Quilliam can now break the news that one of the terrorists named in the horrific London Bridge attacks on the 4th of June 2017 had been previously reported to the police and counter-terrorism agencies by Quilliam senior staff and Head of Islamic Studies Dr. Usama.
Below are details of the interaction between Khurram Butt and Dr. Hasan:
On the 6th of July 2016, Dr. Hasan was attending an Eid al-Fitr family event with his elderly parents and 9-year-old son when he was approached by Khurram Butt who was dressed in a robe and black turban. Butt confirmed Dr. Hasan’s identity and refused to shake hands with him when offered.
Butt proceeded to go on a loud tirade against Dr. Hasan. He began by saying, “You believe we come from apes,” and then continued to verbally attack him in front of his family, saying things such as “You work for Quilliam, you take government money to spy on Muslims and work against Muslims,” “You support gay marriage,” and “How dare you come to a Muslim event, you are an apostate.”
At this point, Butt began attracting attention from other attendees at the event, who attempted to intervene. A violent scuffle broke out, and Butt lunged at Dr. Hasan twice.
It is worth noting that Butt was accompanied at the time by his wife and toddler son who was crying out for his father.
Following this event, Quilliam reported Butt as an extremist who was violent to police and counter-terrorism officials. They were also given photographic evidence of the incident.We were informed that Butt was already known to intelligence.
It is therefore clear that at least one of the terrorists from Saturday’s attack had been directly reported to counter-terrorism police and had even openly revealed his extremist views by appearing on the Channel 4 documentary titled “The Jihadis Next Door.”
It is still not clear why Butt’s activities were not taken more seriously, and this needs to be a time of deep reflection for our intelligence agencies and security apparatus.
Quilliam Chief Executive Haras Rafiq said:
“Although the police and security services have done a great job of keeping us safe in the past and are under-resourced against the sheer volume of the threat, on this instance, there are questions to be answered. It’s one thing when someone from the general public reports an individual as a violent extremist, but when experienced experts who are involved in deradicalizing jihadists – as Dr Hasan is, report them, a caution is not enough. His fellow traveller on The Jihadis Next Door documentary, Abu Haleema has insinuated death threats against me and my staff and this also has been reported – I trust that he and others like him will not slip through the cracks”
We renew our call for the next elected Government to make the urgent appointment of a Counter-Extremism Coordinator serving under the Prime Minister to coordinate the government’s Counter-Extremism Policy across all departments.
Quilliam would once again like to extend their heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were killed or injured in the London attack.