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London Bridge: Family of Usman Khan ‘shocked’ by attack


Emergency vehicles in London BridgeImage copyright
AFP

The family of London Bridge attacker Usman Khan have said they are “saddened and shocked” by what happened and “totally condemn his actions”.

In a statement, they expressed their condolences to the victims’ families

Khan, who was convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012, killed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, at a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday.

Separately, a porter who tried to fight Khan said he was coming to terms with the incident.

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.

Usman Khan’s family said in a statement issued through the Met police: “We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done.

“We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.

“We would like to request privacy for our family at this difficult time.”

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Media captionWhat happened at London Bridge?

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

“When the attack happened, I acted instinctively. I am now coming to terms with the whole traumatic incident and would like the space to do this in privacy, with the support of my family,” he said.

  • ‘Heroes’ praised for confronting bridge attacker

The statement confirmed Lukasz was stabbed by Khan and taken to hospital but has now returned home.

“I would like to express my condolences to the families who have lost precious loved ones. I would like to send my best wishes to them and everyone effected by this sad and pointless attack,” he added.

Lukasz said, contrary to some reports, that he had used a pole to tackle Khan while someone else used a narwhal tusk in an attempt to stop the attack.

Two women were also injured in the attack before Khan was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge – the women remain in a stable condition in hospital.

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West Midlands Police

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Usman Khan had been jailed in 2012

Khan, 28, was arrested in December 2010 and sentenced in 2012 to indeterminate detention for “public protection” with a minimum jail term of eight years after pleading guilty to preparing terrorist acts.

He had been part of an al-Qaeda inspired group that considered attacks in the UK, including at the London Stock Exchange.

But in 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term, and ordered Khan to serve at least half this – eight years – behind bars.

Since his subsequent release in December 2018, Khan had been living in Stafford and was required to wear a GPS police tag.

He was armed with two knives and was wearing a fake suicide vest during the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday.

He was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

  • London Bridge: What we know
  • What we know about the London Bridge attacker

It comes as Leanne O’Brien, the girlfriend of Cambridge University Mr Merritt who was killed, paid tribute to her partner on Facebook writing: “My love, you are phenomenal and have opened so many doors for those that society turned their backs on.”

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.

Mr Merritt’s father, David, also wrote a piece in the Guardian dedicated to his “absorbingly intelligent” and “fiercely loyal” son.

Also killed was Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, who was a volunteer on the Learning Together programme, which was holding an anniversary event where the event took place.

She has been described as a “lovely, lovely woman” who was “fearless” by her former tutor.

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Met Police

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Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were both involved with the Learning Together programme, which was holding an event when the attack took place

Friday’s attack sparked a political row over the release of Khan and a debate over the criminal justice system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused of “trying to exploit” the attack “for political gain”.

He blamed Khan’s release on legislation introduced under “a leftie government”, and called for longer sentences and an end to automatic release.

Mr Johnson denied claims he was politicising the attack, saying he had campaigned against early release for some time, having previously raised the issue during his 2012 campaign to be mayor of London.

He said he felt “a huge amount of sympathy” for the relatives of the victims.



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Pictured: Polish kitchen worker who battled London Bridge killer Usman Khan with a 5ft pole


This is the Polish kitchen worker hailed a hero after tackling London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan and potentially saving many innocent lives.

Lukasz Koczocik, 38, who lives with his girlfriend in southeast London, whipped a 5ft-long ceremonial lance from the walls of Fishmongers’ Hall when Khan began his bloody knife attack last Friday.

Two former Cambridge students – Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25 – died in Khan’s horrifying attack, however the toll could have been far higher had members of the public like Mr Koczocik not stepped in to fight back, witnesses said. 

Scroll down for video. 

Lukasz Koczocik (pictured) grabbed hold of a 5ft lance when he heard chilling screams while washing glasses at Fishmongers' Hall on Friday

Lukasz Koczocik (pictured) grabbed hold of a 5ft lance when he heard chilling screams while washing glasses at Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday

Mr Koczocik charged at 28-year-old Khan and thrust the pike into the attacker's chest before engaging him in one minute of 'kill or be killed' combat (pictured: Mr Koczocik with his girlfriend Kasia)

Mr Koczocik charged at 28-year-old Khan and thrust the pike into the attacker’s chest before engaging him in one minute of ‘kill or be killed’ combat (pictured: Mr Koczocik with his girlfriend Kasia)

Mr Koczocik, who had been washing glasses in the basement, was alerted to the carnage by desperate screams from upstairs.

The heroic worker charged at 28-year-old Khan and thrust the pike into the attacker’s chest before engaging him in one minute of ‘kill or be killed’ combat.

In the confusion immediately after the attack, reports said Mr Koczocik had been wielding a narwhal tusk grabbed form the walls, but it became clear yesterday that a second hero had used that improvised weapon while a third brandished a fire extinguisher.

Instead Mr Koczocik had a pike in his hands as he launched himself at Khan, earning praise yesterday from his boss for his selfless courage.

Commodore Toby Williamson, CEO of Fishmongers’ Hall, told the BBC: ‘He’s the guy who cleans the glasses down in the basement and that’s exactly what he was doing when he hears this scream.

Two of the other men who aided Mr Koczocik tackled the terrorist on London Bridge with a narwhal tusk and a fire extinguisher

Two of the other men who aided Mr Koczocik tackled the terrorist on London Bridge with a narwhal tusk and a fire extinguisher

‘The scream was so loud that, as a first aider, he makes a choice. He goes towards the trouble. He gets there on the first floor of the building just behind me and it’s pretty clear that there’s a bad guy.

‘He’s got two knives in his hands, there’s blood, there’s screams, there’s chaos.

‘Lukasz pulls off the wall this long stick, he charges towards the bad guy, and he impacts him on the chest and there’s clearly something here that is protective and it doesn’t make any sort of impact.

‘But he’s buying time. He allows others to escape, to move to adjacent rooms. At that point he’s got about one-minute of one-on-one straight combat.’

Cdre Williamson recounted the events using just the Christian names of his staff, however Mr Koczocik’s identity was revealed by The Sun last night.

He told how Mr Koczocik was left severely injured as he fought 28-year-old Khan, but refused to give up.

The knifeman ‘worked his way up’ the lance Mr Koczocik was wielding and managed to stab the hero kitchen worker four or five times in the left of his body.

At that point the men with the narwhal tusk and fire extinguisher, who had been taking part in the prisoner reform charity event hosted by the Cambridge students, joined in the battle.

Cdre Williamson described how a brutal showdown spilled into the great hall.

Khan, realising the weight of numbers were against him, tried to flee down the main staircase to the front-door.

Mr Koczocik previously photographed London Bridge in 2015 after it appeared to be have been cleared by emergency services in an unknown incident. He captioned it: 'Bomb attack on London Bridge'

Mr Koczocik previously photographed London Bridge in 2015 after it appeared to be have been cleared by emergency services in an unknown incident. He captioned it: ‘Bomb attack on London Bridge’

Mr Koczocik in a recent social media post. Cdre Williamson described how Khan managed to dodge and work his way up Mr Koczocik's pole, slashing five wounds into the porter's left side. Mr Koczocik was released from hospital on Saturday

Mr Koczocik in a recent social media post. Cdre Williamson described how Khan managed to dodge and work his way up Mr Koczocik’s pole, slashing five wounds into the porter’s left side. Mr Koczocik was released from hospital on Saturday

But he was unable to get out because a doorman named Gary was holding the door fast so that another worker, Dawn, could ring the emergency services and hit the alarms.

At this point Khan shifted his attention to two cloakroom girls, who Cdre Williamson named as Alla and Sandra, and said had a ‘hell of a time’.

A maintenance man named Andy, an ex-policeman and ‘pretty cool customer’, had taken over the task of holding the door shut.

Andy was stabbed through the chest by Khan, but still paused for a moment, reluctant to allow the carnage to spill out onto the street, before realising he would have to relent, Cdre Williamson said.

Khan managed to burst out of the hall onto London Bridge, but the commodore said severely injured Mr Koczocik still ‘lead the attack’ against him as it spilled into the open.

Mr Koczocik shouted to members of the public to get back but many were keen to help in any way possible.

A man can be seen holding a knife on London Bridge during the incident

A man lies on London Bridge following the incident that saw a huge police response

One of the bystanders on London Bridge was seen holding a knife (left) which appeared to have been taken from the suspect. Another man – believed to be the knifeman – could be seen lying on the ground, close to a knife (circled, right)

They were backed by the man wielding the narwhal tusk and the one with the fire extinguisher in pursuing Khan down London Bridge.

Mr Koczocik, who had been able to rally himself once before, had grown weaker from the blood loss as the battle continued onto the bridge.

But Cmdre Williamson added that by this stage, Mr Koczocik’s ‘job was done, the police are here and I think you’ve seen the rest on camera.’

Footage showed the other men with the tusk and the fire extinguisher bravely going after Khan with members of the public before he was tackled to the ground.

Khan was shot in the chest by armed police officers shortly afterwards. He had been wearing a mock suicide vest.

Yesterday it emerged Mr Koczocik was being put forward for an official honour in Poland, acknowledging his ‘sacrifice and courage’.

Cdre Williamson said that Mr Koczocik had been released from hospital on the Saturday following the attack. 



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Political row over Usman Khan prison release deepens – Channel 4 News



1 Dec 2019

The political row over why Usman Khan was free to launch his deadly knife attack on Friday intensified today.

The political row over why Usman Khan was free to launch his deadly knife attack on Friday intensified today.

Claiming a law brought in under Labour made his release inevitable, the Prime Minister said he would bring in tougher sentences.

But the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised cuts to the criminal justice system saying “you can’t keep people safe on the cheap”.



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