The terrorist suspect responsible for the stabbing deaths of two people on London Bridge on Friday was released early from prison in 2018 after being arrested in 2012 on terror-related charges.
It has been revealed that 28-year-old Usman Khan was out on “automatic early release,” despite only having served half of his prison sentence for his involvement in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and plans to build a terrorist camp for UK radicals in Kashmir.
Sky News reports,
In February 2012, he was handed an indeterminate jail sentence over a terror plot, with the sentencing judge saying he should not be released until he was no longer a threat to the public.
However, this sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a 16-year jail term.
Khan was released from prison in December 2018 on licence, having served eight years of his sentence - including time spend on remand.
Sky's Home Affairs correspondent Mark White has been told by sources that Khan was being monitored with an electronic tag when he was released from jail a year ago and had links to Islamist terror groups.
He was a student and personal friend of the Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary, who co-founded the now banned Al-Muhajiroun group.
Why he was given a 16-year jail term as opposed to upholding the indeterminate jail sentence is unclear. It is also unclear how Khan who was released early from prison was being supervised if able to carry out such an attack.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday condemned the attack and said that “it does not make sense for us as a society to be putting terrorist people … convicted of serious, violent offenses out on early release.”
“We argue that people should serve the term of which they are sentenced. That is my immediate takeaway from this,” said Johnson.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there are "big questions that need to be answered" regarding Khan and what led up to the attack.
Two people were killed on Friday and three others injured. The first victim's identity has been revealed as University of Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt. The woman killed in the attack has not yet been named.
Video showed several bystanders rush to action to subdue the terror suspect and take away his weapon before police arrived to the scene and shot Khan dead.