Two people died and three were injured in a stabbing attack in London Friday afternoon, according to the police. Government officials have deemed the stabbings a “terrorist incident.”
The 28-year-old suspect believed to have carried out the attack, and who was wearing a fake suicide bomb vest, died on the scene after being shot by police on the London Bridge.
The suspect had been convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2012 after admitting to planning several attacks. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and was released on probation last year.
The incident comes just after the UK downgraded its terrorism threat level for the first time since 2014. London Bridge was also the site of a terror attack in 2017, when a vehicle-ramming and stabbing incident killed 11 people, including the three perpetrators.
The story is still developing. Here’s what we know, and don’t, so far.
What we know:
- The stabbings first began at a building near London Bridge called Fishmongers’ Hall during a conference on rehabilitating the formerly incarcerated organized by Cambridge University.
- The suspect, who was attending the event, began his attack within the hall and then moved out toward the London Bridge. According to police, he was wearing a fake suicide vest and was shot and killed on the scene.
- As of Sunday, three people were injured and two people have died from the attack. 25-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones have been identified as the two who were killed.
- Government officials have praised the public for helping to detain the suspect. Social media videos show citizens fighting the suspect; one person used a fire extinguisher against the man, another a narwhal tusk.
- The attacker is 28-year-old Usman Khan, according to the police. Khan, who was previously part of an al-Qaeda-inspired group, was convicted of terrorism offenses in 2012 for planning to bomb bars, attack the London Stock Exchange, and set up a jihadist training camp in Pakistan.
- Although he received a 16-year sentence, he was paroled in December 2018 on condition that he wear an ankle bracelet and take part in a government rehabilitation program for those previously involved in terrorism. Johnson has pledged to amend early release guidelines.
- Both Johnson and Corbyn have suspended their campaigns for the UK general elections following the attack.
- Queen Elizabeth II condemned the attack and sent her “thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones.”
What we don’t know:
- The suspect’s motive