Usman Khan, the London Bridge Terrorist, was considered a ‘poster boy for deradicalization’ following his release from prison after being convicted on charges of terrorism, it has now been revealed. Learning Together, a Cambridge University programme, worked with Usman Khan in prison and after his release and he was advertised as a success story.
Khan also wrote a ‘Thank You’ note to the organizers after they provided him with a computer that he could use without violating his bail conditions. The programme also shared his note of gratitude alongside a poem that he wrote. The poem goes, “I write so my words become a soothing light, I write so I can enter the coldest of hearts, I write so I can speak to those locked off from the world engulfed in the blinding absence of sight. I write so I can express what I feel is right.”
Although the face of the person is not visible in the image, it is understood to be Khan. In the note of gratitude, Khan wrote, “I typed these reflections on the chromebook I received and I am truly grateful to be able to express myself through it.” “I cannot send enough thanks to the entire Learning Together team and all those who continue to support this wonderful community.”
Usman Khan was banned from entering London but he received special permission to attend the event organized by Learning Together. In a handwritten letter following his 2012 conviction, Usman Khan claimed that he no longer endorsed extremist positions. The letter states, “I would be grateful if you could arrange some kind of course that I can do where I can properly learn Islam and its teachings, and I can prove I don’t carry the extreme views which I might have carried before.”
And it continues: “I would like to do such a course so I can prove to the authorities, my family and soicity (sic) in general that I don’t carry the views I had before my arrest and also I can prove that at the time I was immature, and now I am much more mature and want to live my life as a good Muslim and also a good citizen of Britain.”
It is also revealed that Jack Merritt, one of the two victims of Khan, worked with him while he was in prison. His family, however, has slammed the Tory government’s plans to review Britain’s judicial sentencing system in the aftermath of the attack. “We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary,” they wrote.
It appears that Usman Khan succeeded in convincing those around him that he had indeed been reformed. However, it’s now being suspected that he had planned the attack for a great many years. He was eventually shot dead after he had murdered two and injured several others. It is now known that Usman Khan had previously boasted about his UK benefits while plotting a “Mumbai-style attack”. Khan and the plotters had plans to raise funds to build a terrorist training camp in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The group also had also planned to carry out a “Mumbai-style attack” on high-profile figures, according to court documents.
However, people who knew him in his younger days don’t appear surprised by the turn of events. Rhys Miller, a former classmate, wrote on Facebook: ‘Look who it is – the guy who walked around school with a picture of Osama bin Laden on the front of his planner and used to sit in the corner of the cafe with 20 of his mates watching videos of the planes going into the Twin Towers.’ He asserted that Khan’s extremism was ‘brushed under the carpet’ and ‘blatant red flags’ were ‘ignored’.