December 2, 2019|8: 51 am
Flowers and tributes are left for Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones who were both killed in the London Bridge stabbing attack
Forensic officers investigate at the scene of the London Bridge stabbing attack
Police and police dogs patrol the area near London Bridge after reports of an attack
AFP via Getty Images
A jihadi associate ofLondon Bridge killer Usman Khanhas been arrested by British police amid fears of copycat attacks, according to reports.
Nazam Hussain, 34, was amember of a terror cellalongside Khan that saw them jailed in 2012 for plotting Mumbai-style attacks on London landmarks – and then released early thanks to controversial laws.
Hussain was busted Saturday – the day after Khan, 28, killed two in central London – as police raided his home in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts,according to The Times of London.
He was held in prison for a suspected violation of conditions of his release, the paper said. Six of the nine cell members jailed in 2012 had been released and were back on the streets, The Times said. There is no information linking Hussain to the London Bridge attack.
Hussain was a close friend of Khan, who stabbed to death two people before beingtackled by hero bystanders and then shot by cops, police told The Times.
Khan hadmasqueraded as a reformed jihadistto get out of jail early and be able to launch his attack.
His deadly attack has re-focused the spotlight on other convicted terrorists now also freed as part of a legal loophole that Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed on old laws from a “Leftie government.”
“We will keep violent offenders and terrorists in jail longer and end the automatic early release system,” Johnson, whose home had been one of the targets for Khan’s cell,vowed on Twitter.
At least 74 convicted terrorists are being vetted after the attack and sources havetold The Telegraph“a number” are expected to be sent back to prison in the coming days.
Government sources also told The Times that there was “very likely to be increased scrutiny of these men.”
Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, announced that his department would be reviewing the cases of a wider group of a “few hundred people” who might not have committed terrorist offenses but hold extremist views, The Times said.
Khan is believed to have acted alone, wearing a hoax suicide bomb vest because he wanted to be shot, The Times said.