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London Bridge attacker called Lee Rigby murder ‘an eye for an eye’ | UK News

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One of the London Bridge attackers gave his wife an “early Eid” present the morning before he and two others killed eight people in a rampage.

Khuram Butt, 27, had developed more radical views after he married his wife in 2013, saying he wanted to live under Sharia law, and describing terrorism, in particular the murder of Lee Rigby, as “an eye for an eye”.

His brother-in-law even contacted the anti-terror hotline to pass on his and his family’s concern about Butt’s move to extremism.

The attack in June 2017 killed 8 people in the London Bridge area of the capital
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Eight people were killed in the June 2017 attack in the London Bridge area

In 2016, he appeared on the Channel 4 documentary The Jihadi Next Door.

Butt became “energised” when he was around convicted Islamic State supporter Anjem Choudary, the Old Bailey heard. He was described as being “like a lion out of a cage”.

He was the ringleader in the attack at London Bridge on 3 June 2017, where six people were stabbed to death, two others were also killed and 48 others were injured.

Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, also took part in the attack.

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Redouane and Butt got to know each other when they both trained at the Ummah Fitness Centre, while Butt was on sick leave in 2016.

Lee Rigby
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Lee Rigby’s murder was called ‘an eye for an eye’ by one of the terrorists

Butt met Zaghba through Sunday afternoon swimming sessions, and they both volunteered at Ad-Deen Primary School in Ilford, east London.

The school’s headteacher Sophie Rahman had asked Butt to give children Koran lessons about 18 months before the attack.

The school was shut down and Rahman was later disciplined for engaging Butt who had already shown signs of extremism in the Channel 4 documentary.

In that film, Butt had “condemned the UK government”, particularly actions in Iraq and Syria, Jonathan Hough QC, counsel for the coroner told the court.

Khuram Butt was caught on CCTV cameras cleaning his 12in knife inside a restaurant
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Khuram Butt became more extreme in his views

Butt’s relatives had said he brought shame on the family after the documentary aired, and his wife briefly moved back into her parents’ home when he asked to take a second wife.

Her father-in-law Abdul Rehman-Butt became concerned that he wanted to go to Syria after the wedding, and threatened to disown him when he bought a ticket in 2015.

His wife, Zahreh Rehman, said they had spoken about Islamic State but that Butt did not directly say he wanted to go.

Teenage friends of Butt had described him as a “normal guy” who smoked cannabis, supported Arsenal and liked reggae music.

Rachid Redouane who has been named as one of two of the men shot dead by police following the terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market.
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Rachid Redouane said the death of Lee Rigby was the military’s fault

On the day of the attack, Butt slept until 11am, and then gave his wife what he called an early Eid present of a gold and silver ring.

The Old Bailey also heard of fellow attacker Redouane who was born in Morocco and came to the UK in June 2009.

He claimed asylum and was granted temporary leave to remain, but he failed to comply with asylum arrangements and moved around UK and Ireland.

Redouane married Charisse O’Leary, who he met in a nightclub in Manchester but their relationship broke down after he slapped her across the face for warming their baby daughter’s milk in the microwave.

He described the murder of Fusilier Rigby as the “government’s fault”, for action overseas.

When challenged on this by his wife, he is said to have replied: “You don’t see what happens in other countries when the military kills civilians.”

Youssef Zaghba, who moved to London in 2015, had enrolled in college with a view to going to university. His tutor described him as bright and enthusiastic but he failed his written test.

Youssef Zaghba named as the third attacker
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Youssef Zaghba had become increasingly religious

Zaghba gained employment as a studio technician at an Islamic television station in Parsons Green, West London. Unlike his slow to learn appraisals from his pizza restaurant job, managers at the TV station were impressed with his abilities.

Colleagues at the pizza restaurant where he worked said he became “increasingly religious” but that he had been going out drinking and to clubs too.

He did not have a criminal record, but authorities in Bologna stopped him as he tried to fly to Turkey, believing he may be on the way to Syria.

Zaghba had been accessing information about IS on his phone, but Italian police did not pass that information on to UK authorities.

Asked what he was going to do in Istanbul, he said: “Be a terrorist” before quickly correcting himself, saying: “Tourist”.

His name had been added to the international Schengen database but without details.

The inquests continue.

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