Usman Khan, the suspect shot dead by police after he killed two and wounded three others in a stabbing attack on the London Bridge Friday, was a convicted Islamic terrorist who had been released from prison early less than a year ago.
Khan was sentenced in 2012 along with nine other Islamists for large-scale terror plots, including plans to bomb the London Stock Exchange and to establish a "terrorist military training facility." He was originally slated to remain in prison indefinitely unless he was deemed no longer a threat to society, but this condition was later lifted. He was released in December 2018 "on license," meaning he could remain free as long as he met certain conditions.
An appeals court said about Khan's Al-Qaeda-inspired group in 2013:
"The groups were clearly considering a range of possibilities including fundraising for the establishment of a military training madrasa in Pakistan, where they would undertake training themselves and recruit others to do likewise, sending letter bombs through the post, attacking public houses used by British racist groups, attacking a high-profile target with an explosive device and a Mumbai-style attack."
The group also had a hit list containing the names and addresses of the then London mayor, Boris Johnson, the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, two rabbis, and the U.S. embassy in London.
The former head of Britain's National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Chris Phillips, said, "We're playing Russian roulette with people's lives, letting convicted, known, radicalized jihadi criminals walk about our streets."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is a "mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early."