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UKterrorism

KhuramButt:theconvivialLondonBridgeterrorist
Attackerwatchedfootballwithfriendswhileheplanneddeadlyassault

KhuramButtinastillfromChannel4documentary'TheJihadistNextDoor'

JUNE6,2017by:NaomiRovnick,PeterCampbellandTomBurgis

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A week before he and two other men climbed aboard a rented white Renault van and set off to attack London
Bridge, Khuram Butt was hanging out with his neighbours at a barbecue to watch the FA Cup final.
I saw him and I spoke to him there, said Michael Mimbo, 25, who lives down the street from the apartment that
Butt shared with his wife and two small children in Barking, east London.
Mr Mimbo said another neighbour had invited Butt to another barbecue for last Saturday nights Champions
League final but he declined. We thought it was because of Ramadan, Mr Mimbo said.
In fact, shortly after the final whistle blew in that game, Butt and his fellow perpetrators launched their assault
on Londoners and tourists around London Bridge and Borough Market, killing seven before being shot by police.
Those who had encountered Butt in Barking an area of London more commonly associated with the British far
right describe a man who was often convivial, if sometimes confrontational.
The gym he attended, the Ummah Fitness Centre, on the first floor of a small shop, caters predominantly for
Muslims. Kick-boxing and sparring are popular. Staff there said Butt was a regular, working out two or three times
a week, and once brought his young son along. One employee recalled him as very friendly. He worked at various
times for a KFC franchiser, Auriga Holdings, and Transport for London.
Asim Uddin, 40, a Pakistani national who works in local government and lives in the same development as the
attacker, said: He was British, his English was fluent, but I suppose ethnically he was from Pakistan.

StillfromtheChannel4documentary'TheJihadisNextDoor'showingButtamongthoseprayingwithanIsisag
Butt would wear traditional Islamic robes combined with camouflage trousers a look Mr Uddin found bizarre.
He did not recall seeing Butt at either of the two local mosques where he prays. By another account unconfirmed
by locals Butt was ejected from a nearby mosque after a confrontation with an imam.
Indeed, not all who came into contact with Butt have pleasant memories. Mohammed Shafiq, head of the anti-
extremist Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation, said Butt and another man known to authorities as a British
Islamist leader verbally assaulted him after he condemned the murder of Lee Rigby by two extremists in 2013.
Butt had also been filmed praying in public in Regents Park before the black flag that extreme Islamists fly.
Footage recorded in 2015, and later broadcast in a Channel 4 documentary, shows Butt among half-a-dozen young
men at a gathering organised by Islamists linked to the banned al-Muhajiroun network.
Founded in the mid-1990s by extremist preachers Omar Bakri Mohammed and Anjem Choudary, al-Muhajiroun
ostensibly disbanded to avoid new anti-terror legislation. A string of successor organisations sprang up and were
banned.
Omar Bakri, who declared that Islamists black flag would one day fly over Downing Street, fled the UK and was
jailed in Lebanon. Despite years of sermons that police said helped to inspire his followers to violence, Choudary
remained at large until 2016, when he was jailed for five years for supporting Isis.
Butts neighbours in Barking say he seemed devout but they had scant inkling of his extreme views or murderous
intentions. Zuleka, a 27-year-old mother of two who lives in the same block, said: He was always in a hurry, and
often speeding in his car. In the past fortnight, she said, she began seeing him in the constant company of another
Muslim guy of about the same age also wearing long white robes.
Police on Monday named the second of the three attackers as Rachid Redouane, 30, who claimed to be both
Moroccan and Libyan. He, too, lived in Barking and also went by Rachid Elkhadar. The identity of the third
attacker has yet to be confirmed by police. Unlike Butt, who had been reported to police, Redouane was not known
to the authorities.
Saif Akram, who lives on the sixth floor of Butts apartment block, had played table tennis with him. He was one
of several residents left struggling to comprehend their neighbours actions. This is a lovely community
multiracial, everyone getting on. I am horrified and shocked.
AdditionalreportingbyLeilaHaddouandCynthiaOMurchu

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