London, Nov 30 (IANS) The London Bridge attacker who killed two persons on Black Friday attack was a British citizen born in the UK. Usman Khan was a terror convict who had been out on parole and targetted a gathering where students and other former convicts had assembled.
According to The Telegraph, Khan left school with no qualifications after spending part of his late teens in Pakistan, where he lived with his mother when she became ill.
On his return to the UK, he started preaching extremism on the Internet and attracted a significant following, Dawn News quoted The Telegraph report.
In January 2012, Khan pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism violating the UK’s Terrorism Act 2006.
Khan was among nine men charged with conspiracy to bomb high-profile London targets in the run-up to Christmas in 2010. At the time, the men were described as an Al Qaeda-inspired group that wanted to send mail bombs to various targets and launch a “Mumbai-style” atrocity.
At that time of his arrest, Khan lived in Stoke-on-Trent, a city in central England.
A hand-written target list found at that time at one of the defendant’s homes listed the names and addresses of then London Mayor and current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the American Embassy and the Stock Exchange.
The British police counter-terror operation which led to their arrests was the biggest of 2010, the Dawn report said.
Khan was sentenced to detention for public protection with a minimum custodial term of eight years — a sentenced designed by UK authorities to protect the public from serious offenders whose crimes did not merit a life sentence.
Offenders sentenced to an IPP are set a minimum term which they must spend in prison. After they have completed their tariff they can apply to a parole board for release.
The Parole Board releases an offender only if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public for the convict to be confined. If offenders are given parole they will be on supervised licence for at least 10 years.
The judge who had examined the 2010 bomb case sentencing appeals of Khan and the other convicts in 2013 had said: “They wished to support and commit acts of terrorism in furtherance of their religious beliefs. They came to the attention of the security services who monitored them using covert surveillance techniques and devices and were able to effect their arrest prior to advanced steps having been taken to implement their plans.”
He also noted that although they were from different parts of the country (Stoke, Cardiff and London), the groups managed to meet together.
The judge had also said that the Stoke defendants, which included Khan, were recorded discussing terror attacks overseas.
On December 15, 2010, Khan had been monitored by UK authorities in conversation about how to construct a pipe bomb from a recipe referred to in an Al Qaeda publication.
Authorities also heard Khan seeking to radicalise another male and making clear his intentions to travel abroad to a training camp which outwardly appeared to be a madrassah, the Dawn report said.
The Stoke group, which included Khan, were to fund the camp and recruit men for it. The court noted that “Khan expected only victory, martyrdom or imprisonment”.