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Report: Third London Bridge Attacker Told Italian Police ‘I’m Going to Be a Terrorist’

Youssef Zaghba / Twitter
• June 6, 2017 12:54 pm

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The Moroccan-Italian man who British police identified Tuesday as a perpetrator of the London Bridge terrorist attack reportedly told authorities that he planned to be a terrorist.

British law enforcement identified Youssef Zaghba as the third man to carry out the Saturday attack on London Bridge and in the area around Borough Market that left seven people dead and 48 injured. Zaghba, 22, was shot dead by police, along with his fellow attackers Khuram Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane, 30.

Scotland Yard announced that unlike at least one of his co-conspirators, Zaghba "was not a police or MI5 subject of interest" at the time of his death. But Italian media reported Tuesday that authorities in Italy knew Zaghba was a threat, and shared that information with the British.

Zaghba—whose mother is Italian and father is Moroccan—was stopped at a Bologna airport in March 2016 with only a backpack and a ticket to Istanbul. When questioned by security agents, he told them, "I'm going to be a terrorist," according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Zaghab was reportedly trying to travel to Syria.

He was released after an interrogation and after Italian police questioned his mother and seized his computer and phone. Authorities discovered on the phone "propaganda videos and religious sermons that confirmed his wish to join Islamic State," the Guardian reported. Law enforcement did not have enough information to press charges.

Italy shared the information with the United Kingdom and other countries, according to Italian officials.

A few months later, Zaghba moved to the U.K. to work as a waiter at a Pakistani restaurant in London. An Italian official told the Guardian that they subsequently alerted their British counterparts, sending an advisory to MI5. But the U.K. security services have denied that charge, telling the British newspaper they could find "no evidence" they ever received such an alert.

Published under: London, Terrorism