park yesterday evening. Addressing the crowd, Mr Khan said that the city “stands in defiance against this cowardly attack.”
The force’s assistant commissioner, Mark Rowley, said an investigation into Butt was started in 2015, but because was “no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned,” the investigation had been “prioritised accordingly”.
He added: “Work is ongoing to understand more about them, their connections and whether they were assisted or supported by anyone else.”
Referring to Butt, Mr Rowley, the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, said one of the three was part of an investigation “prioritised in the lower echelons of our investigative work”.
Detectives have appealed for anyone with information about the men to come forward, particularly if it involves places they may have frequented and their movements in the days and hours before the attack.
It is not yet known how the two men named knew each other. Mr Rowley said inquiries are ongoing to confirm the identity of the third man.
The investigation also crossed the Irish Sea yesterday, amid unconfirmed reports one of the perpetrators was married to a Scottish woman and living in Ireland.
Security sources in Dublin said one of the London Bridge terrorists was carrying an identity card issued in Ireland when he was shot dead. Reports in the Irish press claimed the man and his Scottish wife had been living in Rathmines, a suburb to the south of the Irish capital. It is not known how long they stayed there or if the man was resident in London at the time of the attack.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, speaking during a trade mission to Chicago, said the dead attacker was not thought to have been under surveillance by Irish police.
“There are a small number of people in Ireland who are being monitored and observed in respect of radicalisation and matters relevant to that,” Mr Kenny said.
“In this case these facts are being checked, but my understanding is that this individual was not a member of that small group.”
A Gardaí spokesman said the force was “working closely” with UK police and intelligence agencies in relation to their investigation. Police Scotland was unavailable for comment.
Of the seven women and five men arrested since the attack a man and a woman have subsequently been released. NHS England said 36 people remained in hospital, 18 of whom remain in a critical condition.
Four police officers were among the injured, two seriously.
Scotland Yard’s commissioner, Cressida Dick, says the authorities are confronting a “new reality” after the three terror attacks that have hit the UK in just ten weeks.
Police said that work to inform the next of kin of the seven victims of the attack was ongoing. In a statement, it explained the process was “taking time” because it is understood some of those killed are from abroad.
Meanwhile, questions have been asked over how much law enforcement agencies knew about the three perpetrators of the attack.
One woman, Erica Gasparri, who lives in the block of flats in Barking, east London, which was raided by police on Sunday, she had reported her concerns to authorities two years ago after growing concerned that a man who lived in the block, believed to be Butt, was radicalising children at a nearby park.