London – British police on Monday named two of three men who were shot dead after vehicle and stabbing attacks at the weekend in the heart of London, and arrested several more people in east London who are believed to be connected to the terrorists.
The Metropolitan Police published photographs and details of the two, saying they were from Barking in east London, but cautioned that “formal identification has yet to take place.”
They said detectives believed one of the men was Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, a British citizen who was born in Pakistan.
The second suspected attacker was believed to be Rachid Redouane, 30, who had “claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan” and used a different name and date of birth.
Butt had been “known to the police and [security service] MI5” but there was “no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned.”
The attack began late Saturday when three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market.
Hundreds of people joined a vigil in central London late Monday for the victims of the attack as Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city “will never be cowed by terrorism.”
“Tonight we stood together to honour those who lost their lives and send a clear message: Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism,” Khan said in a tweet from the vigil.
Also present were Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Labour home affairs spokeswoman Diane Abbott and police chiefs carrying floral tributes to remember the victims.
The crowd observed a one-minute silence at Potters Fields Park, a short distance from the scene of the attack that killed seven people and injured dozens of others.
“I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who committed these hideous crimes: We will defeat you; you will not win,” Khan said in a speech.
“As a proud and patriotic British Muslim I say this: you do not commit these disgusting acts in my name,” he said.
“Your perverse ideology has nothing to do with the true values of Islam and you will never succeed in dividing our city.”
Usman Saifi, 36, an accountant in London, attended the vigil with a group of Muslims who wore blue T-shirts bearing the message: “I am a Muslim, ask me anything,” The Guardian reported.
“It is really sad that we have had to do this for a third time,” Saifi told the newspaper, referring to two previous attacks in London and Manchester in recent weeks.
“It is frustrating what is going on right now,” he said. “We are standing here in solidarity and as Muslims. This is not what our religion teaches us.”
The leaders of Britain’s two biggest political parties resumed their campaigns for a snap general election, insisting that “democracy will prevail” after they suspended campaigning following the attack.
Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a defiant message in a campaign speech in London. “Our way of life and democratic process must go on,” May said.
“We are not going to allow anybody to dictate how we live our lives or how we go about enjoying ourselves,” opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a speech in the north-eastern city of Middlesbrough. “We will carry on … Democracy will prevail.”
Corbyn renewed his criticism of May for cutting some 20,000 police officers during her time as home secretary from 2010 to 2016.
The Metropolitan Police released all those arrested on Sunday in connection with the London terror attack, the police said in a statement late Monday.
A total of 12 men and women were detained Sunday. One suspect, a 55-year-old man, was released without charge Sunday evening.
“Specialist officers are working with families of victims and the Coroner to identify those who were killed in Saturday’s attack at the appropriate time,” the statement added.
In a statement earlier Monday, the Metropolitan Police said counterterrorism officers searched two addresses in the eastern districts of Barking and Newham around 4:15 am (0315 GMT).
“A number of people have been detained and are at present being spoken to,” it said in a statement.
The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility late Sunday for the attack, as May vowed an overhaul of the country’s counterterrorism strategy.