BRAV­ERY ON THE BRIDGE

Pass­ing de­tec­tive grabs killer’s knife on Lon­don Bridge af­ter he­roes chase him with whale tusk ++ At­tacker was ter­ror­ist out of jail on tag ++ He stabs man and woman dead be­fore po­lice shoot him ++ Mur­derer on day re­lease went to aid of vic­tim

Scottish Daily Mail - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Cam­ber Chief Crime Cor­re­spon­dent TURN TO NEXT PAGE

‘He was in pri­son with the at­tacker’

THE knife­man who killed two peo­ple in a ram­page be­fore be­ing shot by po­lice on Lon­don Bridge was a con­victed Is­lamic ter­ror­ist who was out of jail on a tag.

The at­tacker, who was wear­ing a fake sui­cide belt, was shot twice by po­lice in full view of dozens of hor­ri­fied on­look­ers.

Mem­bers of the public were hailed for their ‘breath­tak­ing hero­ism’ af­ter they ran to­wards the sus­pected sui­cide bomber – un­aware the belt he was wear­ing was not real.

The killer is be­lieved to have been re­leased from jail in the last cou­ple of years on an elec­tronic tag, un­der a cur­few. He was wear­ing the tag be­cause he had pre­vi­ously been con­victed of a ter­ror­ism of­fence, a White­hall source con­firmed.

The at­tack will send shock­waves through the se­cu­rity ser­vices. It is be­lieved to be the first time some­one con­victed of an Is­lamic ter­ror of­fence has been freed and gone on to com­mit mur­der.

The in­ci­dent will also raise sig­nif­i­cant ques­tions about the mon­i­tor­ing of con­victed ter­ror­ists in the com­mu­nity.

The killer is thought to have been at­tend­ing a Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity con­fer­ence on pris­oner re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion be­ing held at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall, just north of the bridge, when he started his ram­page, killing a man and woman and in­jur­ing at least three oth­ers.

He is un­der­stood to have threat­ened to blow up the hall be­fore car­ry­ing out his at­tacks.

He then ran south along the bridge be­fore be­ing stopped by mem­bers of the public armed with a fire ex­tin­guisher and a 5ft-long stick be­lieved to have been a nar­whal tusk.

A group of six men then leapt on top of the ter­ror­ist to wrest the knife from his grasp. A wit­ness to the at­tack claims he was told the as­sailant had been in pri­son for ter­ror­ism of­fences.

Main­te­nance worker Jamie Bakhit, from Pur­ley, south Lon­don, said he spoke to one of the men who helped wres­tle the knife­man to the ground af­ter they were taken to the Sal­va­tion Army head­quar­ters to be in­ter­viewed by po­lice.

He said: ‘The guy who was on top of him said he had been in pri­son for ter­ror­ism, ap­par­ently. Some of the guys who were on top of him were ex-pris­on­ers and they had all been in the Fish­mon­gers’ Hall. The guy told me he was in pri­son with the at­tacker.’

A group of six by­standers had chased the bearded at­tacker, who had at least two knives – dash­ing across the road and over bar­ri­ers to bun­dle him to the ground.

Sec­onds later, armed po­lice ar­rived and dragged away the he­roes who were pin­ning the sus­pect down. Video footage cap­tured by bus pas­sen­gers go­ing past the scene re­vealed how firearms of­fi­cers leapt back in shock on see­ing what ap­peared to be ex­plo­sives strapped to the ter­ror­ist’s body.

Of­fi­cers were heard shout­ing ‘stop mov­ing’ be­fore they shot the man dead, blast­ing him twice at close range in front of wit­nesses who ran scream­ing in ter­ror.

A num­ber of stab vic­tims were taken to hospi­tal with crit­i­cal in­juries, and sources said a man and a woman had died. Se­cu­rity sources said Is­lamic ter­ror­ism was now ‘a key line of in­quiry’.

It is be­lieved to be the first time that an Is­lamist ter­ror­ist re­leased on a tag has com­mit­ted mur­der.

Last night West­min­ster’s Min­istry of Jus­tice launched a re­view.

The rev­e­la­tion that he was on a tag will call into ques­tion the sys­tem which al­lows ex­tended mon­i­tor­ing of of­fend­ers af­ter they have served their time. The at­tack

came just two and a half years af­ter three ter­ror­ists killed eight and in­jured 48 oth­ers on the bridge and neigh­bour­ing Bor­ough Mar­ket in June 2017. It started in Fish­mon­gers’ Hall, where the Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity project to bring stu­dents and pris­on­ers to­gether was tak­ing place.

Last night the Prime Min­is­ter and the Mayor of Lon­don paid trib­ute to the brav­ery of the mem­bers of the public who had halted the ter­ri­fy­ing ram­page just af­ter 2pm yesterday – hail­ing them as ‘the best of us’. One of the men, smartly dressed in a suit, ‘ran through traf­fic’ to dis­arm the at­tacker.

The man, be­lieved to be a Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice of­fi­cer who was on duty walk­ing back from a court case, was filmed try­ing to usher on­look­ers to safety as he backed away hold­ing the blade he had ripped from the ter­ror­ist.

An­other by­stander, tour guide Ste­vie Hurst, leapt to his aid. He said: ‘I was driv­ing, I stopped the car and ran to­wards it. There were about five guys there when we got there.

I jumped in and kicked him in the head to make him re­lease his knife. A few oth­ers did so. He was shout­ing, “Get off me, get off me”. I was just try­ing to do as much as I could to get him to re­lease the knife. The knife flew away. The mo­ment they rolled him over off his chest, they saw he had a bomb vest.’

An­other of the by­standers who tack­led the at­tacker, Thomas Gray, 24, from Brix­ton, south Lon­don, said one of the knives was at­tached to the ter­ror­ist’s hand with duct tape.

One of the he­roes is be­lieved to have helped stop the at­tacker with a 5ft nar­wahl whale tusk. TV di­rec­tor Amy Coop tweeted: ‘A guy who was with us at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall took a 5ft nar­whal tusk from the wall and went out to con­front the at­tacker. You can see him stand­ing over the man (with what looks like a white pole) in the video. We were try­ing to help vic­tims in­side but that man’s a hero’.

It emerged last night that a man who is be­lieved to have raced to help one of the vic­tims is con­victed mur­derer James Ford, 42, who was out on day re­lease from a life sen­tence for killing a young woman with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in 2003.

Wit­ness Ce­cilia Sodero, who was on the top deck of a bus go­ing over Lon­don Bridge, de­scribed see­ing the knife­man ly­ing on the ground with a ‘very scary de­vice, like a bomb de­vice’. One worker at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall, iden­ti­fied only as Co­ralie, said she saw two or three peo­ple stabbed at the head­quar­ters of the Wor­ship­ful Com­pany of Fish­mon­gers, one of the liv­ery com­pa­nies of the City of Lon­don.

‘One mi­nor and the other two were proper bleed­ing,’ she said. ‘One of our col­leagues is in hospi­tal with three stab (wounds).’

An­other wit­ness, Guy Lawrence, 48, said he saw a man run­ning out of Fish­mon­gers’ Hall, armed with two 20-inch kitchen knives – fol­lowed by mem­bers of the public with a stick and fire ex­tin­guisher. He said: ‘I saw all traf­fic stopped in front of me. I heard shoot­ing –

there was an at­tack. And I saw a guy on the floor. I heard two shots – Bang! Bang!’

One dis­tressed man emerged from Fish­mon­gers’ Hall say­ing his friend had been killed in the at­tack. Weep­ing, he said: ‘My friend died in my arms. I just want him back.’ Hun­dreds ran for cover as they heard shots. Wit­nesses de­scribed how pan­icked crowds fled into nearby Mon­u­ment Tube sta­tion.

Work­ers were kept in­side nearby of­fices as po­lice se­cured the area, which re­mained on lockdown last night.

The PM paid trib­ute to the emer­gency ser­vices and by­standers who halted the ter­ror­ist’s ram­page. Speak­ing at Down­ing Street, Mr John­son said: ‘For me they rep­re­sent the very best of our coun­try and I thank them on be­half of all of our coun­try.’

The Con­ser­va­tives and Labour both sus­pended elec­tion cam­paign­ing in Lon­don last night. Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘What’s re­mark­able about the images we’ve seen is the breath-tak­ing hero­ism of mem­bers of the public who lit­er­ally ran to­wards dan­ger, not know­ing what con­fronted them.’

Last night Scot­land Yard’s head of counter-ter­ror­ism, Neil Basu, con­firmed that po­lice are treat­ing the lat­est at­tack as ter­ror­ism, al­though he said the killer’s mo­tive re­mained un­clear. The at­tack came four weeks af­ter the UK ter­ror­ism threat level was down­graded from ‘se­vere’ to ‘sub­stan­tial’, mean­ing at­tacks were thought to be ‘likely’ rather than ‘highly likely’.

Ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers will now be on pa­trol across Lon­don in the wake of the hor­ror.

Scot­land Yard Com­mis­sioner Dame Cres­sida Dick con­firmed that two peo­ple had died in the ‘ter­ri­ble and mind­less’ at­tack.

She said po­lice con­fronted and shot the ter­ror­ist just five min­utes af­ter they got the first call about the in­ci­dent at 1.58pm.

Dame Cres­sida said de­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing if he had ac­com­plices.

She added: ‘We will be work­ing to min­imise any threat there may be out there.’

Re­port­ing team: Re­becca Cam­ber, Claire Duf­fin, David Bar­rett, Sam Green­hill, Mario Led­with, Xan­tha Leatham, Sarah Har­ris, Neil Sears, David Wilkes, Jake Hur­furt, Eleanor Hay­ward and Larisa Brown

KILLER IN BLACK CAP HOSED DOWN Passers-by with a fire ex­tin­guisher and whale tusk take down ter­ror­ist SHOT DEAD IN HOAX BOMB BELT The killer lies slumped on the ground af­ter armed po­lice shot him twice

Con­fronted: The ter­ror­ist stands bran­dish­ing blades (cir­cled) in each hand as he is cor­nered by civil­ians armed with a nar­whal tusk and a fire ex­tin­guisher

Ter­ror: At­tacker runs across Lon­don Bridge clutch­ing a weapon (cir­cled)

Pur­suit: A fear­less mem­ber of the public chases him along the bridge

Ev­i­dence: A Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice of­fi­cer takes away one of the knives the killer wielded. His face has been pixel­lated at the re­quest of Scot­land Yard

Con­fer­ence: Mem­bers of the Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity pris­oner re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion group at the Fish­mon­gers’ Hall yesterday. They were cel­e­brat­ing their fifth an­niver­sary with a gath­er­ing of ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts and for­mer pris­on­ers in Lon­don

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