London Attacker Denied UK Asylum, Snuck In Through Ireland


London attacker Rachid Redouane was denied asylum in the U.K. in 2009 and managed to slip into the country via an immigration loophole, The Telegraph reports.

Redouane even managed to stay in the U.K. after his denial and eventually moved to Ireland, where he got married. Redouane’s wife was a British citizen which allowed him to apply for an EU residence card in the U.K. He joined two other accomplices Saturday, using a van to mow down pedestrians on London Bridge. The attackers then stabbed as many as possible before being shot dead.

Redouane is also believed to have traveled to Libya in 2011 to fight in the Libyan revolution and may have been part of a jihadist militia. Redouane’s travel is particularly noteworthy given Manchester bomber Salman Abedi’s known travel to Libya and connections to jihadi militias in the country.

Redouane’s foreign travel and illegal residency join a series of red flags U.K. security services missed. Redouane’s accomplice Youssef Zaghba was stopped at an Italian airport in 2016 trying to travel to Syria and even told security officers “I’m going to be a terrorist.” Despite this statement and ISIS propaganda found on his phone, Italian authorities released Zaghba and claim to have notified their British counterparts.

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Their partner Khuram Butt was featured in a 2015 documentary titled “The Jihadi’s Next Door” and was known to U.K. authorities. In spite of his appearance in the documentary, Butt was a trainee within the London metro system and was only asked to leave after a poor attendance record.

An FBI informant also reported Butt as a probable extremist in 2015, and he was reported to police in 2016 after attacking an anti-extremist activist. British authorities reportedly have nearly 3,000 suspects they consider major terrorist threats at any one time and are overwhelmed by surveillance requirements.

British Prime Minister Theresa May declared “enough is enough” in the wake of the attack and even asserted that she would have parliament change human rights laws to make it easier to deport potential terrorists.

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