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London Bridge attacker 'had links to Anjem Choudary' – latest updates














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Usman Khan was likely to be considered a low to medium risk, priority-three target for Britain’s intelligence agencies, reports the Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh.

MI5 characterises the individuals it monitors in four categories, with priority one applying where there is “credible and actionable” intelligence of attack planning. Priority three individuals are those where “further action is needed to determine where a threat exists”.

The majority of individuals released from prison after having served time for terror offences are placed in this category, and the reality is they are largely a matter for probation services, because there is not the resources – or necessarily the justification – to keep an intense focus on such people.

Intelligence investigators will now be focusing on Khan’s phone, email, as well as his home and any other key locations, in order to determine whether he had any associates or connections that spurred him on to the deadly attack. The working hypothesis is that Khan was a lone actor, who decided to act with little pre-planning, but that is far from settled as investigations continue.

Such lone actors are notoriously difficult for the intelligence agencies to spot – a marked contrast to the more typical plots of a decade ago, where individuals would prepare in advance, seeking direction, perhaps travelling abroad as Khan himself did at the beginning of the decade, making them easier to disrupt.

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A counter-terrorism specialist has described the criminal justice system as playing “Russian roulette” with the public, after it was revealed the London Bridge attacker had been released from jail after being convicted of terror offences.

Chris Phillips, a former head of the UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told the PA news agency:


The criminal justice system needs to look at itself. We’re letting people out of prison, we’re convicting people for very, very serious offences and then they are releasing them back into society when they are still radicalised.

So how on Earth can we ever ask our police services and our security services to keep us safe? I’ve said it a few times today, we’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives, letting convicted, known, radicalised Jihadi criminals walk about our streets.

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Reports attacker had links to Anjem Choudary

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