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London Bridge terrorist was let out of prison AUTOMATICALLY and Boris Johnson says it was ‘mistake’

Boris Johnson said it was a ‘mistake’ to release the London Bridge terrorist from prison last year, allowing him to go on a knife rampage yesterday which killed two while he was still wearing an electronic tag.

Usman Khan, 28, was jailed in 2012 for terrorism offences for his part in an al Qaida-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp on land in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir owned by his family.

The Stoke-on-Trent-based radical, along with two co-conspirators, originally received an indeterminate sentence for public protection but this was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a determinate 16-year jail term.

Boris Johnson said it was a ‘mistake’ to release the London Bridge terrorist from prison last year

He was released on licence in December 2018 and was still wearing a monitoring tag at the time of yesterday’s attack.

Speaking before chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Friday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had ‘long argued’ that criminals should not be released early.

Usman Khan, 28, was jailed in 2012 for terrorism offences for his part in an al Qaida-inspired terror group

Usman Khan, 28, was jailed in 2012 for terrorism offences for his part in an al Qaida-inspired terror group

He said it is a ‘mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early and 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’. 

Johnson said more police would be patrolling the streets in the coming days ‘for reassurance purposes’.

In 2013, when sentencing Khan along with two terrorists, the Court of Appeal said indeterminate sentences given to them should be replaced with fixed terms.

Judges said the Parole Board was best placed to decide when the men were safe to be be released from jail.

Lord Justice Leveson said at the time: ‘There is no doubt that anyone convicted of this type of offence could legitimately be considered dangerous.

Khan, pictured left, killed a man and a woman before he was shot dead on London Bridge yesterday

Khan, pictured left, killed a man and a woman before he was shot dead on London Bridge yesterday

‘There is an argument for concluding that anyone convicted of such an offence should be incentivised to demonstrate that he can safely be released; such a decision is then better left to the Parole Board for consideration proximate in time to the date when release becomes possible.’

But the Parole Board said in a statement today: ‘We have every sympathy with those affected by the dreadful events that happened in London Bridge yesterday.

‘Given the seriousness of this attack, it is understandable that there is speculation about the attacker’s release from prison.

‘The Parole Board can confirm it had no involvement with the release of the individual identified as the attacker, who appears to have been released automatically on licence (as required by law), without ever being referred to the Board.’

The violence erupted less than two weeks before Britain holds a national election December 12. The main political parties temporarily suspended campaigning in London as a mark of respect. 

Speaking in Number 10 last night after he interrupted his election campaign and rushed to Downing Street, Johnson said:  ‘I can assure you and assure everyone that anyone involved in this crime and these attacks will be hunted down and brought to justice.’ 

He added that the UK would ‘never be cowed or divided or intimidated by this sort of attack and our British values will prevail’. 

The Prime Minister was in his Uxbridge constituency when the attack happened.  

At the start of November the UK’s terrorism threat level was downgraded to ‘substantial’ from ‘severe’, meaning an attack was now ‘likely’ rather than ‘highly likely’. 

He added: ‘I’ve just been briefed by the commissioner and the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about the events at London Bridge this afternoon.

‘And while this is an ongoing investigation, the police can confirm that this is a terrorist incident and clearly my thoughts are first with the emergency services – the police and the bravery that they showed going towards danger as they do.

‘I also want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others and for me they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country.’

Armed police shot a man on London Bridge today in an incident Scotland Yard is treating as 'terror-related'.

Armed police shot a man on London Bridge today in an incident Scotland Yard is treating as ‘terror-related’.

Mr Johnson at a press conference earlier today. He had gone campaigning in Uxbridge afterwards but s now heading for Downing Street

Mr Johnson at a press conference earlier today. He had gone campaigning in Uxbridge afterwards but s now heading for Downing Street

There are five levels of terror threat, with the highest being ‘critical’ – meaning that an attack is highly likely and will come in the near future.

After dropping from the second-highest tier, severe, the UK is now on the third rung of danger. 

Earlier the Prime Minister had tweeted: ‘I’m being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel added she was ‘very concerned’, saying: ‘Very concerned by ongoing incident at London Bridge. 

‘My thoughts are with all affected. I am grateful for the rapid response of our police and I urge everyone to follow their advice.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel added she was 'very concerned', saying: 'Very concerned by ongoing incident at London Bridge.

Home Secretary Priti Patel added she was ‘very concerned’, saying: ‘Very concerned by ongoing incident at London Bridge.

Dramatic video filmed at London Bridge around 2pm yesterday shows at least four people struggling with a man on the ground before armed police officers step in.

The officers tell the people on top of the suspect to move away, before dragging the last bystander to safety and opening fire. One of the bystanders is holding a knife which seems to have been taken from the suspect.

The suspect lies wounded on the ground, but still moving as officers back away – clearly fearing that they are still in danger, potentially from explosives.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: ‘Shocking reports from London Bridge. 

‘My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident. Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding.’

And London mayor Sadiq Khan added: ‘We must – and we will – stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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