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5 Jun, 2017 17:14

Police name 2 London Bridge attackers as Khuram Shazad Butt & Rachid Redouane, release photos

Metropolitan Police have named Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane as two of the three attackers shot dead by officers during the terrorist assault on London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday.

Both men were from Barking, east London, and are believed to have carried out the attacks, although “formal identification has yet to take place,” a police statement said.

Butt, 27, was a British citizen who was born in Pakistan. Redouane, 30, also known as Rachid Elkhdar, had claimed to be both Moroccan and Libyan, according to police.

Inquiries are still ongoing to identify the name of the third attacker.

"I would urge anyone with information about these men, their movements in the days and hours before the attack and the places they frequented to come forward," Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.

Butt was known to police and domestic intelligence agency MI5, although Redouane was not known to law enforcement.

“However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned,” the statement said.

It has emerged that Butt appeared in a Channel 4 documentary called ‘The Jihadist Next Door’ last year. In the program, he is filmed praying in the middle of London’s Regent’s Park alongside a number of other radical Muslims. Before praying, the group erects The Black Banner or Black Standard with the shahada (Islamic creed), variations of which has been used by a wide range of jihadist groups including al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The fact that Butt’s extremist views were seemingly quite well-known to law enforcement agencies raises some serious questions about the effectiveness of the authorities’ counter-terrorism measures, radio host and columnist Jon Gaunt told RT.

“It is ridiculous. This man was on the Channel 4, which is a TV channel over here, documentary. He was unfolding the black flag of Islamic State in the Regent’s Park right in the center of our capital city London,” Gant said. “He was spoken to by the police, it was all captured on camera and this man has now got on to help to slaughter people of the streets of London. Our secret services and our police have got a lot to answer for on this particular issue.”

The statement went on to note that counterterrorism police are currently overseeing 500 terrorism investigations, involving 3,000 'subjects of interest' and around 20,000 former subjects of interest “whose risk remains subject to review.”

A small number of the highest priority investigations involve current attack planning, and these investigations command a significant proportion of our resource,” the statement read.

Counterterrorism services and police have foiled 18 plots since 2013, including five since the Westminster attack on March 22, according to Rowley.

READ MORE: Relatives issue desperate pleas for those still missing after London terrorist attack

All three men were shot dead by armed officers within eight minutes of their attack, which began by ramming pedestrians on London Bridge on Saturday night. The attackers then continued on foot to Stoney Street, stabbing several people along the way.

Seven people died and 48 were injured in the third terrorist attack to hit Britain in as many months. Investigators are still working to contact the next of kin for some victims who are believed to be from outside the UK.