London Bridge attack began at University of Cambridge conference

Vice-chancellor ‘devastated’ to learn that staff, students and alumni may have been targeted at event attended by terror suspect

November 30, 2019
New Scotland Yard
Source: iStock

The London Bridge terror attack began at a University of Cambridge event on prisoner rehabilitation, police have said.

Usman Khan, who has been named by police as the suspect in the attack, which left two people dead and three people injured, had been attending a conference organised by Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology at Fishmongers’ Hall on 29 November. Khan was shot dead by police on the bridge nearby.

Stephen Toope, Cambridge’s vice-chancellor, said that he was “devastated” to learn that staff, students and alumni may have been targeted.

Assistant commissioner Neil Basu said that Khan, 28, from Staffordshire, had been released from prison in December 2018 after being convicted of terrorism offences in 2012.

The Fishmongers’ Hall event was called Learning Together, the name of an Institute of Criminology initiative focused on prisoner education and rehabilitation. The Times reported that Khan was understood to have been invited to share his experiences at the conference.

“The circumstances, as we currently understand them, are that the attacker attended an event earlier on Friday afternoon at Fishmongers’ Hall called ‘Learning Together’,” Mr Basu said. “We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded on to London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers.”

The Times reported that Khan threatened to blow up the hall before starting his attack. Mr Basu said that police were called to reports of a stabbing shortly before 2pm. Khan was tackled by members of the public on the bridge before police arrived and shot him.

“Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack. Three others – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital,” Mr Basu added.

Professor Toope said that his thoughts were with the families and friends of the victims.

“I am devastated to learn that [the] hateful attack on London Bridge may have been targeted at staff, students and alumni attending an event organised by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology,” he said.

“We are in touch with the Metropolitan Police, and awaiting further details of the victims. We mourn the dead and we hope for a speedy recovery for the injured.”

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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