The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Park knife at­tack was ter­ror­ism

‘Kind’ teacher one of three killed

- Crime · Terrorism · Incidents · Libya · Reading · Boris Johnson · Deliveroo · John F. Campbell · Royal Thai Police · Wokingham · Berkshire

The ter­ror sus­pect ac­cused of killing three peo­ple in a Read­ing park briefly came to the at­ten­tion of MI5 last year, se­cu­rity sources have said.

Khairi Saadal­lah, a 25-year-old refugee who fled the civil war in Libya, was de­tained at the scene on sus­pi­cion of mur­der but was re-ar­rested yes­ter­day un­der the ter­ror­ism act.

Three other peo­ple were in­jured dur­ing the at­tack at 7pm on Satur­day in For­bury Gar­dens in Read­ing town cen­tre.

Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son said he was “ap­palled and sick­ened” by the at­tack and said “we will not hes­i­tate to take ac­tion” if there are lessons to be learned from the cir­cum­stances.

PA un­der­stands that Saadal­lah briefly came to the at­ten­tion of the se­cu­rity ser­vices in 2019, but the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided did not meet the thresh­old for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

As counter-ter­ror of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gate, men­tal health was un­der­stood to be con­sid­ered a ma­jor fac­tor.

The sus­pect was jailed in Oc­to­ber for a com­plex se­ries of non-ter­ror of­fences be­fore his sen­tence was re­duced to one of 17 months and 20 days’ im­pris­on­ment in the Court of Ap­peal.

One of the ap­peal judges who gave the judg­ment in March, Mr Jus­tice Goss, noted Saadal­lah’s var­i­ous men­tal health is­sues in re­duc­ing the sen­tence in March.

Mean­while, one of the vic­tims of Satur­day’s at­tack was named by The Holt School in Wok­ing­ham as James Fur­long, its head of his­tory and gov­ern­ment and pol­i­tics.

A let­ter from the school, which has been shared on­line, de­scribes Mr Fur­long as a “kind and gen­tle man” who had a “real sense of duty and cared for each and ev­ery one of our stu­dents”.

De­liv­eroo driver Amir Hady­oon, 31, saw the sus­pect, who was cov­ered in blood, ar­rested out­side the job cen­tre on Friar Street in Read­ing, a short dis­tance from For­bury Gar­dens.

Mr Hady­oon told re­porters:“He wasn’t even blink­ing, he looked re­ally weird.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have said they are not look­ing for any­one else in con­nec­tion with the at­tack.

Chief Con­sta­ble John Camp­bell, of Thames Val­ley Po­lice, said: “In­ci­dents of this na­ture are very rare, though I know that will be of lit­tle com­fort to those in­volved and un­der­stand the con­cern this in­ci­dent will have caused amongst our lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

He asked the pub­lic to avoid the area and also to “avoid spec­u­la­tion” about the at­tack as he ap­pealed for any video footage to be shared with po­lice only.

The prime min­is­ter has held a meet­ing with se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, po­lice and se­nior min­is­ters over the in­ci­dent.

One of the pa­tients ad­mit­ted to Royal Berk­shire Hos­pi­tal has been dis­charged, while an­other re­mains in a sta­ble con­di­tion un­der ob­ser­va­tion, a spokeswoma­n said.

All roads sur­round­ing For­bury Gar­dens re­mained cor­doned off.

Blue and white tents have been erected next to the walls of the park, with of­fi­cers pa­trolling a cor­don.

The head of counter ter­ror­ism polic­ing,

Metropoli­tan Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu, said the mo­ti­va­tion for the killings are “far from cer­tain”.

He em­pha­sised that the at­tack was not as­so­ci­ated “in any way” with the Black Lives Mat­ter protests.

Mr Basu said there was no ev­i­dence to sug­gest any­one at­tend­ing crowded places is at risk, but asked peo­ple to “be alert, not alarmed, when in pub­lic”.

Flo­ral trib­utes have now been­lef­t­atthescene.

 ??  ?? SCENE: Po­lice at the Abbey gate­way of For­bury Gar­dens, where three peo­ple were killed in Read­ing, with a Libyan refugee now in cus­tody
SCENE: Po­lice at the Abbey gate­way of For­bury Gar­dens, where three peo­ple were killed in Read­ing, with a Libyan refugee now in cus­tody
 ??  ?? Po­lice tents in For­bury Gar­dens
Po­lice tents in For­bury Gar­dens
 ??  ?? Chief Con­sta­ble John Camp­bell ad­dresses the me­dia
Chief Con­sta­ble John Camp­bell ad­dresses the me­dia
 ??  ?? Armed po­lice at a block of flats in Read­ing
Armed po­lice at a block of flats in Read­ing

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