UK judge had warned of London Bridge terror convict's plans to carry out attacks in Kashmir

WION Web Team London, United Kingdom Dec 01, 2019, 01.26 PM(IST) Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Usman Khan, who stabbed two people to death at the London Bridge, was arrested along with other accomplices in 2010 by British police after he was found discussing a plot to bomb London Stock Exchange. 

The convicted terrorist who was also responsible for carrying out the knife attack at the London Bridge on Friday was also planning to "perform acts of terrorism" in Kashmir, a UK judge had said in his judgment in 2012. 

Usman Khan, who stabbed two people to death at the London Bridge, was arrested along with other accomplices in 2010 by British police after he was found discussing a plot to bomb London Stock Exchange. 

"Usman Khan and Nazan Hussain attended Madrassa and were themselves keen to perform acts of terrorism in Kashmir. When they and others, who had been recruited and trained in the Madrassa and had experience in Kashmir, they may return to the UK and perform acts of violent terrorism here," the British judge had said in 2012. 

The judge had also said that Usman is so dangerous that he was imposing so-called imprisonment for public protection (IPP) indeterminate sentence of eight years. The judgment meant that Usman will remain in prison as long as he is seen as a danger to the public and the Parole Board would take a call whether to release him or not. 

Usman's family originally hailed from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the 28-year-old was inspired by terrorist organisation Al Qaeda, especially by militant Anwar al-Awlaki.  

He was a part of a militant group from Stokes city in the UK, which formed closed links with militants from Cardiff and London. The London and Welsh parts of the conspiracy were planning to bomb a toilet at the London Stock Exchange. The 28-year-old supported the bombing and was also discussing about plans to bomb pubs. 

Usman was also planning to go to Kashmir to participate in a camp of jihadist militants to sharpen his skills, including firearms training and to carry out attacks in Kashmir.  

"It was envisaged by them all that ultimately they, and the other recruits, may return to the UK as trained and experienced terrorists available to perform terrorist attacks in this country," the judge had said.

The IPP sentencing was abolished in 2012 after the then British PM David Cameron announced a review of the sentencing in 2011. 

Following the abolishment, the appeal court judges in 2013 quashed the indeterminate period of Usman's sentencing and imposed a determinate prison term of 16 years, which meant that Usman could be eligible for release after serving half of his term. 

Court of Appeal judges also had said that parole board will decide whether a convict is safe enough to be released. But parole board said on Saturday that they were not involved in the decision to release Usman, adding that he "appears to have been released automatically on licence (as required by law), without ever being referred to the Board."

British PM Boris Johnson, who is seeking another term vowed on Saturday that he would review Britain sentencing system as the convicted terrorist was released early who was responsible for carrying out the attack at the London bridge. 

(with inputs from Reuters and ANI)