Third London attacker said to have been flagged to UK police

Third London attacker said to have been flagged to UK police

The Moroccan-Italian man identified as the third London attacker told Italian authorities "I'm going to be a terrorist" when he was stopped at Bologna Airport previous year trying to travel to Syria, it has been reported.

But the MI5 domestic intelligence service has seen its budget increase and has plans to expand to 5,000 officers from 4,000 over the next five years, MI5 chief Andrew Parker said last year.

The naming of the third Islamic militant came after it emerged earlier Tuesday that the ringleader of Saturday's attack, 27-year-old British-Pakistani Khuram Shazad Butt worked for a man accused of helping to train the Islamic extremists responsible for the July 7, 2005 underground train bombings in London, Britain's first Islamist suicide attack.

Seven people are dead and 15 people are still in critical condition after Saturday's carnage.

He has been criticised for voting against counter-terrorism legislation and expressing reservations about police responding to attacks with "shoot-to-kill" tactics.

An investigative source told Reuters in Rome that Zaghba, who had a Moroccan father and Italian mother, had been stopped at Bologna airport in 2016 on suspicion of being on his way to Syria, and carrying material about Islamic extremism on an electronic device. An Italian interior ministry official told The Associated Press that British and Moroccan intelligence and law-enforcement authorities were informed that Zaghba had been flagged as someone "at risk" - but no other details were released. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss details of the case. While he was not a person of MI5 interest, he had been stopped by Italian police past year on his way to Turkey and said he was going to be a terrorist, The Guardian is reporting. Italy has expelled more than 40 people in the past two years who were suspected of radicalisation activities but for whom there was insufficient evidence to bring formal charges. Zaghba's Italian citizenship prevented such an expulsion, Italian daily Repubblica said.

Butt was investigated by officers in 2015 but they found no evidence he was planning an attack and he was "prioritised in the lower echelons of our investigative work", police said.

Police on Tuesday carried out a new search in a neighborhood in east London near the home of two of the London Bridge attackers. The search in Ilford, just north of Barking, is seeking to determine whether the group had accomplices.

London police have said 12 other people from Barking held since the attack have been freed.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visit the Royal London Hospital on June 6.

The London attack follows the May 22 suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton of Libyan origin who killed 22 people and wounded dozens. Security has become a key issue in the run-up to Thursday's general election.

Butt, a 27-year-old British national born in Pakistan, had appeared in a British TV documentary broadcast last year called "The Jihadis Next Door".

The second attacker was named as Rachid Redouane, aged 30, who also went by the identity Rachid Elkhdar and was not known to police.

One man in Barking had reported concerns about Butt to the anti-terrorism hotline in 2015 and another woman had said he was trying to radicalize her children and she was scared of him.

In a letter posted outside on Tuesday, the Ummah Fitness Centre said staff would "help the police in any way we can" as investigators try to learn more about Butt.

Police, however, confirm they received several warnings from neighbors and associates about Butt.

Floral tributes for the victims of the London terror attack lay in Potters Fields Park.

All three London Bridge terrorists have been identified as security services prepare to launch a review into the atrocity amid mounting questions for police and MI5.

Pollsters are wary of predicting how the terrorist attacks - three in the past 10 weeks - will impact the voting on Thursday, but Labour leaders say they have renewed hope at the very least of reducing the ruling Conservative's majority as they seek to recast their campaign message in the final hours before voting as "investment versus cuts".

Between 2009 and 2016, the number of police officers fell by nearly 20,000, or around 14 percent, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank. The council is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

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