Usman Khan, a 28-year-old man with a terrorism conviction, was named as the suspect who was gunned down by police after a London Bridge stabbing terror attack that left a trail of dead and wounded victims and ended when a group of heroic bystanders wrestled the suspect to the ground. He was attending a university prison rehabilitation conference when the stabbing broke out.
The name came directly from Metropolitan Police, who wrote in a statement, “We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan (10.03.1991).” The rehab program, according to BBC, “allows university students and prisoners to study alongside each other.”
In 2008, at age 15, Khan told BBC, according to Daily Mail: “I’ve been born and bred in England, in Stoke-On-Trent, in Cobridge, and all the community knows me and they will know, if you ask them, they will know like these labels what they’re putting on us, like terrorist, this, that, they will know I ain’t no terrorist.”
Graphic video captured the moment that police surrounded and then shot the suspect, who was on the ground, as one of the heroic bystanders walks off with the knife. You can watch two videos from the scene later in this article, but be aware that they are disturbing. Both actually capture the moment police shoot the man dead as he lies on the pavement. There is also graphic language.
There are five victims, two fatally injured. “Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack. Three others – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital,” Met police wrote. Jack Merritt, who “worked for a programme aimed at improving prisoner rehabilitation,” was the first deceased victim named, according to the Irish Times, which reported that the 25-year-old’s father described his son as a “champion for underdogs everywhere.”
According to Mirror, many heroic citizens sprang into action, with one man inside Fishmongers’ Hall, where the attack broke out, grabbing “a five foot narwhal tusk” from the wall to ward off Khan. Times of London identified that man as a chef named Luckasz, who continued approaching the suspect after being stabbed in the hand.
A video shows the heroic Polish chef wielding the narwhal tusk against the suspect.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Usman Khan Had a Prior Terrorism Conviction Involving the London Stock Exchange & Connections to ‘Islamist Terror Groups,’ Reports Say
The Telegraph reported that the suspect had a prior terrorism conviction he was on a “tag” for and had connections to “Islamist terror groups.”
The Met police confirmed Khan’s past criminal history, writing in a statement, “This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences. He was released from prison in December 2018 on licence and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack.”
The Guardian reported that the suspect was convicted as part of the “2010 Stock Exchange plot.”
Nine men pleaded guilty over the incident in 2012. A 2012 article in BBC reported that Khan was among nine men who were arrested in 2010 and “plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp.” Three of the men, including Khan, were described then by BBC as “all members of an al-Qaeda inspired terror group” who “received indeterminate sentences for public protection at London’s Woolwich Crown Court.”
BBC added, “The court heard they had planned to raise funds for a terrorist camp in Pakistan and recruit Britons to attend.” Khan was 20 at the time and received at least eight years in prison. The story called the suspects “British nationals of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin” and “Islamic fundamentalists.”
Telegraph reported of the stock exchange plot at the time that some of the suspects “plotted to plant a pipe bomb in the lavatories of the London Stock Exchange and a handwritten target list found at (at a different suspect’s) home also listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, two rabbis and the American Embassy in London.”
BBC reported that Khan was supposed to participate in a government “desistance and disengagement programme” designed to rehab terrorists.
During the London attack, CNN reported that the suspect was “wielding two knives, one was duct-taped to his hand” and a witness said he tried to “stamp the other knife from his wrist.” That witness also said he saw the suspect “running away from five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened and angered that our city has again been targeted by terrorism. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must now inform you that, as well as the suspect who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have tragically lost their lives.”
She added: “My heart goes out to their loved ones and to the three further injured victims who I understand are being treated in hospital, and of course to everybody who has been affected by today’s terrible and mindless events.”
According to Dick, “The attack started at Fishmonger’s Hall in the City of London. My understanding is that police were called at 13:58hrs and City of London police officers had bravely and professionally confronted the suspect by 14:03hrs, just five minutes later.”
The London Bridge terror attack left multiple victims injured, the Metropolitan Police in London, England confirmed on November 29, 2019.
Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations Neil Basu wrote in a statement: “I can confirm that at approximately 2pm today, Friday, 29 November, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near to London Bridge, EC1. Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.”
Guy Lawrence told the Sun he saw the man, armed with two knives, running out of Fishmonger’s Hall, being chased by citizens with a stick and fire extinguisher.
2. Videos Show Police Shooting the Suspect & a Hero Bystander Walking Off With a Knife
One of the videos that emerged on Twitter shows a close up view of the hero bystander running with the knife after apparently disarming the suspect.
@HLOBlog shared a video on Twitter and wrote, “Please stay away from #LondonBridge! I just saw a man with a knife being shot in the head by police. Please be careful London!” That video has been viewed more than 500,000 times on Twitter. “He has a knife,” people say in the video.
The account that shared the video, @HLBlog, defines itself as “Travel blog by Yaya & Lloyd.” The man running the account wrote that he personally took the video, writing, “I’m safe. I did take this video it was me who saw this in front of me. ?”
Another video, which you can see above, shows an even closer up view. You can see the HLOBlog video with the next fact.
One man shared a photo of the hero bystander on Twitter and wrote, “This man was walking behind us on the other side of London Bridge when the attack began. He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others. We ran away but looks like he disarmed him. Amazing bravery.”
According to The Guardian, the suspect, had previously traveled to Pakistan’s “federally administered tribal areas (Fata) and planned to fund, construct and take part in a terrorist training camp in Kashmir, with a view to carrying out terrorist acts in the future.”
3. Police Say Usman Khan, the Lone Suspect & Son of a Taxi Driver, Was Wearing a Fake Suicide Vest
Daily Mail reports that Khan was athletic growing up and did well in school. His father is a retired taxi driver.
Khan was sporty and did well at school,
Neil Basu, head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said in a press conference: “I can confirm that we believe a device was strapped to the body of the suspect was a hoax device.”
You can read Basu’s full statement here.
A truck was jack knifed on the bridge, according to Sun.
Basu wrote in the statement: “The investigation into the attack near London Bridge continues at a pace. Whilst we are still in the early stages of the investigation, at this time we are not actively seeking anyone else in relation to the attack.”
Basu added: “However, we continue to make fast time enquiries to ensure that no other people were involved in this attack and that there is no outstanding threat to the public.”
Cressida Dick added: “I also want to thank the members of the public who have helped, either by showing extraordinary courage by stepping in or by following the instructions they’ve been given by officers at the scene and in the area. This support from our public assists us more than you could know.”
She said that, in the coming days, “you will see more police, both armed and unarmed, patrolling our streets to help reassure those who are understandably concerned. Similarly our Counter Terrorism detectives will be working round the clock to identify those who have lost their lives, to support all the victims and their families. We are also working at full-tilt to understand exactly what has happened and whether anyone else was involved. For this reason we expect cordons to remain in place around the London Bridge area for some time.”
Dick stressed that “the empty ideology of terror offers nothing but hatred and today I urge everyone to reject that. Ours is a great city because we embrace each other’s differences. We must emerge stronger still from this tragedy. In doing that we will ensure that the few who seek to divide us will never, ever succeed.”
4. Police Said Khan Was Living in the Straffordshire Area & Was Attending an Event Called ‘Learning Together’
According to Met police, Usman Khan had been “residing in the Staffordshire area. As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.”
Met Police said the suspect attended an event called “Learning Together” when the attack broke out.
“The circumstances, as we currently understand them, are that the attacker attended an event earlier on Friday afternoon at Fishmonger’s Hall called ‘Learning Together’. We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers. Daily Mail reported that the event was “a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation.”
Telegraph reported that the event “brings together people in criminal justice and higher education institutions” and Khan was “invited to share his experiences as a former prisoner.”
One witness told Daily Mail: “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.”
Met Police said from the start that they were treating the attack as a terror-related incident. Basu wrote early on, “As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though it was terrorist-related. I am now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London Police as we continue to respond.”
“Police were called at 1:58pm to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge,” Met Police wrote in a statement. “Emergency services attended, including officers from the Met and @CityPolice. A man has been detained by police. We believe a number of people have been injured. Further info to follow.”
“At this stage, the circumstances relating to the incident at #LondonBridge remain unclear. However, as a precaution, we are currently responding to this incident as though it is terror-related,” the police wrote. “One man has been shot by police. We will provide further information when possible. A number of people have been stabbed. We will provide further information when possible.” That was an earlier statement, though.
5. Police Confirm They Shot & Killed the Suspect
Basu said in a press conference: “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.”
He added: “A number of other people received injuries during the incident and as soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those anxiously awaiting news from loved ones.”
The British Transport Police wrote on Twitter, “We continue to assist @metpoliceuk and @CityPolice with the incident at #LondonBridge. London Bridge mainline station is closed. Tubes are not stopping at London Bridge Underground station.”
TFL Traffic News, an official government feed, wrote, “UPDATE: London Bridge remains closed in both directions between Fenchurch Street to the north and Southwark Street to the south. There are long delays in both directions on Tower Bridge Road and on Southwark Bridge Road. Use alternative routes.”
Office workers peered outside windows.
People shared accounts on social media. “I was on London Bridge guys. I’m fine. But it is NOT something I ever want to experience again. #LondonBridge,” wrote one man.
The mayor of London wrote in a statement that the incident was “horrendous.”