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Police Considered Fishmongers' Hall Attacker Usman Khan Such A Risk They Refused To Let Him Take A dumper Truck Training Course Because They Feared He Would Use It For Terror - Yet Probation Workers Believed 'he Had Changed'
Police Considered Fishmongers' Hall Attacker Usman Khan Such A Risk They Refused To Let Him Take A dumper Truck Training Course Because They Feared He Would Use It For Terror - Yet Probation Workers Believed 'he Had Changed'
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Police considered Fishmongers' Hall attacker Usman Khan such a risk they refused to let him take a dumper truck training course because they feared he would use it for terror - yet probation workers believed 'he had changed'.

 

The inquest into the deaths of his victims Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, today heard hugely differing views on how dangerous he was.

 

Khan's offender manager Ken Skelton said he thought the extremist, who murdered the pair at a prisoner education programme in November 29, 2019, was getting better.

 

Giving evidence, he told the hearing he was alert to the chance he could 'return to his old ways', but prisoner teaching project Learning Together had been a 'turning point' for him.

 

Incredibly Khan had told him 'I feel confident in challenging extremist behaviour in others'. 

 

But counter terror police just months earlier had banned him from enrolling in a dumper truck training course because they were concerned about the potential for him to use the vehicle as a weapon.

 

Later that year he was cleared to go down to London to the education programme in Fishmongers' Hall where he carried out his terrorist attack.

 

Khan (pictured), from Stafford in the West Midlands, armed himself with knives and strapped a fake suicide belt to his waist before attacking conference delegates

 

In November 2019 Khan stabbed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, yahoo45FacE3ZasUye during a prisoner rehabilitation conference at Fishmongers' Hall near London Bridge

 

Usman Khan's probation officer Ken Skelton is seen in a court artist's drawing from the inquest

 

Khan, from Stafford in the West Midlands, armed himself with knives and strapped a fake suicide belt to his waist before attacking conference delegates.

 

He was later chased by three men, armed with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk, onto London Bridge, where he was shot dead by police.

 

Mr Skelton said he had worked for the probation service since 1991 and had dealt specifically with terrorism offenders since 2017.

 

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This included two co-defendants convicted alongside Khan in 2010 of plotting a jihadi training camp in Pakistan.

 

Mr Skelton, who took over managing Khan in May 2017 while still in prison, said he was aware of a number of notes on Khan's system which said he had been involved in assaults and disruptive behaviour.

 

He said he asked Khan about an assault in the prison two months earlier, after which Khan sought to minimise his involvement.

 

Mr Skelton told the inquests: 'He just said he wasn't particularly involved to any great extent and said he was just stood there.'

 

Saskia Jones sat longside Usman Khan at a prisoner rehabilitation event near London Bridge

 

Bystanders and police surrounding Usman Khan at the scene of an incident on London Bridge

 

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