London attacker wanted 'first-hand terror experience' in Jammu-Kashmir

Updated: Dec 01, 2019, 07:44 IST | Agencies | London

Usman Khan, 28, had been released from jail after being convicted of terror offences, including a planned attack on the London Stock Exchange, the American embassy and the home of Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the scene of the terrorist attack. Pic/AFP
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the scene of the terrorist attack. Pic/AFP

London: Usman Khan, the London Bridge attacker who was shot dead on Friday after killing two people, planned to set up a madrassa and terror training camp near a mosque in Pakistan, and wanted to have 'first-hand terrorist experience' in Jammu and Kashmir before returning to the UK.

Details of Khan's plans and those of his accomplices were set out in a 2012 judgement at the Woolwich Crown Court, which jailed him for eight years. Khan, who wanted to set up the camp on land owned by his family and spent his late teen years in Pakistan, was released on licence in December 2018, wearing an electronic tag.

Targets discussed by Khan and his accomplices based in London and Cardiff included Boris Johnson, who was then the mayor of London, the London Stock Exchange, and unleashing a Mumbai-style attack in the parliament complex in Westminster.

Judge Alan Wilkie said: "The long, monitored, discussions of Usman Khan about the madrassa and his attitudes towards it and terrorism are highly eloquent of the seriousness of their purpose".

"Usman Khan and Nazam Hussain were to obtain first hand terrorist experience in Kashmir". Their plots were busted after intelligence agency MI5 tracked Khan and his accomplices before their arrest in December 2010. Releasing the identity of the attacker, Neil Basu of Scotland Yard said: "We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as Usman Khan, who had been residing in the Staffordshire area".

Who is Usman Khan?

The London Bridge attacker who killed two persons on Black Friday attack was a British citizen born in the UK. According to reports, Khan left school with no qualifications after spending part of his late teens in Pakistan, where he lived with his mother when she became ill. On his return to the UK, he started preaching extremism on the Internet and attracted a significant following. In January 2012, Khan pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism violating the UK's Terrorism Act 2006. At the time, the men were described as an Al Qaeda-inspired group that wanted to send mail bombs to various targets.

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