X Posted on the Terroristan ThreadLondon attacker hadPakistan links, plotted Kashmir hitsHIGHLIGHTS- The 28-year-old Briton who killed two people in a stabbing spree on London Bridge on Friday has been identified as Usman Khan
- He was jailed in 2012 over a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and plans to build a terror camp in PoK to attack Kashmir
- Khan is believed to have spent part of his late teens in Pakistan
LONDON: The 28-year-old Briton who killed two people in a stabbing spree on London Bridge
on Friday has been identified as Usman Khan
, a UK-born terrorist who was jailed in 2012 over a plot to bomb the London Stock
Exchange and plans to build a terror camp on land owned by his family in PoK
to attack Kashmir. Khan, however, had been freed from prison in 2018 subject to his movements being restricted and monitored.
"This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences, " Neil Basu, Britain's top counter-terror police officer who is of Indian origin, said in a statement.
Khan left school in the UK with no credentials and is believed to have spent part of his late teens in Pakistan
, where he lived with his mother when she took ill. On his return to Britain, he started preaching radical Islam on the internet and attracted a significant following.
At 19, he was the youngest of a group of four men from Stoke-on-Trent who took an active part in the local branch of al-Mujahiroun – a militant Salafi outfit that counted radical preacher Anjem Choudary among its ranks.
The group's plans included the camp in PoK, where under the guise of a madrassa they would offer arms training for attacks in Kashmir, and also a 26/11 style attack on the UK parliament.
Usman Khan's 2012 arrest came after he was overheard by British security services discussing how to use an al-Qaida
manual he had memorised to build a pipe bomb. It was a snippet of conversation, along with other intelligence about a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange, that prompted British police to arrest Khan - then 19 - and a group of older men on December 20, 2010. "There's victory, there's shahadat (martyrdom), or there's prison," Khan was recorded saying by the police.
He and two other co-conspirators had conducted a surveillance trip around central London as they talked about launching a 26/11-style attack on the British parliament. The then 20-year-old pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism, which included travelling to and attending operational meetings, fundraising for terror training, preparing to travel abroad and assisting others in travelling abroad.
Khan was radicalised by internet propaganda spread by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and in particular by militant Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki, identified by US intelligence as "chief of external operations" for Qaida's Yemeni branch and a Web-savvy publicist for the Islamist cause, was killed in a CIA drone strike in 2011.
Khan was part of a group of militants from the English city of Stoke which forged close links with militants from London and the Welsh capital Cardiff. The London and Welsh parts of the conspiracy had ambitions to place a bomb inside a toilet at the London Stock Exchange.
While Khan knew and supported the bomb plans, and had discussed bombing local pubs, he and his Stoke group had hatched a potentially more sinister plan: a camp beside a mosque in PoK to train jihadist militants. "The Stoke group was, and was considered to be, pre-eminent, " British judge Alan Wilkie said when he sentenced Khan in 2012. "They regarded themselves as more serious jihadis than the others."
Khan had been intending to travel to the camp to perfect his skills, including firearms training, and to carry out attacks in Kashmir. "It was envisaged by them all that ultimately they, and the other recruits, may return to the UK as trained and experienced terrorists available to perform terrorist attacks in this country, "Wilkie said. But he was arrested before he could travel to PoK.
When sentencing him in 2012, Wilkie said that Khan was so dangerous that he was imposing a so-called imprisonment for public protection (IPP) indeterminate sentence of eight years.
"The long, monitored, discussions of Usman Khan about the madrassa (training camp) and his attitudes towards it and terrorism are highly eloquent of the seriousness of their purpose, " the judge said. In effect, it meant he would remain incarcerated as long as he was considered to be a danger to the public and that the parole board should assess whether he should be released.
But in 2011, then-Conservative prime minister David Cameron announced a review of the IPP sentencing. The IPP was abolished in 2012.
After Khan appealed his sentence, appeal court judges in 2013 quashed the indeterminate period of incarceration and he was given a determinate sentence of 16 years - meaning he could be released after serving just half of his term.