Terror attack becomes focus of British campaign

Nick Mcbride
June 6, 2017

The news raises questions about the police's judgment and increases pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May, who three days before a national election is facing criticism for overseeing cuts to police during her years as interior minister.

Police believe Butt, Redouane, and the third accomplice were the assailants behind the attack, where a rented Renault van rammed into pedestrians on the London Bridge sidewalk. Seven people were killed and dozens wounded.

The three terrorists, who were wearing fake suicide belts, were shot dead by police.

The efforts on identifying the third attacker are ongoing, police said.

"However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritized accordingly", police said.

A 27-year-old Frenchman, possibly named Alexandre, who was working in the Boro Bistro also perished on Saturday, according to reports in French media.

Belanger's friend Damien Lecompt, 34, a sales rep who has lived in London for seven years, said he spoke to Belanger on Saturday night - but hadn't heard from him since he left Boro Bistro.

"Khuram Shazad Butt was known to the police and MI5", the statement said. "He would always bring his kid out into the lobby".

"One of the dangers.is that governments - once they get accustomed to this kind of power, this kind of invasiveness - are very reluctant to give it up", he said.

London police say they can not confirm the names of people caught up in the attack.

Saturday's rampage was the latest in a string of attacks to hit Europe, including in Paris, Berlin and Saint Petersburg.

British police clear the scene of the attack near London Bridge, loading the van used onto a truck.

"All those arrested in connection with the #LondonBridge terror attack have now been released without charge", the police wrote on Twitter.

A second attacker identified on Tuesday (NZ time) was Rachid Redouane, aged 30, who also went by the identity Rachid Elkhdar and was not known to police.

Butt had worked for the London Underground for six months a year ago as a trainee customer services assistant, Transport for London told the BBC. "One of the things the police, all of us need to do is make sure we're as safe as we possibly can be", Khan said. "We're calling for a restoration of police numbers, and there's a call being made for her to go, because of what she's done on the police numbers". A Canadian and a French national were among those who died, while the 48 injured included people of many nationalities.

May shot back, saying, Corbyn wasn't fit to safeguard Britain's security at a time of heightened threat.

Mr Corbyn's critics have often accused him of weakness on terrorism, citing his sympathy for members of the Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

London mayor Sadiq Khan warned extremists they will never win as mourners gathered at the service in Potters Fields Park, near London's City Hall. She confronted him after her two children came home and said, "Mummy I want to become a Muslim".

"We will defeat you".

Other reports by VgToday

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