Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane named as two of three London Bridge attackers

Butt was known to police and MI5, the Met says, but there was 'no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned'

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The Independent Online

Police have named two of the men they say were shot dead by police after the London Bridge terror attack.

The Metropolitan Police said they were Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, both from Barking in east London.

Butt, 27, was a Pakistan-born British citizen while Redouane, 30, had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan and also used the name Rachid Elkhdar.

The Met said: “Khuram Shazad Butt was known to the police and MI5. However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritised accordingly. The other named man, Rachid Redouane, was not known.

“Work is ongoing to understand more about them, their connections and whether they were assisted or supported by anyone else. We cannot say more about them at this stage.

“Detectives would like to hear from anyone who has any information about these men that may assist them with the investigation. They are particularly keen to hear about places they may have frequented and their movements in the days and hours before the attack.

“The investigation into this horrific attack is fast-moving and complex as we piece together a fuller picture of what occurred.

“So far officers have arrested 12 people — seven women and five men — and searched six properties, four on Sunday and a further two properties today. One of the arrested men and one of the women were subsequently released.”

The UK is facing a “severe and high tempo terrorist threat”, the force said.

The three attackers hired the white Renault van used to ram pedestrians on London Bridge, according to police.

Their assault, which began shortly after 10pm on Saturday night, left seven dead and dozens injured. Some 21 people are still fighting for their lives.

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Michael Mimbo was a neighbour of attacker Khuram Butt, who he knew as Abz (Lizzie Dearden )

Butt was known to his friends as “Abz”, and neighbours described him as a doting father-of-two and an Arsenal fan. They said he was friendly and polite, saying the he was known for attending barbecues, playing with local children and giving out sweets in the nearby park.

But in recent months some parents had raised concerns about “brainwashing” after their children came home saying they wanted to become Muslims.

Abz had appeared in a 2016 Channel 4 documentary about British jihadis, in which he was seen among a group of extremist praying with a black Islamist flag in Regent's Park in central London.

A former friend told the BBC’s Asian Network he had contacted the authorities after becoming concerned about Butt's extremist views. 

Butt had been radicalised watching extremist videos online, he said, adding: “We spoke about a particular attack that happened and like most radicals he had a justification for anything and everything, and that day I realised I needed to contact the authorities.”

Michael Mimbo, who lives across the road from the man he knew as Abz, told The Independent his neighbour never spoke to him about religion and politics, mainly sticking to their shared passion for Arsenal or passing the time of day at a nearby gym.

But he recalled him appearing increasingly devout in recent months, growing his beard longer and starting to regularly wear traditional Islamic dress.

“Football was his thing – when I saw that picture of him [shot on the ground] I recognised his shirt,” said Mr Mimbo. “I thought maybe he was just devoting himself a bit more and becoming more religious.

“But I never, ever would have expected this – we didn't have a clue that he was capable of this.”

A woman who gave her name as Ramona Huczko remembered Abz doting on his young son and new baby.

“He was a good father,” she told The Independent. “You'd always see him feeding his son. We're shocked that he could do this – he is the devil.”

After further arrests were made in Caledon Road, East Ham, one 22-year-old neighbour who did not want to be named told The Independent: "It sounded like an explosion".

They addded: "Then we heard bang, bang, bang, bang - it was frightening."

Ben Tamaklo, who lives on the residential street, said he looked out to see armed police swarming the street.

"We were shocked because we thought nothing was wrong in this area," he added.

Another neighbour, who has lived on the street since the 1970s, said he saw four members of a family being taken away - two brothers, their sister and their mother.

"I thought they were a good family," he told The Independent. "I talk to the dad a lot because he's from Lahore in Pakistan and I'm originally from India. I used to see him going to Friday prayers, he seemed nice."

The man believed the "religious" family had been living at the house for six to eight months, saying the mother wore full Islamic dress including a black niqab covering her face, while the brothers both had beards and all dressed traditionally to go to the mosque.

Plain clothed detectives were seen leaving the house carrying evidence bags as part of the residential road remained cordoned off, with the windows of the raided house boarded up.

It lies a short distance from a row of shops where armed police threatened to shoot a man attempting to escape out of a flat window on Sunday. He was later detained.

Employees at a chicken shop below the raided flats described those detained as three Romanians - two men and a woman - and four black men.

Searches continued at the Barking home of Khuram Butt, who gave his name locally as Abz.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police described the investigation as "fast moving and complex" as 10 arrested people are questioned.

Seven women and five men were arrested at six properties searched in East London so far. One of the arrested men and one of the women were subsequently released.

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