The third terrorist behind the London Bridge terror attack has been named as Moroccan-Italian Youssef Zaghba.
Italian police had warned both British and Moroccan authorities about Zaghba’s movements, according to Corriere della Sera newspaper. However, British police said Zaghba was not a “subject of interest” to police or the intelligence services, AP reported.
Zaghba was living in Barking, east London, and working at a restaurant in the capital, Corriere della Sera said.
Together with Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and RachidRedouane, 30, Zaghba killed seven and injured 48 around London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night (3 June).
Zaghba, 22, was born in Fez, Morocco, to a Moroccan father and Italian mother, who now lives in Bologna.
He was charged with international terrorism offences after Italian authorities arrested him at an airport in Bologna in March 2016, while he was trying to board a flight to Turkey.
At the time of the arrest, police found in his cell phone images and videos with religious content, including footage of a beheading as well as images of Isis flags. Police signalled him as a suspected “foreign fighter”.
Authorities became suspicious when they realised Zaghba had only booked a one-way ticket and was travelling with a small rucksack, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. They suspected that he was heading to Syria.
The charges were later dropped.
After the arrest, Zaghba’s mother – who had converted to Islam, according to Corriere della Sera – reportedly thanked the police several times for having barred her son from travelling to Syria.
Zaghba and his two accomplices ploughed a vehicle into pedestrians on London Bridge at 9.58pm on Saturday (3 June) before stabbing people in the restaurants and bars in Borough Market. All three men were shot dead by police within eight minutes of the first 999 call.
Redouane worked as a chef and claimed to be of Moroccan-Libyan descent. Butt was a trainee customer services assistant on the London Underground and had appeared in the Channel 4 documentary The Jihadist Next Door, in which he was shown unveiling an Isis flag in a London park.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Sky News that security services had to answer serious questions about how Butt “slipped through the net”.
“People are going to look at the front pages today and they’re going to say ‘how on Earth could we have let this guy or possibly more through the net?’ What happened, how could he possibly be on a Channel 4 programme and be committing atrocities like this?'” Johnson said.
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