MI5 role before London Bridge attack 'of legitimate concern'

The suspension of priority MI5 investigations in relation to the ringleader of the London Bridge attacks before the atrocity is a matter of “legitimate public concern”, the chief coroner for England and Wales has said.

In his prevention of future deaths report, published on Friday, Mark Lucraft QC also suggested that further measures should be introduced to reduce the risk of rental vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.

Eight people were killed when three terrorists led by Khuram Butt, 27, drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then began stabbing people in a 10-minute rampage on 3 June 2017.

MI5 had been been investigating Butt since 2015 over concerns he wanted to stage an attack. But the investigation was suspended twice, in 2016 and again from 21 March to 4 May 2017, weeks before the attacks.

The three attackers (L-R): Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.

The three attackers (L-R): Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

During the inquests, which concluded on 28 June after more than seven weeks of harrowing evidence, lawyers for the victims argued that valuable intelligence could have been lost as a result of the suspensions.

Lucraft’s report raises a number of other concerns about the actions of the security services before the attacks, as well as the response by emergency services on the night.

More details soon …


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