Police Tuesday identified the third attacker in the weekend terror assault in London amid mounting anger, two days before an election, over how the killers had apparently escaped surveillance.
With flags at half-mast, Britain fell silent at 11:00 am to remember the seven killed and dozens injured Saturday – a mourning ritual now grimly familiar after two previous attacks in less than three months.
Police identified the third attacker as Youssef Zaghba, 22, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, a day after naming his accomplices as Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, a Pakistan-born Briton, and Rachid Redouane, 30, a self-described Moroccan-Libyan dual national.
Police also said they had made an overnight raid in east London and arrested a 27-year-old man early Tuesday. Twelve people arrested earlier have since been released.
Butt “was known to the police and MI5,” the domestic security service, but there was no intelligence to suggest the attack was being planned, the Metropolitan Police said.
Zaghba was “not a police or MI5 subject of interest,” it added.
But an Italian prosecutor said Zaghba was notified to Britain as a “possible suspect” back in March 2016. Bologna prosecutor Giuseppe Amato said the warning had been transmitted after Zaghba was intercepted at the city’s airport trying to board a plane for Turkey, en route for Syria.
Criticism immediately flared about how Butt was able to carry out the attack.
He had notably featured in a Channel 4 television documentary entitled “The Jihadis Next Door” and, according to the British media, numerous people alarmed by his views had gone to the authorities.
The London attack follows the May 22 suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena by Salman Abedi – killing 22 people, including children – who was also known to British intelligence services.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson acknowledged the security services had to provide answers.
“People are going to look at the front pages today and they are going to say, ‘How on earth could we have let this guy or possibly more through the net? What happened? How can he possibly be on a Channel 4 program and then committing atrocities like this?,’” Johnson said on Sky News television.
“That is a question that will need to be answered by MI5, by the police, as the investigation goes on,” Johnson added.
Prime Minister Theresa May, her language more tenuous, told Sky News: “MI5 and the police have already said they would be reviewing how they dealt with Manchester and I would expect them to do exactly the same in relation to London Bridge,” she said.
After a brief pause, election campaigning resumed Monday, with security the dominant topic ahead of Thursday’s vote. May has vowed to crack down on militants, saying: “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are.”