KFC brand name pulled into coverage of London terror attack

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

The Italian mother of a London Bridge attacker says her son was always very hard on himself, never measuring up to his own rigid expectations, and had become radicalized in the previous year while living in London.

Khurram Butt, 27, was named one of the three London attackers.

The two other attackers were named as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba and 30-year-old Rachid Redouane.

"These men have stayed just within the law for many years, but there is no one within the counterterrorism world that has any doubts of the influence that they have had, the hate they have spread and the people that they have encouraged to join terrorist organizations", Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan police's counterterrorism command said after the Choudary and Rahman verdicts.

Collina said her son had been enticed to try to go to Syria by a "fantasy that was transmitted by Internet" in which he thought he could "live according to pure Islam", but that he did not mention wanting to fight there.

Citing intelligence sources, Italian dailies Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica said Zaghba was met at the Bologna airport by Italian intelligence agents each time he arrived in Italy to visit his mother after his initial run-in with Bologna airport authorities on March 15, 2016. He was allegedly on his way to Syria and was carrying only a backpack.

A second Italian official familiar with the investigation said there had been "an absolute interchange of investigative information with British authorities" in Zaghba's case.

Thomas was walking with his girlfriend over the bridge when the attack began on Saturday night.

The Home Office has not commented as there is an ongoing police investigation, while Scotland Yard has said Zaghba, who lived in east London, was not a police or MI5 subject of interest. All three attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

Butt had appeared in a documentary "The Jihadis Next Door" and was known to investigators but police said he was not believed to be plotting an attack.

"As a family we are shocked and appalled by the actions of Khuram and his associates", his family said in a statement on Wednesday. Corbyn, the far-left leader of the Labour Party, accused May of starving police and other security services of personnel and funds.

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During the confrontation, courageous passers-by can be seen throwing missiles in the direction of the gang and their last victim is shown stumbling away at the end of the clip.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions would need to be asked about what the police knew about Butt.

Italy's anti-terrorism police continued to monitor Zaghba for 18 months.

As these details have emerged, Prime Minister Theresa May has faced questions about her record overseeing cuts to police numbers when she was interior minister.

The latest opinion poll, by Survation for ITV, showed the Conservatives' lead narrowing to just one point from six points in the same poll a week earlier.

He also pledged to hire more police officers, following a drop in 20,000 officers between 2009 and 2016, or around 14 per cent, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank.

Much of the area around London Bridge remained cordoned off as commuters struggled to work in the driving rain. The market was unlikely to open before Sunday, according to police. Borough Market, a popular gathering place, remains closed as more evidence is gathered.

Transport for London, which oversees the capital's transport network, has advised commuters to make alternative journeys as the station will be busy.

A minute's silence was held nationwide at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) to honour all the victims.

It had been set at "critical" in the days after the Manchester concert bombing on May 22 that killed 22 people - reflecting a judgment that an attack might be imminent because accomplices with similar bombs might be on the loose.

But MI5 has seen its budget increase and has plans to expand to 5,000 officers from 4,000 over the next five years, the intelligence agency's chief, Andrew Parker, said last year.

Other reports by GizPress

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