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British police name 2 of the London attackers as investigation speeds forward


LONDON — British police on Monday publicly identified two of the three attackers killed while carrying out a deadly weekend rampage on and near the London
LONDON — British police on Monday publicly identified two of the three attackers killed while carrying out a deadly weekend rampage on and near the London Bridge— one a Pakistan-born British national and a second they said was of Moroccan or Libyan extraction.
Earlier in the day, police staged more raids and detained an undisclosed number of suspects in connection with the attack in the heart of the British capital that left seven people dead and scores hurt.
Scotland Yard said in a statement that “formal identification has yet to take place, ” but that detectives had identified one man as Khuran Shazad Butt, 20, and Rachid Redouane, 30, both from the east London suburb of Barking. Redouane had also used another name, Rachid Elkhdar, and a birthdate that would have made him 25, the police said.
The name of the third attacker was not immediately disclosed. All three were shot dead by police at the scene.
As the investigation moved forward, more details emerged about victims of the attack, in which the assailants used a rented van to ram pedestrians on the bridge, then jumped out with long knives and slashed bar and restaurant patrons in an adjoining nightlife district.
The sister of a missing 32-year-old British man named James McMullan told Sky News that police informed family members that his bank card had been found on one of the bodies. Melissa McMullan said the family believed it was him, although a coroner’s report was pending.
A 30-year-old Canadian woman had previously been named as one of those killed, and French officials said a French citizen was another of the fatalities.
Fallout from the attack, meanwhile, moved to the forefront of this week’s general elections. Prime Minister Theresa May, whose Conservatives had initially held a large lead in opinion polls, appeared to be losing ground to the left-leaning Labor Party.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said May should resign over police cuts she presided over as home secretary, the country’s top security post that May had held for six years before becoming prime minister last year.
Corbyn also vehemently denounced a series of tweets by President Donald Trump in which the U. S. president mischaracterized comments by London’s Muslim mayor and used the attack to press for a presidential travel ban now being weighed by the Supreme Court. May has been more measured, defending Mayor Sadiq Khan but not directly criticizing Trump.
Khan had told Londoners that they would be seeing more police on the streets in response to the terror threat, but there was “no reason to be alarmed” by this. “We are the safest global city in the world, ” he added.
Trump jumped on Khan’s reassurances, tweeting Sunday: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’ ”
On Monday, after Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attack, Khan condemned the “poisonous” ideology that he said underpinned the rampage, saying it had no place in Islam.
Trump followed up with another tweet on Monday, lashing out at reports that his characterization of Khan’s earlier statement had been misleading.
Monday was the first workday since the Saturday night rampage, and while the bridge and parts of surrounding areas remained blocked off, transport links in the busy zone were reopening, though one major Tube station was still closed. Many peoples’ commute took them on foot past police barricades, with street corners heaped with bouquets of flowers, stuffed animals and handwritten notes.
As evening fell, hundreds gathered on the banks of the Thames, not far from the scene of the assault, for a memorial vigil. A moment of silence was punctuated by a dog’s single bark.
“Our city is filled with great sorrow and anger tonight, but also great resolve and determination, ” Khan told those assembled.
Debate in Britain grew, meanwhile, about the country’s longstanding practice of most police officers going unarmed. Police had shot dead the attackers, who were wearing fake suicide vests, eight minutes after the first distress call, wounding one civilian in the process. But one of the nearly 50 people injured was an officer who had confronted the attackers wielding only a baton.
The police raids have been concentrated in east London, where a dozen people had been detained Sunday. One was released but the rest remained in custody.
Police said little about the additional arrests in the same general part of the city, other than to confirm that more raids had taken place early Monday. Like May, senior police officials described a recent spate of terror attacks — the bridge rampage was the third major strike in three months — as posing an “unprecedented” threat.
“We in this country have faced a terrorist threat throughout my life, ” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told reporters Monday. “It changed and morphed, and we will change and adapt to what appears to be a new reality for us.”
Londoners, even while mourning, expressed continuing determination to avoid giving in to the kind of fear the attackers had sought to sow. A photograph of a man carefully balancing his mug of beer as he walked amid those fleeing the attack on Saturday night went viral online, inspiring thousands of memes and becoming for many a symbol of calm resistance in the face of terror.
“I think that the vast majority of the public are keen to promote a united view and a ‘stiff upper lip’ in a typically British manner, so in many ways the attacks have galvanized the British public, ” said Matthew Flinders, a political scientist at Sheffield University.

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