Wednesday, 11 December, 2019

London terror victims died from stab wounds: Inquest

London Bridge attack: Vigil held for Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt - BBC Newsnight London Bridge attacker was a former prisoner at Whitemoor Prison in March
Deanna Wagner | 04 December, 2019, 21:53

Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were stabbed to death by Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were supporting at London's Fishmongers' Hall.

It emerged as we speak that, throughout his time in jail, he took half within the "Wholesome Id Intervention Programme", which on the time was a pilot however has since been expanded to all convicted terrorists.

Lukasz, who works at the Fishmongers' Hall venue where Khan began his attack, said he "acted instinctively" by grabbing a pole to try to stop Khan.

They are "saddened" and "shocked" by his actions.

One of attacker Usman Khan's neighbours told the BBC it was "scary that somebody who could do something like that lives so close to you".

'We have to face the grim reality that in some cases it is really very hard, ' he said.

Lukasz, who was among those praised for his bravery during the attack, also issued a statement through Scotland Yard.

"I feel, as everybody does, a huge amount of sympathy for the loss of Jack Merritt's family, and indeed for all the relatives of Jack and Saskia, who perished at London Bridge", he said.

"We would like to request privacy for our family at this hard time".

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In the article published in the Guardian on Tuesday, Jack's father David Merritt paid tribute to his son, who worked for a programme that links university students and prisoners. "I would like to send my best wishes to them and everyone effected by this sad and pointless attack", he added.

Earlier accounts of the incident suggested that Lukasz had prodded Khan with a narwhal tusk that had been ripped from the wall of the hall.

Bangladeshi-born Chowdhury, who came to the United Kingdom in 2004 and was granted indefinite leave to remain, was described as the "linchpin" of the foiled al-Qaida-inspired plot.

The extremist, 28, had been freed midway by means of a 16-year jail sentence after he was convicted in February 2012 of being a part of an al-Qaeda impressed group plotting assaults on the London Inventory Alternate.

Since his subsequent release in December 2018, Khan had been living in Stafford and was required to wear a Global Positioning System police tag. He was then shot dead by British police.

Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, he was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

Ms O'Brien was seen breaking down in tears as she and Mr Merritt's family gathered at a vigil in Cambridge on Monday to remember the victims.

He accused politicians of using his son's death to "perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against" - and that his son would be "seething" at how his death was being used.

Miss Jones, a volunteer on the programme from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having "great passion" for providing support to victims of crime by her family.