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Cornish terrorism expert praises "brave people" who stopped attacker

Cornish terrorism expert praises "brave people" who stopped attacker

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 9:41am 30th November 2019.

A terror expert from Cornwall has praised the "brave people" who stepped in and helped stop the attacker on London Bridge.

Two people were stabbed to death amid a terror attack in the capital on Friday afternoon.

Three others remain in hospital, one of them is in a critical condition.

The suspect has been identified by police as a convicted terrorist - Usman Khan from Staffordshire. 

The 28-year-old had been released from prison on licence a year ago, for his part in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.

He was wearing a hoax suicide vest during the attack and was shot dead by police after passers-by intervened.

Chris Phillips, from Falmouth, is the former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

"The first thing is to work out whether this person has acted on his own, or with other people.

"Even though the terror threat level has been reduced it still means an attack was likely to happen, it's just the likelihood goes down very slightly.

"Of course the police can't monitor all these people all the time, there are going to be people who slip through the net.

"It is important police get hold of information and what people saw, this will be an enormous amount of work for police officers over the next few months to work out the full story.

"We use the run hide tell strategy for keeping people safe which is very sensible advice, but if you do have members of the public that take on these attackers then of course these people can be brought down and prevented from killing and injuring other people, so those brave people that have stepped in, we should take our hats off to them and thank them as they have probably saved lives."

Chris Phillips, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office

What do we know about what happened?

Police believe the terror attack on Friday began at Fishmongers' Hall, where Khan had been attending a conference on prisoner rehabilitation.

Khan, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, reportedly threatened to "blow up" the building.

The rampage continued on London Bridge, where several members of the public chased and disarmed Khan.

Footage from the scene shows one man spraying the attacker with a fire extinguisher, while another brandishes the tusk of a Narwhal whale.

Khan was dragged to the ground and seconds after police pulled a man off him, officers shot the terrorist dead at point-blank range in full view of horrified onlookers.

A plain-clothed police officer was among those who had pounced on Khan. He was filmed backing away while holding a large knife, apparently wrestled from the attacker.

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