London Bridge attacker had ties to ‘death to gays’ preachers
One of the men who perpetrated the London Bridge attacks on Saturday had ties to extremist preachers who call for gay people to be put to death.
The Metropolitan Police has today named two of the three attackers suspected of perpetrating Saturday’s attack on London that injured 48 people and killed seven.
All three terrorists were shot dead by police.
One of the attackers, Khuram Butt, was known to police as an associate of banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun.
The group’s leader is extremist preacher Anjem Choudary who has called for gay people to be stoned to death. Choudary is currently serving a prison sentence for supporting the so-called Islamic State.
Choudary preaches that those found guilty of “sodomy” should be stoned to death under Sharia law, which he said should be implemented worldwide.
Butt, of Barking, East London, additionally featured last year in Channel 4 documentary The Jihadis Next Door.
In the documentary, 27-year-old Butt was shown as part of a group of men probed by police after praying in front of the Islamic flag adopted by the terrorist group known as Islamic State.
In the same documentary footage,extremist preacher Abu Haleema called for homosexuals to be thrown from tall buildings.
Police confirmed that Butt had been known to security services, but there was no intelligence to suggest an attack.
He was also reviled by the local Muslim community.
According to the Guardian, Butt was excluded from the East London Mosque over concerns about his extremism, and he was also removed from a mosque in Barking.
He was reported to the anti-terror police on at least two occasions over fears of radicalisation.
The second attacker, Rachid Redouane, also of Barking, was not known to police prior to the attack.
So far officers have arrested 12 people – seven women and five men – and searched six properties. One of the arrested men and one of the women were subsequently released.”
Police have appealed for anyone with information about the men that may assist them with the investigation.
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Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “I would urge anyone with information about these men, their movements in the days and hours before the attack and the places they frequented to come forward.
“The police and our partners are doing everything we can across the country to help prevent further attacks and protect the public from harm.
“At any one time MI5 and police are conducting around 500 active investigations, involving 3,000 subjects of interest. Additionally, there are around 20,000 individuals who are former subjects of interest, whose risk remains subject to review by MI5 and its partners.
“The security and intelligence services and police have stopped 18 plots since 2013, including five since the Westminster attack two months ago.”
He added: “We would urge the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling us in confidence on 0800 789321 or in an emergency calling 999.”