British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pointed the finger at Britain’s prison system for the Friday attack on London Bridge that killed two people and injured three others.
Johnson said it was a “mistake” to have given the suspect in the attack early release from prison, where he had been jailed on a terrorism charge.
Prior to chairing an emergency meeting with other U.K. government officials, Johnson said he had “long argued” it is a “mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early and it is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists,” according to Sky News.
“This guy was out … on automatic early release and I have long said that this system simply isn’t working,” Johnson also said Friday.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 30, 2019
“It is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists, that I think the public will want to see,” Johnson said, as Fox News reported.
He also promised to “toughen up sentences,” according to the BBC.
“I’ve said for a long time now, that I think the practice of automatic, early release where we cut a sentence in half and let really serious and violent offenders out early, simply isn’t working,” Johnson said. “And I think you’ve had some very good evidence of how that isn’t working, I’m afraid, with this case.”
Oh my god. #LondonBridge attacker was jailed after plotting to attack London Stock Exchange, classed as never to be released, yet some utter loons let him go. Now two people are dead. I’m so SICK of terrorists coming first and the public last https://t.co/79OkXAgUy2
— Suzanne Evans (@SuzanneEvans1) November 30, 2019
So the London Bridge attacker was a convicted terrorist.
He had been released from prison with a foot tag.
Then he went and killed 2 people in the London Bridge attack😢
Why was he let out???
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) November 29, 2019
The suspect 28-year-old Usman Khan, who was killed Friday by police, had been convicted in 2012 of “terrorism offenses,” Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said.
He was freed in 2018 in what the British call “on license,” which is comparable to parole.
Khan had been jailed for taking part in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
Two members of the public have died after a stabbing attack at London Bridge, in which police shot dead the suspect, who was wearing a “hoax explosive device”
The Met Police has declared the attack a terrorist incident
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 29, 2019
Britain’s Parole Board said there was no decision to grant Khan release, and that he simply served the portion of his sentence that was required and was then freed.
“Given the seriousness of this attack, it is understandable that there is speculation about the attacker’s release from prison,” the board said in a statement, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
“The Parole Board can confirm it had no involvement with the release of the individual identified as the attacker, who appears to have been released automatically on license (as required by law), without ever being referred to the Board,” its statement said.
“Whilst we are still in the early stages of the investigation, at this time we are not actively seeking anyone else in relation to the attack,” Basu, the counterterrorism chief for Met Police, said, adding that “no other people were involved in this attack and that there is no outstanding threat to the public.”
“The circumstances, as we currently understand them, are that the attacker attended an event earlier on Friday afternoon at Fishmonger’s Hall called ‘Learning Together,” Basu said.
“We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers.”
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