The third terrorist recently identified in the London Bridge attack, Youssef Zaghba, once told Italian authorities while on his way to Syria: “I’m going to be a terrorist.”
Zaghba was stopped last year by Italian authorities at the Bologna airport because he appeared “agitated,” at which point, having no luggage on his one-way flight to Istanbul, he told authorities that he was “going to be a terrorist,” Politico reports.
Italian authorities subsequently seized his phone, but the Moroccan from Italy was not charged with a crime and so was not arrested. Bologna officials began terrorism proceedings against him, but dropped the investigation after failing to find evidence he had traveled to Syria. His phone contained Islamic State propaganda.
Italy’s Internal Intelligence Service passed on information about Zaghba to MI6, which relayed the information to MI5, but the communication was in the form of a notification rather than an emergency alert and Zaghba was able to move from Italy to the United Kingdom without any hassle.
And yet, before the attack on Saturday evening, Zaghba was not even listed as a “subject of interest”
Metropolitan Police shot Zaghba dead after he collaborated with Khurram Butt and Rachid Redouane to mow pedestrians down on London Bridge before heading to Borough Market to begin a stabbing spree. The trio of terrorists managed to kill seven civilians and injure dozens more. During the attack, they shouted: “this is for Allah.”
Prior to the terror attack, 22-year-old Zaghba was working at a Pakistani restaurant in London.
Butt was featured in a 2016 documentary called The Jihadis Next Door. Police confirmed that they opened an investigation into Butt in 2015, however, “there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritised accordingly.”
The Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack.
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