London Bridge attack: Victim's girlfriend breaks down at vigil in Cambridge

Elias Hubbard
December 3, 2019

Merritt and Jones were taking part in an event at Fishmongers' Hall, close to London Bridge, to mark five years of the university's Learning Together program, which brings together people in criminal justice and higher education institutions.

An accomplice of Usman Khan, the convicted terrorist shot dead on the London Bridge during last Friday's terror attack, has been arrested after the United Kingdom security services launched an urgent review of risky prisoners as the scene of the attack was opened to traffic and pedestrians amid heavy police presence on Monday. Khan was attending a Learning Together event when he began his attack.

"The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another, but it's by focussing on the values that bind us, to take hope from the heroism of ordinary Londoners and our emergency services who ran towards danger, risking their lives to help people they didn't even know", said Khan.

Nazam Hussain, an associate of the London Bridge attacker, was arrested over the weekend as security agencies embarked on an operation to prevent potential copycat assaults.

Police say Khan was pronounced dead on the bridge.

Toby Williamson, the chief of Fishmongers' Hall, spoke about the attack on BBC Breakfast Monday, and singling out his praise for the cook Lukasz who helped take down Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk. Mr. Williamson told how Mr. Lucasz suffered five wounds to his left-hand side as he fended off the knifeman with a narwhal tusk during "about a minute of one-on-one straight combat" - allowing others time to escape danger.

Friday's attack has become a political issue ahead of the December 12 election.

Johnson has vowed to take steps to ensure people are not released early when they commit serious offences.

He was imprisoned there before his release on licence in December previous year.

Convicted of terror offences in February 2012, he was released from prison on licence in December 2018, halfway through his 16-year prison sentence.

Opposition parties blamed years of cuts to the prison and probation services by the Conservatives, who have been in power since 2010.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper added that the government had been warned that when it scrapped indeterminate sentences in 2012 there would be a lack of resources for probation, monitoring and rehabilitation.

It's unclear what impact the attack will have on the election.

"Everybody, right-minded people, want to see people like Usman Khan locked up and kept away from broader society, but to do that you have got to have the prison places, you have got to have the capacity to make the right decisions". "The reason this killer was out on the streets was because of automatic early release which was brought in by a leftie government", Mr. Johnson said Sunday.

But Ian Acheson, a criminologist who led a government-commissioned review into Islamic extremism in British prisons, said United Kingdom deradicalization programs were ineffective and overstretched authorities were ill-equipped to deal with extremists determined to play the system.

"People will be aware that the man who carried out the attack in London was living in Staffordshire".

Merritt was identified by his family on Saturday.

News of Jack's death was confirmed on Twitter by his father, David Merritt, who urged that his death not be "used as the pretext for more draconian sentences for detaining people unnecessarily".

In the wake of the attack, authorities are urgently reviewing the release of more than 70 other former terror prisoners.

The remembrance service at Guildhall Yard comes as West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts has been recalled to prison due to a suspected breach of his licence conditions. Two of them remain hospitalized in stable condition, according to London's Metropolitan Police Service. The third was discharged.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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