London Bridge attack politicised as second victim identified

Cheryl Sanders
December 2, 2019

Jones's family described her as "a amusing, kind, positive influence at the center of many people's lives", who had recently applied for a police graduate recruitment program, hoping to specialize in a victim support role.

Khan admitted to engaging in conduct for the preparation of acts of terrorism.

They said Merritt "died doing what he loved, surrounded by people he loved and who loved him".

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.

At the vigil, London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the British capital had gathered "in a spirit of defiance to say that London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism".

Sadiq Khan: "The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another, but it's by focusing 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".

The attack took place a short distance from Borough Market where a terrorist attack killed seven people and injured 48 others in June 2017.

Among the survivors, two are still in hospital while one has already been released, police said.

Britain's Boris Johnson said Sunday he had ordered the security services to step up monitoring of convicted terrorists released early from prison, prompting accusations that he was exploiting the London Bridge attack for political gain less than two weeks before elections.

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

But ISIS has released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. Khan had originally received an indeterminate sentence to be kept behind bars for public protection but this was quashed by the United Kingdom court of appeal in April 2013, after which he was given a determinate 16-year jail term and ordered to serve at least eight years in prison before being considered for parole.

He was pursued onto London Bridge, and restrained by staff from the venue and others attending the conference. He had been released on licence, or parole, in December previous year and was reportedly being monitored via an electronic tag.

The proposals were not in the Conservatives' formal manifesto issued last Sunday.

Mr Johnson penned an article setting out the new stance in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, under the headline: "Give me a majority and I'll keep you safe from terror".

Critics have hit out fiercely at Johnson for appearing to politicise Friday's attack - including the father of Jack Merritt.

"R.I.P Jack: you were a lovely spirit who always took the side of the underdog", David Merritt wrote.

Khan, 28, began the stabbing attack while attending the event.

The vice chancellor hinted that as well as a Polish chef who helped pacify Khan by using a 5ft whale's tusk, those hospitalised were also involved with Learning Together.

"We don't need knee-jerk reactions", he added in a series of messages responding to the political furor around the attack.

The group via its propaganda Amaq news agency said on Saturday that the attack was carried out by "a fighter from the Islamic State", according to the site intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activities.

Other reports by iNewsToday