British police identify third London attacker as Italian of Moroccan descent
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 9:04
He had notably featured in a Channel 4 TV documentary entitled "The Jihadis Next Door" and, according to the British media, numerous people alarmed by his views had gone to the authorities. Choudary's now-banned al-Muhajiroun group was linked to one of Butt's alleged connections, Sajeel Shahid, according to the British government official who again spoke on condition of anonymity.
Police reportedly found ISIS propoganda videos on his cell phone but, after an investigation, failed to find sufficient evidence of links to terrorism to prosecute him and he was released.
British authorities faced mounting anger on Tuesday after police named the third attacker in the weekend terror assault in London, who Italy had previously flagged as a possible jihadist.
The Saturday night attacks with a van and knife in central London left almost 60 wounded and seven people dead, including Canadian Chrissy Archibald and James McMullan of London. Butt and Redouane both lived in Barking, east London.
Neighbors described Butt as an avid weightlifter and Transport for London confirmed he worked for London Underground in customer service before leaving last October. The second man, Rachid Redouane, had not aroused any suspicions. Twelve people arrested earlier have since been released without charge.
Redouane was never under surveillance by Irish authorities, and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald urged caution in speculating about his movements.
Youssef Zaghba is said to have told Italian police "I'm going to be a terrorist" when he was stopped trying to travel to Syria past year.
Tuesday, they identified 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent.
Zaghba was stopped while trying to take a flight to Turkey on his way to Syria, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday.
Authorities are facing pressure to detail whether an alert was flagged about Zaghba when he came into the United Kingdom and whether he was stopped at the border.
After that, Amato said, any time Zaghba was in Italy, he was always tracked by Italian intelligence officers. "But there weren't elements of proof that he was a terrorist". Zaghba's Italian citizenship prevented such an expulsion, Italian daily Repubblica reported. "He was mixing with the wrong people", she told Italian weekly L'Espresso.
Great Britain, gearing up for snap parliamentary elections on Thursday, had just lowered its official terror threat from "critical".
This story has been corrected to show that one attacker used an east London gym but did not work there.