British officials publicly identify 2 of the London terrorists

British officials publicly identified today two of the alleged terrorists responsible for the June 3 attacks on the London Bridge and Borough Market. The Metropolitan Police released photos of the men (seen above), identifying them as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The two were shot dead by armed officers at Borough Market after exiting a van that was used to ram pedestrians on the bridge. Along with a third accomplice, who has not been named and was also killed at the market, they began wildly stabbing people before being subdued just eight minutes after authorities were called in.

“While formal identification has yet to take place, detectives believe they now know the attackers’ identities,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “They believe two of the men are Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, both from Barking, east London.”

Butt, a 27-year-old, was born in Pakistan and became a British citizen. The 30-year-old Redouane “claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan,” but “also used the name Rachid Elkhdar, with a different date of birth.”

Seven people were killed in the attacks, and 48 others were hospitalized. Eighteen remain “in a critical condition,” according to authorities.

Butt was well-known to counterterrorism officials. According to the Guardian, Butt was “associated with al-Muhajiroun,” an extremist group that has been banned in the UK. Al-Muhajiroun was led by Anjem Choudary, a notorious British extremist.

In March, the State Department added Choudary to the US government’s list of designated terrorists, noting his “links to convicted terrorists and extremist networks in the UK.” Foggy Bottom explained that Choudary pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Sept. 2014, which led to his arrest. Choudary was “acting as a key figure in ISIS’ recruitment drive” and has vowed “he will continue his recruitment activities from prison,” State said.

The Islamic State claims that its “fighters” were responsible for the London attacks.

In 2016, Butt appeared in a Channel 4 documentary titled, “The Jihadis Next Door.” The documentary showed Butt (seen below) praying in Regent’s Park alongside fellow extremists, including Mohammed Shamsuddin, who was described as a “close student of Omar Bakri” Mohammed. Shamsuddin, the prayer group’s ringleader, was proud of the relationship.

Omar Bakri was an influential figure in both Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun, which he co-founded along with Choudary. For years, reports connected Omar Bakri to al Qaeda. For example, according to The New York Times, he warned in 2004 that “a very well-organized” al Qaeda-linked group was “on the verge of launching a big operation” in London. The July 7, 2005 bombings were orchestrated by al Qaeda in northern Pakistan, relying on local extremist networks.

Omar Bakri eventually left the UK for Lebanon, where he was reportedly imprisoned. But his students, including Mohammed Shamsuddin, continued to preach their ideology in and around London. During the Channel 4 documentary, Butt was seen unfurling a black banner generally associated with jihadis. Policemen stopped Butt, Shamsuddin, and some of their comrades after the prayer group disbanded. Authorities responded to calls concerning the flag used in the park, and Shamsuddin was shown objecting to a policeman’s request to search one of his comrades.

Other members of Shamsuddin’s group included an extremist known as Abu Haleema. Authorities subsequently tied Abu Haleema to a “teenage jihadi” who allegedly planned to conduct a beheading in Australia, according to the Guardian.

In another scene in the documentary, Shamsuddin and Abu Haleema laugh at beheading videos posted online by the Islamic State. Another one of their fellow extremists, a jihadi known as Abu Rumaysah (a.k.a. Siddhartha Dhar), joined the so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria and is suspected of serving as an executioner for the group.

The Channel 4 documentary showed local Muslims clashing with Shamsuddin, Abu Haleema and their extremist friends. Men visiting a mosque nearly came to fisticuffs with them. Multiple reports indicate that concerned citizens had identified both Butt and Redouane as potential threats.

UK officials are clearly sensitive to the charge that warning signs were missed.

Mark Rowley, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, pointed to the large number of possible threats that are being investigated at any given time.

“The police and our partners are doing everything we can across the country to help prevent further attacks and protect the public from harm,” Rowley said in a statement. “At any one time MI5 and police are conducting around 500 active investigations, involving 3,000 subjects of interest.”

“Additionally,” Rowley continued, “there are around 20,000 individuals who are former subjects of interest, whose risk remains subject to review by MI5 and its partners.”

Rowley added that “security and intelligence services and police have stopped 18 plots since 2013, including five since the Westminster attack two months ago.”

British officials have repeatedly pointed to these figures — including the 23,000 current and former “subjects of interest” — since the Manchester Arena bombing in late May.

The police arrested twelve people in connection with their investigation into the London attacks, but authorities announced today that all of them were released without charge.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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8 Comments

  • Rupurt says:

    Rachid was well known in the London gay scene. Not judging, just pointing out he, like the guy in Nice and the guy in Orlando where Muslims who struggled with thier gay sexuality. Might explain why suscide atackers are overwhelmingly gay and so ready to die. Thier religion makes them outcasts.

  • a says:

    Indeed, the finger is not to be pointed at MI5 or the police, the finger has to be pointed at the politicians who let so many Muslims migrate to our countries. Shame on them.

    • Arjuna says:

      MI5 is partly to blame. These were KNOWN jihad lovers. Trouble is England is full of KNOWN jihad lovers. They use Ireland to stage for the UK:
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/reformed-jihadi-bride-claims-two-10596686
      Who’s the white woman? Another Samantha Lewthwaite baby terrorist factory?
      Nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or religion:
      Police also disclosed that multiple petrol bombs were discovered in the van, and a copy of the Quran opened at a page “describing martyrdom” was found at one of the attackers’ houses.

  • Timothy Blair says:

    Classic false flag operation. Can smell it mile away. These two stooges are clearly MI6 agents.

    • Arjuna says:

      You are quite mistaken, sir. Negligence, and political correctness, in equal measure.
      Though for the record MI6 has plenty of links to jihadis involved in false flags such as Shajul Islam (Note: I don’t refer to him as a “doctor”. Same as Z he lost his estimation and professional appellation when he became a terrorist.).

  • Richard Loewe says:

    look at the second photo of the guy headbanging in Regents Park: forehead full of grass. No prayer rug needed as the ground already has been declared conquered/halal. Britain will have massive bloodshed ahead, and Europe (France and Germany) will not be far behind. Even Maajid Nawaz says so publicly on Fox. I suspect he will jump on a plane with his family in the next few weeks. 23k jihadis in Britain plus hundreds of thousands of supporters who will go active in Britain alone. The consequences of that should be obvious to anyone. This summer jihad will go mainstream in Europe. I predict that France will allow its citizenry to get serious weaponry. Britain has successfully disarmed its citizens and turned them into defenceless sheep facing wolf packs of jihadis.

  • Arjuna says:

    Creepy critter Number Three’s Mommy says he went bad working at a Pakistani restaurant in London. Why am I not surprised? Pakistan has too many jihadi groups (organizations, not terrorists) to even count. Maybe these guys went to the same East London Mosque as “Lord” Mayor Khan?
    E’ stata lei a indicare la pista londinese, sostenendo che ormai Yussef abitava nella capitale britannica e lavorava in un ristorante pachistano: “Prima di conoscere quelle persone non si era mai comportato così”.
    http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2017/06/06/news/youssef_zaghba_terrorista-167394088/

  • James says:

    So, you want to know how to defeat ISIS in 30 days (or less)? I say take Baghdoggy hostage and use him as a lure. Get ready for the biggest shootout in world history. We have to prove to these thugs that this guy is NOT God’s anointed. If that is what it will take well then so be it.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis