On Friday afternoon, Londoners came under attack from a knife-wielding terrorist who wanted to kill and maim as many people as possible.
In the end, he managed to take two lives, and wound three others, although those numbers would have been far higher had it not been for the heroism of ordinary civilians.
28-year-old Usman Khan was shot dead by police after being taken down by the civilians, and there are a number of videos doing the rounds that show his final moments.
The man with the giant narwhal tusk (a long pointed tooth from a type of whale) below is a Polish chef identified only as Lukasz.
Witnesses described how the chef had grabbed the five-foot tusk from the wall of Fishmongers’ Hall, a building close to London Bridge, and was stabbed in the hand as he tried to stop Khan.
It is not known who is using the fire hydrant below:
Have just seen this.Highlights just how frenzied and dangerous this terrorist was. These three men must be up for the George Medal at the very least. Potentially many lives saved by a fire extinguisher, a whale tusk and valour. #LondonBridge
— Clive Allan (@clive_allan) November 30, 2019
Another video, this time from a bus on the bridge at the time:
BREAKING: #LondonBridge has been closed following an incident.
Armed Police are at the scene.
— London 999 Feed (@999London) November 29, 2019
This video shows the moment that armed law enforcement arrived, removed the civilians from the situation, and killed Khan.
He was wearing a fake explosive device strapped to his chest, although police had no idea that was the case at the time.
A warning that this widely-shared footage is graphic, and shows Khan being fatally shot:
— London Crime LDN (@CrimeLdn) November 29, 2019
This video, filmed from a further distance, shows that same moment:
More on the incident via the Guardian:
Khan was at at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge for a University of Cambridge-organised conference on rehabilitating offenders, after previously participating in the university’s Learning Together prisoner rehabilitation programme, but had showed “no cause for concern”, a source told PA Media…
Thomas Gray, 24, was among the group who tackled the killer to the ground. He stamped on the terrorist’s wrist to try to make him release one of two large knives he was carrying.
Gray, a tour manager, said: “I was brought up on rugby and the rule is ‘one in, all in’. I did what any Londoner would do and tried to put a stop to it.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that Khan’s attack began at a conference for rehabilitating offenders, one of the men who took him down was also a convicted criminal:
Among those who pinned down the attacker was James Ford, 42, who is also thought to have tried to save the life of a woman who had been stabbed. Ford was jailed for life in 2004 for the murder of 21-year-old Amanda Champion.
Ford, who is understood to be serving the final days of his sentence at HMP Standford Hill, an open prison in Kent, was on London Bridge as the attack unfolded.
Champion was said to have the mental age of a 15-year-old, and was strangled and slashed across the throat by Ford in a completely random attack.
The biggest spotlight, though, is being shone on Khan’s past, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences, and released from jail last year with an ankle bracelet for monitoring purposes.
The BBC with this:
Khan came to the attention of counter-terrorism investigators because he was involved in a highly active cell around Stoke-on-Trent, part of a wider network of radicals then headed by the preacher Anjem Choudary.
MI5 and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit had intelligence that a group of nine men from London, Cardiff and Stoke, including Khan, wanted to bomb the London Stock Exchange. The plot was supremely incompetent and amateur.
Khan also wanted to set up a terrorism training “madrassah”, or school, in Kashmir to train a new generation of British militants to either fight out there or bring their skills home.
The circumstances around his release are now being picked apart, with many calling for legal reform with regards those convicted of terrorism-related charges.
Whatever happens next won’t bring back 23-year-old Saskia Jones and 25-year-old Jack Merritt, though, who lost their lives in the attack.
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