The suspect in Friday’s London terrorist stabbings was an Islamic extremist man whose family came to Great Britain from Pakistan. He had been released early from prison after a previous terrorism-related conviction.
Usama Khan, 28, was shot and killed by police after the stabbing spree in central London, in which he allegedly killed two people and injured three more.
Officials say Khan was released from a British prison in late 2018 with an ankle monitor. He had plead guilty in 2012 in a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange, the U.S. Embassy in London, and other buildings. Khan reportedly also admitted to other terrorism-related offenses at the time, involving recruiting jihadists for a terrorist training facility in Pakistan that masqueraded as a school.
The group of men convicted with Khan in 2012 had been bugged by police and were reportedly overheard “claiming that fewer than 100,000 Jews died in the Holocaust and talking about how Hitler had been on the same side as the Muslims because he understood that “the Jews were dangerous.”
Khan’s 16-year prison term had automatically been cut short based on early release conditions in the United Kingdom, according to reports.
According to news reports, “Khan was originally classed as never to be released unless deemed no longer a threat but this condition was later lifted.”
In a letter from jail in 2012, Khan had insisted he was reformed and wanted to be deradicalized to become “a good British citizen.”
The Associated Press reported that Khan was attending a program that works to educate prisoners when he went on the stabbing rampage.
Friday’s attack happened near the site of a 2017 attack attributed to the Islamic extremist terrorist group ISIS. In that incident, one terrorist slammed a white van into pedestrians on London bridge, then three men got out of the van and began stabbing people. Eight people were murdered and 48 others injured. Police shot and killed the three terrorists.
The 2017 attackers were identified as Khuram Shazad Butt, a Pakistani man who had become a British citizen; a failed asylum-seeker from Morocco or Libya named Rachid Redouane; and Moroccan-born Youssef Zaghba.
The 2017 attack was preceded by a similar vehicle ramming and stabbing three months before at Westminster Bridge in London. Five people were murdered. That attack was blamed on 52-year-old Khalid Masood who’d been released from prison after several previous knife-related offenses. Police shot and killed him on the scene.
Across England, crime recently rose 13%. There has been a rash of unrelated stabbings and other violent crimes.
Much of Europe has struggled with terrorist incidents committed by Muslim extremists. There was an uptick in such attacks after a 2015 refugee influx from mostly-Muslim countries. Numerous refugees went on to commit terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel originally opened the borders to one million asylum-seekers in 2015. There was a backlash after refugees launched multiple attacks in Germany. An Afghan refugee injured five in an axe attack on a German train. A Syrian refugee suicide bombing injured 15 outside a German music festival. Another Syrian refugee stabbed to death a woman and injured five. And a Tunisian refugee killed 12 by plowing a truck into a German Christmas market – all in 2016.
Germany has quietly closed the door to refugees and is ramping up deportations.
Greece has recently announced it plans to try to halt the incessant flow of refugees who come in rafts from North Africa and the Mideast through Turkey to Greek islands.