Family of Usman Khan 'shocked' by London Bridge attack

Thursday 05th December 2019 00:57 EST

The family of London Bridge attacker Usman Khan have said they are "saddened and shocked" by what happened and "totally condemn his actions".

In a statement, they expressed their condolences to the victims' families

Khan, who was convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012, killed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, at a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday.

Separately, a statement from a kitchen porter who tried to fight Khan said he was coming to terms with the incident.

Lukasz, who works at the Fishmongers' Hall venue where Khan began his attack, said he "acted instinctively" by grabbing a pole to try to stop Khan.

"When the attack happened, I acted instinctively. I am now coming to terms with the whole traumatic incident and would like the space to do this in privacy, with the support of my family," he said.

The statement confirmed he was stabbed in the attack and taken to hospital but has now returned home.

Two women were also injured in the attack before Khan was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge - the women remain in a stable condition in hospital.

In a statement issued through the Metropolitan Police, Khan's family said: "We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done. We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured."

Khan, 28, was arrested in December 2010 and sentenced in 2012 to indeterminate detention for "public protection" with a minimum jail term of eight years after pleading guilty to preparing terrorist acts.

He had been part of an al-Qaeda inspired group that considered attacks in the UK, including at the London Stock Exchange.

But in 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term, and ordered Khan to serve at least half this - eight years - behind bars.

Since his subsequent release in December 2018, Khan had been living in Stafford and was required to wear a GPS police tag. He was armed with two knives and was wearing a fake suicide vest during the attack at Fishmongers' Hall last Friday. He was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

Friday's attack sparked a political row over the release of Khan and a debate over the criminal justice system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused of "trying to exploit" the attack "for political gain".

He blamed Khan's release on legislation introduced under "a leftie government", and called for longer sentences and an end to automatic release.

Mr Johnson denied claims he was politicising the attack, saying he had campaigned against early release for some time, having previously raised the issue during his 2012 campaign to be mayor of London. He said he felt "a huge amount of sympathy" for the relatives of the victims.

Meanwhile hate preacher Anjem Choudary could face a recall to jail after he was pictured with the London Bridge terrorist. Khan was a student and "personal friend" of the radical cleric, who was imprisoned for inviting support for ISIS in 2016.

A photograph from March 2009 shows the pair sharing a platform at the conference in Stoke. Choudary, 52, was released from jail last year after serving less than half of his sentence subject to fulfilling more than 20 conditions.

But sources claim those conditions are now under urgent review, The Telegraph reports.

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