Police and MI5 cleared of blame in London Bridge attack

Police and MI5 cleared of failing to prevent London Bridge attack

It was ruled the eight victims were unlawfully killed

Friday, June 28, 2019

A coroner has cleared MI5 and the police of failing to prevent the London Bridge attack.

The chief coroner of England and Wales, Judge Mark Lucraft QC, delivered his conclusions on Friday at the end of inquests into the deaths of eight people in the attacks in June 2017. 

The inquest heard how barriers to protect pedestrians on the bridge were not installed in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack three months before.

Mr Lucraft - who concluded the eight victims were unlawfully killed - criticised the lack of barriers on the bridge. 

However he added that he did find the police investigation to be "rigorous".

Mr Lucraft said there was an "arguable" case there had been a breach of an operational duty in relation to the police and MI5 investigation before the attack and a general breach of systems for protective security on the bridge.

Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba

Khuram Butt, the ring leader of the attack, had been under monitoring by counter-terrorism investigators since 2015, but the coroner said he “was not persuaded” that chances were lost that could have saved lives. 

However, the family of the victims have blamed the authorities for "preventable" failings in the lead up to the attack. 

Christine Delcros, whose boyfriend Xavier Thomas was struck on the bridge said that she believed the attack “was preventable”.

In an emotional statement, she said: "The absence of necessary preventative measures on the bridge, despite repeated, urgent warnings about the risk to pedestrians on the bridge from experts who knew the risks to the public; and imperfect communication between authorities meant that opportunities to identify all the attackers and disrupt their activities did not occur.”

Butt, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, hired a van and ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge before stabbing people in Borough Market while wearing fake suicide vests. 

The attack which left eight dead and 48 seriously injured was over in just under 10 minutes before the terrorists were shot dead by police marksmen.

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