UK police name third London Bridge attacker as Italian-Moroccan Youssef Zaghba

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Posted

June 06, 2017 22:11:15

British police have named the third London Bridge attacker as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, and said he is believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

Key points:

  • Other two attackers named as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane
  • Police cuts has become key issue in run-up to Thursday’s general election
  • UK terror threat level remains at “severe”

Police said on Tuesday he lived in east London and his family had been notified, adding he was not a “subject of interest” to police or the intelligence services.

The other two attackers were named on Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The identity of the last attacker in Saturday’s attack that left seven dead — including South Australian woman Kirsty Boden — and dozens wounded came as a new search was underway in a neighbourhood in east London near the home of two of the London Bridge attackers.

The search in Ilford, just north of Barking, is seeking to determine whether the group had accomplices.

London police have said all 12 people held since the attack late on Saturday from the Barking neighbourhood, have been freed.

The attack, the third in Britain in three months, has raised questions over the Government’s ability to protect Britain following cuts to police numbers in recent years. The issue has become a key one in the run-up to Thursday’s general election.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the snap election in hopes of strengthening her mandate for discussions over Britain’s exit from the European Union, has come under fire for the cuts to police numbers over recent years.

A string of opinion polls over the past couple of weeks have pointed to a narrowing in the gap between her Conservative Party and the main opposition Labour Party.

One of the attackers, 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.

The second man, Rachid Redouane, had not aroused any suspicions. The three, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead during the attack.

The Islamic gym where one of the London Bridge attackers trained said they saw nothing of concern during his time there.

In a letter posted outside on Tuesday, the Ummah Fitness Centre said staff would “help the police in any way we can” as investigators try to learn more about Butt.

Neighbours described Butt as an avid weightlifter and Transport for London confirmed he worked for London Underground in customer service before leaving last October.

UK terror threat ‘severe’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions would need to be asked about what the police knew about Butt. He has said cuts in the number of police officers have had an impact on the ability to prevent attacks.

Questions remain over whether investigators had the resources to look into complaints such as those levelled by Butt’s neighbours about his attempts to radicalise children and whether crucial opportunities were missed that could have saved lives.

The country’s official terror threat level remains at “severe” — one notch down from the highest.

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

It was lowered once intelligence agencies were comfortable this was not the case. Authorities have said the London attack was apparently unconnected to the Manchester bombing.

AP

Topics:

government-and-politics,

federal-government,

unrest-conflict-and-war,

terrorism,

police-sieges,

law-crime-and-justice,

police,

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