British police say a man wearing a fake explosive device was shot and killed after a ‘terror incident’ near London Bridge that left two people dead.
USA TODAY London’s Metropolitan police said Friday that an officer shot and killed a man wearing a fake explosive device following a stabbing incident near London Bridge that left two people dead.
Three other victims were reported in serious condition in the knife attack that police officials called a “terrorist incident.”Health officials said one of the injured was in critical but stable condition, one was stable and the third had less serious injuries.
Neil Basu, an assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said 28-year-old Usman Khan was attending a program that works to educate prisoners when he launched the attack, killing a man and a woman and injuring three others just yards from the site of a deadly 2017 van and knife rampage. Basu said the suspect appeared to be wearing a bomb vest but it turned out to be “a hoax explosive device.
“The attack raises difficult questions for Britain’s government and security services. Police said Khan was convicted in 2012 of terrorism offenses and released in December 2018 “on license,” which means he had to meet certain conditions or face recall to prison.
Several British media outlets reported that he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had “long argued” that it was a “mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early.”
“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,” he said.
Johnson, who chaired a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee late Friday, said more police would be patrolling the streets in the coming days “for reassurance purposes.” Police said they were treating the stabbings as a terrorist attack and were not actively looking for any other suspects.
The violence erupted less than two weeks before Britain holds a national election Dec. 12. The main political parties temporarily suspended campaigning in London as a mark of respect.
Hours after the London attack, police in The Hague reported a similar stabbing on a major shopping street in that Dutch city that left three minors injured. The victims were all later released from the hospital. Police were searching for a middle-aged man in a gray tracksuit as a possible suspect, the BBC reported.
It was not immediately clear if incidents were related. Police spokeswoman Marije Kuiper told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that it was not clear if the stabbing in The Hague was a terror incident.