A terrorist who plotted a bomb attack on Boris Johnson and Big Ben was allowed to walk free for five months after his accomplice carried out the Fishmongers Hall attack.
Terrorist Usman Khan, 28, killed Cambridge University graduates Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, during a prisoner rehabilitation event near London Bridge on November 29 2019.
During this time and for five months following the attack his accomplice Mohammed Shahjahan, 36, made up to 20 secret visits to see his wife at a university whilst on probation, The Mirror reports.
The terror cell leader Shahjahan had been jailed with Khan and seven others in 2012 for a bomb plot targeting Boris Johnson, the Stock Exchange and Big Ben.
Terrorists Left to right: Mohibur Raham, Gurukanth Desai, Abdul Miah, Usman Khan, Mohammed Chowdhury, Mohammed Shahjahan in Roath Park, Cardiff, on November 7 2010
Shahjahan was released on license in 2019, shortly before Khan – who was released in 2018 despite being assessed as being a ‘very high risk of serious harm’ to the public by a prison psychologist.
Shahjahan repeated visits to his wife’s university were found to have breached the terms of his licence as he did not seek permission beforehand.
Terrorist Usman Khan, 28, who carried out London Bridge attack on November 29 2019
Most of the visits took place after Khan’s murderous attack on London Bridge, during which time Shahjahan was not investigated, The Mirror reports.
Shahjahan was wearing a GPS ankle-monitoring tag like Khan had been when he carried out the London Bridge attack.
Until Khan’s terrorist rampage he had been allowed to live just three miles away from his old accomplice Shahjahan and within 17 miles of his former gang member Nazam Hussein, who was also jailed following the attack for breaching licence conditions.
After police discovered Shahjahan had breached his probation they carried out a raid on his house – uncovering a list of contacts for senior extremists held in Britain’s top security jails, The Mirror reports.
No criminal charges were placed on Shahjahan for possessing the deadly list due to there being no evidence he had attempted to contact those on the list, despite officers expressing ‘concern about the possibility of further terrorist activity’.
He was recalled to jail in 2020, and had his appeal against this rejected by the Parole Board.
Khan being confronted by Darryn Frost, Steve Gallant and John Crilly on London Bridge following the attack
A bystander of the terror attack is seen attempting to fight off Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk on London Bridge, Khan was later shot dead by police on the bridge
John Crilly, 50, who tackled Khan at the scene of the London Bridge attack said he was terrified to hear that his former accomplice Shahjahan was not challenged in the five months after the attack.
Mr Crilly told The MIrror: ‘It terrifies me – it’s just a dog’s dinner. I can’t believe the extent to which they’ve mismanaged these people, it’s mind-boggling. We’re fortunate that Shahjahan wasn’t able to do the same as Khan.’
The revelation follows criticism from the coroner over whether Khan’s attack could have been prevented at the inquest into Ms Jones and Mr Merritt’s deaths in May of this year.
Giving evidence to the inquests from behind a screen, a senior MI5 official known only as Witness A explained there had been no intelligence of concern since his release from prison in December 2018.
She said JOT assessed that Khan wanted to travel to Pakistan when his licence conditions ended, which would not be for several years, and heard that he was no longer going to the gym or the mosque regularly.
Police said he had ‘significantly withdrawn’ from society since moving into his own flat in September 2019.
Saskia Jones, 23, (right) and Jack Merritt, 25, (left) died following a terror attack at London Bridge after convicted terrorist Usman Khan went on a knife rampage
Witness A said the JOT panel members saw the Fishmongers’ Hall visit as ‘an opportunity to get information’ on Khan before deciding whether to close their investigation into him.
Khan had been allowed to attend the Learning Together prisoner education event despite concerns that he would return to his old ways upon his release from prison 11 months earlier.
But Witness A said a review found the attack could not have been prevented.
She said the security service first became aware of Khan in 2008, as a member of terror group al-Muhajiroun (ALM).
He was linked to a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange and jailed for planning a terror camp abroad.
The officer said MI5 was aware that Khan had been involved in violence in prison.
Jonathan Hough QC, counsel for the coroner, asked: ‘Was there also evidence he wanted to die and go to paradise?’
Witness A replied: ‘There was information to that effect.’