Police Visited Khairi Saadallah Day Before Terror Attack, Did Nothing

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Armed police officers and dog units stand guard outside Piccadilly train station on May 24, 2017 in Manchester, England. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena on the evening of May 22 as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester …
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Police visited Khairi Saadallah the day before he committed a stabbing attack which authorities labelled as terror, killing three and seriously injuring three others.

Saadallah admitted to three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder on Wednesday but denied it was terrorism. The prosecution maintains the attack was ideologically inspired, with witnesses claiming the defendant had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and “victory on infidels” after the attack. Counter-terror police had labelled it a “terrorist incident” hours after the murders on June 20th.

Following the admission, The Times revealed that Saadallah, a 26-year-old refugee from Libya, had been visited by police and mental health workers the night before the attack in Forbury Gardens park in Reading, near London. Saadallah’s older brother had called authorities after he became concerned over Khairi’s behaviour, but when officers arrived the 26-year-old was said to be rational and coherent, so police did nothing.

The 26-year-old was not unknown to authorities, however.

Saadallah, who the newspaper of record referred to as a “Libyan teen soldier”, had come to the UK as an illegal alien in 2012, the publication claiming he had fought for the anti-Gaddafi regime “Union of the 17 February Revolution” in Tripoli.

The Libyan had been referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent, which intervenes in cases of mostly young people who are vulnerable to joining extremist groups or committing acts of terror. However, Prevent authorities did not deem him a risk, according to both earlier reports and sources speaking to The Times. He had also been assessed by MI5 last year, but the security services closed his file, deeming him not to be a terror threat.

He was also said to have a history of mental health issues, substance abuse, homelessness, and debt.

The Libyan youth had a string of offences behind him, including battery, racially aggravated harassment, and assault on a constable, with Daily Mail reporting earlier this year that court documents revealed Saadallah had spat at the female officer and called her a “slave”. He was granted asylum in the United Kingdom in 2018, despite the conviction.

His rap sheet also included an assault on an emergency worker and hitting a security guard in the face with a belt — in total, six convictions for 11 offences between June 2015 and January 2019. His last conviction before the terror attack was for spitting at a female judge who had just sentenced him for two previous convictions, including for carrying a knife.

The refugee had been released from prison after serving around only half of his sentence, two weeks before the attack. If the sentencing judge on December 7th sides with the prosecution that the incident was inspired by ideology, it would be the third Islamist terror attack to be committed by a convict released early from prison in the UK in less than one year.

In November 2019, convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two people near London Bridge after being released early from prison. While in February 2020, Sudesh Amman, a convicted terrorist who had been released early from jail, injured two people in a stabbing attack in Streatham, London. Both were shot dead by armed police shortly after the terror attacks.

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