The knife attacker shot dead on London Bridge was known to police and had connections to terror groups, a security source said.

The attacker had links to Islamist terror groups, the security source added.

The knife-wielding terrorist, who was wearing a fake suicide vest and has not been named, was killed on London Bridge on Friday afternoon in full view of horrified onlookers. 

The attacker was a convicted terrorist who had served time in prison and was wearing an electronic tag, according to The Times newspaper. The paper added he was attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation being held at Fishmongers’ Hall and ‘threatened to blow up’ the building.

The man had two knives on his possession when he carried out the attack.  

The knife attacker shot dead on London Bridge (pictured) was known to police and had connections to terror groups, a security source said

The knife attacker shot dead on London Bridge (pictured) was known to police and had connections to terror groups, a security source said 

It went on to quote unnamed Whitehall sources as saying the attacker had been released from prison around a year ago after serving time for a ‘terrorism-related offence’, and had agreed to wear an electronic tag. 

A maintenance worker who witnessed the London Bridge knife attack claims he was told the assailant had been in prison for terrorism offences.

Jamie Bakhit, a 24-year-old from Purley, Croydon, said he spoke to one of the men who helped wrestle the knifeman to the ground after they were taken to the Salvation Army headquarters to be interviewed by police.

He told the PA news agency: ‘The guy who was on top of him said he [the attacker] had been in prison for terrorism, apparently.

‘Some of the guys who were on top of him were ex-prisoners and they had all been in the Fishmongers’ Hall.

‘The guy told me he was in prison with the attacker.’

The maintenance worker said he had just turned onto London Bridge and was heading southbound when he saw the four men tackle the attacker.

Video filmed at the scene shows at least four people struggling with a man at London Bridge

Video filmed at the scene shows at least four people struggling with a man at London Bridge

Mr Bakhit told the PA news agency: ‘As I got on the bridge armed police pulled in front of me. There were already four pedestrians on top of the guy on the floor. ‘One of them [pedestrians] was shouting ‘shoot him in the f***ing head’.

‘I’m still in my van at this point, trying to turn around. Then the police say ‘get out of the van’, so I had to leave it there.

‘I then saw them [police] shoot him three or four times.

‘I was in shock. I wanted to get away. Everyone was shouting run because he had something across his chest. It was crazy.’

Speaking before chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra, Mr 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’.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed two people died, and three others were injured in the attack on Friday.

She refused to confirm whether or not the suspect was known to police, but said: ‘We will be working as fast as we can to understand who this man is, where he comes from and whether there is anyone else who we need to find quickly who might be in touch with him.’

The attacker was a convicted terrorist who had served time in prison and was wearing an electronic tag, according to The Times newspaper

The attacker was a convicted terrorist who had served time in prison and was wearing an electronic tag, according to The Times newspaper 

Thousands of people were evacuated from the scene by police over fears of possible secondary attacks. Scotland Yard said the incident started at nearby Fishmongers' Hall, and that police had 'bravely and professionally confronted the suspect' within five minutes of being called

Thousands of people were evacuated from the scene by police over fears of possible secondary attacks. Scotland Yard said the incident started at nearby Fishmongers’ Hall, and that police had ‘bravely and professionally confronted the suspect’ within five minutes of being called

NHS England confirmed one of the three injured victims was ‘critical but stable’ while another is stable. The third victim has less serious injuries. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised members of the public ‘for their immense bravery’ after it emerged bystanders helped tackle the suspect to the ground and disarm him.

Mr Johnson, called a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Friday evening and cancelled his General Election campaigning events on Saturday. The Lib Dems have also decided to temporarily suspend campaigning.

Several people were stabbed by the knifeman before he was stopped in his tracks on London Bridge, which was the scene of the bloody massacre in summer 2017 where eight people were killed and 48 seriously injured.

Scotland Yard said the incident started at nearby Fishmongers’ Hall, and that police had ‘bravely and professionally confronted the suspect’ within five minutes of being called.

Footage on social media showed one man being urged to move away by armed officers before the suspect was shot at point-blank range, as another bystander – understood to be a plain clothes officer – could be seen carrying a large knife from the scene.

Another video appeared to show a person on a stretcher, surrounded by emergency services staff and vehicles, being given CPR by responders following the attack.

A man can be seen holding a knife on London Bridge during the incident today

A man lies on London Bridge following the incident that saw a huge police response today

A man can be seen holding a knife on London Bridge during the incident today, which also saw a man lying on the ground

The members of the public who intervened have been widely praised, with mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailing their ‘breathtaking heroism’.

Witnesses said the suspect appeared to be wearing a suicide vest but Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said the vest was a fake.

He said police were called at around 2pm on Friday to a stabbing ‘at a premises near London Bridge’.

After being shot, the suspect in Friday’s attack raised his arms towards his head before lying still. A second knife could be seen on the ground near his body.

Mr Basu told reporters: ‘A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.’

The London Ambulance Service declared it a major incident and one picture on social media appeared to show a body covered with a blanket.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog said it has launched an investigation into the police shooting of the London Bridge attacker which is standard for such incidents.

 

 

 



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