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Reading knife attacker’s ‘mental health’ was ‘major factor’

The jihadist arrested on Saturday June 20 in Britain following the knife attack in Reading is said to be a Libyan asylum seeker.

Published: June 22, 2020, 11:23 am

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    The investigation after the knife attack on Saturday June 20, which killed three people and seriously injured three others, has come to preliminary conclusions. The facts took place in a park in the city of Reading, located west of London in the United Kingdom.

    Shortly after the incident, a 25-year-old immigrant from the city was arrested, and on Sunday June 21 the attack was described as “terrorist” by British police. The perpetrator “acted alone”, according to the chief of the anti-terrorist police, even if his motivation for this “horrible act” is “far from certain”.

    Anti-terrorism has taken the lead in the investigations, said the head of the anti-terrorist police. More is now known about the identity of the alleged attacker who, according to British media, is a Libyan refugee, by the name of Khairi Saadallah.

    The Daily Mail revealed that the suspect fled Libya seven years ago and was granted refugee status in the United Kingdom. A purported relative of the suspect is said to have told the Daily Mail that the suspect arrived in the UK as a tourist in 2012 and subsequently applied for asylum. Several sources have also told the BBC that the man is believed to be from Libya.

    According to British television, he even drew MI5’s attention in 2019. Internal security intelligence services at the time received reports that the suspect had planned to go to Syria. For the moment, this information has not been confirmed by the British authorities and no investigation has been launched against the individual.

    British newspapers reported that the Libyan refugee has already been imprisoned for petty crimes not related to terrorism. According to the Daily Telegraph, his “mental health” is considered a “major factor”.

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