Youssef Zaghba identified as third suspect in London Bridge terror attack

Author

08 June, 2017

Terrorism expert Otso Iho of Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre said that as ISIL - which said it carried out the three attacks in Britain - loses territory in iraq and Syria, it will turn its attentions to the West.

London police say they carried out a controlled explosion as they investigated two unattended vehicles near the new USA embassy, but say the incident is now over and is "not terrorism-related".

A Moroccan-Italian dual national, it has emerged he had tried to join the Islamic State group in Syria past year and was notified to Britain as a suspect figure after being intercepted by Italian authorities.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of London's Metropolitan Police acknowledged that Butt, a British national born in Pakistan, was known to authorities.

All 12 people arrested on Sunday after the London attack have now been released without charge. Nearly 50 were injured.

Butt also appeared in a 2016 television documentary called "The Jihadis Next Door".

Metropolitan Police said in a statement that Thomas was in town for the weekend with his girlfriend.

"Undoubtedly when people see something which appears from their perverted point of view to be successful, some people will be inspired by that", she said.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed the rampage, which sparked fears that Britain is in the grip of a spate of copycat incidents.

An Italian interior ministry official told The Associated Press that British and Moroccan intelligence and law-enforcement authorities were informed that Zaghba had been flagged as someone "at risk" - but no other details were released.

It is thought that Choudary played a key role in Butt's radicalization, according to a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the ongoing investigation.

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Corriere said Zaghba had been radicalized by Khuram Butt, considered the head of the cell.

"Any successful attack is a failure of intelligence services", said Raffaello Pantucci, counter-terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London. They worked in the same restaurant: Kentucky Fried Chicken in London's East Ham area.

Authorities say the threat is unprecedented, with 500 active investigations involving 3,000 individuals in addition to 20,000 former subjects of interest. At least seven people were killed and dozens were injured.

After his arrest in March 2016, when he was trying to leave for Turkey, Zaghba came back to Bologna twice, for two or three days at a time, to visit his mother, police said.

Scotland Yard named Zaghba as the third and final attacker, but reports from Italy immediately indicated that the security services knew of his attempts to travel to Syria in an apparent attempt to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

"We did everything we could but there was not sufficient basis to prove he was a terrorist, he was a suspect based on types of behaviour".

"It is seeking to project its influence and maintain its relevance by inspiring, encouraging, and - though there does not appear to be evidence of this in the latest United Kingdom plots to date - directing attacks in Europe and elsewhere", he said.

Seated cross-legged on cushions on the floor of her modest Bologna home, her head veiled, Collina said her last phone conversation with her son was so "sweet" it reminded her of paradise.

According to the mother of 22-year-old Zaghba, he became radicalised online, echoing concerns raised by Prime Minister Theresa May that the internet can be fertile ground for breeding extremism. 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.

Winfield reported from Rome.


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