Police identify third London attacks suspect as Italian-Moroccan

Jeannette Daniel
June 8, 2017

On Tuesday the third attacker was named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London.

The Islamic State has taken the responsibility for the Saturday assault, but the involvement of the terrorist group in the accident is yet to be confirmed by British officials.

He said Zaghba was always tracked by Italian intelligence officers while in the country and that United Kingdom authorities were informed.

British police ran a security check on Youssef Zaghba - the third London attacker - in January when he passed through London's Stansted Airport, according to two Italian security officials, raising questions about the assertion made by British authorities that he was not a "subject of interest" to United Kingdom security services.

According to the reports, the British and Moroccan secret services were notified of Zaghba's status as a potential militant.

Zaghba was stopped at the airport in Bologna in 2016 when he was trying to get to Syria via Turkey, city prosecutor Giuseppe Amato told broadcaster Radio24 on Tuesday.

Italian border police became suspicious because he was traveling on a one-way ticket and carried only a small knapsack, a passport and no money.

The Metropolitan Police issued a statement Tuesday on behalf of her family saying, "As she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge, Kirsty sadly lost her life".

Zaghba, the son of an Italian mother and Moroccan father, was arrested at Bologna airport on March 15 previous year carrying a one-way ticket to Istanbul and a small rucksack. "MI5 and the police have already said they would be reviewing how they dealt with Manchester and I would expect them to do exactly the same in relation to London Bridge", she said.

According to the reports, Zaghba was born in Fez, Morocco, in January 1995.

Zaghba was arrested previous year trying to reach Syria, yet was still able to get into the UK.

Valeria Collina, an Italian Muslim convert, claims that her son was radicalised after arriving in London two years ago when he started working at a Pakistani restaurant.

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Both failed to reach the "Caliphate", but both ended up as neighbours in east London, from where they planned and brought jihad to the streets of this country.

"In fact he never lived here".

He is not thought to have been on a watch list either in Britain or Ireland.

Earlier, London police admitted that one of the other two attackers, Khuram Shazad Butt, was on their radar as a member of the outlawed radical Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, co-founded by notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

The Guardian reported that he worked as a pastry chef.

Butt had notably featured in a Channel 4 TV documentary entitled The Jihadis Next Door and, according to the British media, numerous people alarmed by his views had gone to the authorities.

Meanwhile, all 12 people who were arrested after the attack were released without charges, they added.

Relatives of London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt say they are "shocked and appalled" by his actions.

Butt was a 27-year-old British citizen born in Pakistan.

During a campaign rally in Slough she announced plans to sidestep human rights laws to toughen controls on suspects by tightening limits on their internet use and increasing curfews.

British media said he had also worked at the fast food chain KFC and was an avid fan of the Arsenal football team. He told the BBC: "People are going to look at the front pages today and they're going to say, 'How on earth could we have let this guy or possibly more through the net?'"

The question is whether there was, at the time, anything in his covert communications that might have led to a different decision, had it been known. "He wasn't aggressive; he used to chat but lately he was just "hi" and "bye", he told AFP.

Other reports by My Hot News

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