Pakistani-origin London attacker featured in British documentary, ‘The Jihadis next door’

Police have named two of the London Bridge attack suspects as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane. (AP/PTI)

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The police on Monday released names of two out of the three terrorists involved in the attack in London last week. One among them, Khuram Shazad Butt is a known face, having appeared in a 2016 Channel 4 documentary, “The Jihadis next door.” The film focused on the profiles of a group of people who were members of the Al-Muhajiroun group, which is a banned extremist jihadist organisation based in the United Kingdom.

Born in Pakistan, Butt grew up in East London as a British citizen and is reported to have been a sociable man who would often be seen mingling with his male friends at barbecues, swimming pools and gyms. However, the dark extremist side of him was well evident to his neighbours who had informed the police of the hint of extremism in him, the Washington Post reported.

Butt’s extremism resulted in him calling out against Muslims voting in British elections since he considered it to be “un-Islamic”. Butt has also been reported to have brainwashed children in his neighbourhood, convincing them to convert to Islam.

Butt was identified by a friend of his to CNN as having appeared in the documentary. In the film, he is seen unfurling a black banner, similar to but not exactly the kind used by ISIS, at Regent’s Park. His act was preceded by a radical preacher mentioning to him that one day the flag would fly high over 10, Downing Street.

As reported by the Washington post, the British police and the main intelligence agency in Britain, MI5 was aware of Butt’s existence, but knew nothing of the planning of the terror attack that took place on Sunday. During the attack, Butt along with two others, killed seven people and injured 48 others. He was shot down by the police at the spot of the terror attack.

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