London Bridge Terrorist Committed Racist Attack on White Schoolmate, Associated with Rigby Killer in Prison
Jihadist Usman Khan had committed a racist attack against a white 13-year-old fellow pupil, an inquest into the deaths of the terrorist’s two victims has heard.
Ongoing inquests into the deaths of Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, who Khan stabbed to death in November 2019 at Fishmongers’ Hall in London Bridge during an offenders’ rehabilitation event, heard on Tuesday that Khan had been radicalised from a young age. When later imprisoned for terror offences, he interacted with one of the country’s most notorious terrorists, Michael Adebowale who beheaded Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013.
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, to parents from Pakistan, Usman Khan was investigated by police and suspended from school for a racist attack on a white boy when he was 13, during which he called the child a “white motherf***er” amongst other remarks.
Khan had become radicalised online as a teen by listening to sermons by Anjem Choudary and, in his teens, was associated with the convicted hate preacher’s al-Muhajiroun group, which has been banned in the UK.
After being convicted in 2012 for his part in a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange, he became acquainted in prison with Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo and was heard in 2017 discussing Islam with the murderous jihadi through his cell window.
The inquest heard that Khan was considered an “influential” inmate and was categorised as “high risk” but was still released from prison in December 2018, killing Jones and Merritt 11 months later at the Learning Together rehabilitation event in London.
Khan had initially been given an indeterminate life sentence — which can only end if the Parole Board agrees the prisoner no longer poses a threat to public safety — in 2012, but it was quashed by the Court of Appeal the following year.
Last week’s sitting of the inquest had heard that while in his final stretch in prison, authorities suspected he was still a risk and was radicalising other prisoners in jail.
Hearings from earlier this week revealed that the proprietor of Fishmongers’ Hall was not informed that a convicted terrorist would be attending, saying he would have refused to hold the event had he known.
Commodore Toby Williamson of the Fishmongers’ Hall Company said: “What we didn’t know was Usman Khan … was a terrorist.”
“People who knew of Usman Khan, the prison setting he had been in … all of that was unsighted to us,” Mr Williamson said, adding: “It was known to others; regrettably it didn’t allow us to make any precautions or decide whether it was an appropriate event for us.”
London’s Guildhall heard on Tuesday that the risk he posed was so severe, that learning to drive a dumper truck to increase his employability was “deemed not appropriate”, but there was no assessment into the risk of him attending the London event.
It was also revealed that Khan had “prepared for martyrdom” before attending the event, by removing all of his body hair and attending the barber. Khan is believed to have used razors and wax strips to remove his body hair in a toilet at Fishmongers’ Hall before donning a fake suicide vest and launching his fatal stabbing attack.