Two people have been killed following a knife attack by a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest – who had been released from prison just one year ago after serving time for an ‘Islamist-related terror offence’.
Several people were stabbed before the man was wrestled to the ground by bystanders on London Bridge, the attacker was then shot dead by Met Police marksmen.
Social media footage, taken from a bus crossing the bridge, show one city worker seize a knife from the man following a scuffle with several other people.
One man, dressed in a smart suit and tie, is seen frantically ushering people away from the scene while holding the long-bladed zombie style knife.
“I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of the members of the public who intervened to protect the lives of others,” said prime minister Boris Johnson.
“They represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of us. This country will never be cowed, divided or intimidated by this sort of attack and our British values will prevail.”
The Times reports the man was a convicted terrorist who was released from a prison a year ago on the condition his movements were monitored.
He had been a guest at a prisoner rehabilitation conference at the historic Fishmongers’ Hall, where he stabbed several people before fleeing across London Bridge.
The Ministry of Justice have ordered an immediate review with his identity a key talking point of a late night meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee.
Usman Khan, 28, was convicted of trying to blow up the Stock Exchange with an Al-Qaeda cell and was last living at an address in Staffordshire.
He was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence in 2012 which was later changed to 16 years on appeal, with release coming after less than seven years served.
The police have published a request for the public and media to send any images or footage taken at the scene to this website.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: “I am deeply saddened and angered that our city has again been targeted by terrorism. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must now inform you that, as well as the suspect who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have tragically lost their lives.
“My heart goes out to their loved ones and to the three further injured victims who I understand are being treated in hospital, and of course to everybody who has been affected by today’s terrible and mindless events.
“I also want to thank the members of the public who have helped, either by showing extraordinary courage by stepping in or by following the instructions they’ve been given by officers at the scene and in the area. This support from our public assists us more than you could know.
“In the coming days you will see more police, both armed and unarmed, patrolling our streets to help reassure those who are understandably concerned.
“Similarly our Counter Terrorism detectives will be working round the clock to identify those who have lost their lives, to support all the victims and their families. We are also working at full-tilt to understand exactly what has happened and whether anyone else was involved. For this reason we expect cordons to remain in place around the London Bridge area for some time.”
“The empty ideology of terror offers nothing but hatred and today I urge everyone to reject that. Ours is a great city because we embrace each other’s differences. We must emerge stronger still from this tragedy. In doing that we will ensure that the few who seek to divide us will never, ever succeed.”