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Suspect in London Bridge knife attack identified as convicted terrorist released in 2018

London Bridge attack suspect served past jail time for terrorism offences
WATCH: London Bridge attack suspect served past jail time for terrorism offences

U.K. police have identified the dead suspect in Friday’s knife attack near London Bridge as Usman Khan, 28, from Staffordshire.

The attack left three people, including the suspect, dead. Two people died after being stabbed.

READ MORE: 3 dead, including suspect, after ‘terrorist incident’ at London Bridge

The attack took place just before 2 p.m. local time in central London, and has been termed a “terrorist incident.” 

Metropolitan Police issued a statement just after midnight local time. 

We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been residing in the Staffordshire area,” the agency’s assistant commissioner Neil Basu said in the statement.

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“As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.”

Basu said police are not “actively seeking anyone else” for this attack.

Convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences, Khan was known to U.K. authorities, Basu said.

“He was released from prison in December 2018 on licence and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack,” he said.

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A person who is released on licence is subject to conditions for the duration of their sentence after leaving prison. The Times newspaper reported that Khan had agreed to wear an electronic tag.

According to Sky News and The Guardian, Khan had been convicted in 2012 in connection to a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange.

UK PM Johnson calls death of 2 in London Bridge incident ‘heartbreaking’
UK PM Johnson calls death of 2 in London Bridge incident ‘heartbreaking’

While the two people who died in Friday’s attack have not been identified by name, Basu said they were a man and a woman. Three people who suffered injuries and were sent to hospital were a man and two women.

Just before news broke of the suspect’s previous conviction, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is seeking re-election on Dec. 12, said criminals must be made to serve their sentences.

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“It is a mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early, and it is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists,” he said.

READ MORE: Video shows several people pinning down man allegedly involved in London Bridge stabbing

Basi said the suspect had been at an event — ‘Learning Together’ — earlier on Friday at Fishmonger’s Hall.

The event was organized by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, according to a university statement posted online. It was a program on prisoner education, The Associated Press reported.

British police say London will see more officers patrolling streets in wake of incident
British police say London will see more officers patrolling streets in wake of incident

“We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers,” Basu said.

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London police are ramping up patrols around the city while people are requested to avoid the area where the attack took place, he added.

Basu has previously said police received reports that the suspect was armed with an explosive, but investigators determined the item strapped to his body was “a hoax explosive device.”

Man shot dead after multiple people stabbed in ‘terrorist incident’ at London Bridge in U.K.
Man shot dead after multiple people stabbed in ‘terrorist incident’ at London Bridge in U.K.

Video of the attack showed members of the public holding the suspect to the ground before police arrived on scene.

In the online statement, Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge, said he is “devastated” to hear of the attack that “may have been targeted at staff, students and alumni.”

He confirmed the university is in touch with Metropolitan Police.

“We mourn the dead and we hope for a speedy recovery for the injured,” Toope wrote.

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Witness video shows moment London Bridge suspect shot by police
Witness video shows moment London Bridge suspect shot by police

With files by Rachael D’Amore, Reuters, The Associated Press