Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouan were identified
There were claims that Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, had been reported at least twice to the authorities for his extremism.
There were also unconfirmed reports that counterterrorism officers had been monitoring an alleged Islamic Stateinspired cell in the area of east London where armed police made 12 arrests on Sunday.
Surveillance teams were said to have been keeping an eye on suspected terrorists in Barking since March – and last month recorded them discussing a van and knife attack.
Khuram Shazad Butt was known to the police and MI5
The Metropolitan Police confirmed tonight that one of those suspects – Butt, a Pakistan-born British citizen from Barking, East London – was known to them.
He had been the subject of an investigation but was not thought to be plotting an atrocity.
Butt is thought to have had links to the banned Islamic extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, which was formed by jailed hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
A Met statement said: “Khuram Shazad Butt was known to the police and MI5. However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritised accordingly.”
There were claims Butt had been reported at least twice to the authorities
The other named killer, Rachid Redouane, 30, who claimed to be from Morocco or Libya and also lived in Barking, was not known to the authorities.
They are still establishing the identity of the third terrorist.
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A friend of Butt told the BBC Asian Network that he had reported him to the anti-terror hotline after he began expressing increasingly radical views and justifying terror attacks – but he was never arrested.
He said the attacker became radicalised after watching videos online of the American hate preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril.
The friend said: “I phoned the antiterror hotline. I told the gentleman about our conversation and why I think he was radicalised.
“I did my bit. I know a lot of other people did their bit, but the authorities did not do their bit.”
Erica Gasparri, 42, said she had reported the suspect to police last year after accusing him of brainwashing her children in a local park.
She said she challenged him after the children said: “Mummy, I want to become a Muslim.”
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She said: “They were waiting for the children of the neighbourhood. They would give the children chocolate while talking to them. They would pray in the park for hours.”
Barking resident Salaudeen Jailabdeen, 40, said Butt was asked to leave a local mosque for angrily interrupting an imam.
The claims that a killer slipped through the net are embarrassing for the police and security services – especially as the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 people last month, was a former “subject of interest”.
Today Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “We’ve always been able to step up our game and that I’m afraid is what we clearly need to do now, as do people in our communities.”
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the work as described as “unprecedented"
But the authorities are already working at a furious pace to contain the terror threat, which Ms Dick yesterday described as “unprecedented in my working life”.
Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “At any one time MI5 and police are conducting around 500 active investigations, involving 3,000 subjects of interest. Additionally, there are around 20,000 individuals who are former subjects of interest, whose risk remains subject to review by MI5 and its partners.
“The security and intelligence services and police have stopped 18 plots since 2013, including five since the Westminster attack two months ago.”