He was also free to carry out Saturday’s atrocity despite working for a man accused of helping to train the 7/7 bombings ringleader, and being investigated by police and MI5, it has emerged.
The third terrorist behind the London Bridge attack has been named as Youssef Zaghba. It emerged he was arrested last year trying to reach Syria, yet was still able to get into the UK. Reports in the Italian media said Zaghba was stopped in Bologna. His mother is Italian and still lives there.
Butt, 27, from Barking, East London, was deemed “low priority” by the Metropolitan Police despite being reported to them at least twice. He had slipped down in priority because there was no intelligence he was planning an attack.
Butt was pictured wearing an Arsenal football shirt after being gunned down by police on Saturday night.
He and two other terrorists killed seven and injured 48 when they used a rented van to mow down pedestrians on London Bridge. Wearing fake suicide vests, they then went on a knife rampage in Borough Market, stabbing victims with 12-inch blades. Eighteen people remain in critical condition in the hospital.
Pakistani-born Butt had links to a key contact of Mohammed Siddique Khan, the eldest of four suicide bombers who killed 52 people in an attack on three London tube trains and one bus in 2005, and Anjem Choudary, Europe’s most notorious hate preacher, The Times reports.
According to the newspaper, Butt worked at an all-Muslim gym in East London run by Sajeel Shahid, 41, a member of Choudary’s network who allegedly helped to set up weapons training in Pakistan for the 2005 bombers.
The pair were “close friends,” the newspaper reports.
Butt would help run high-octane mixed martial arts classes, and would allegedly use the gym to approach young pupils for radicalization.
Butt also worked for the London Underground as a customer services trainee for six months, at Canada Water and Westminster, where he was eventually fired for poor attendance.
Butt was part of a “group of British extremists intent on spreading their message of global jihad” who appeared in the Channel 4 documentary ‘The Jihadist Next Door.’
In the documentary, he can be seen praying behind a Black Standard flag at a local park wearing Middle Eastern-style clothing.