London Bridge terrorist ‘taught the Qu’ran’ to Ilford primary school children
- Credit: Archant
The ringleader of the London Bridge terror attack taught Ilford primary school children and even passed a DBS check, the Recorder understands.
Khuram Butt, 27, who masterminded the atrocity during which eight people were killed and dozens more injured, taught the Qu’ran to pupils at Eton Community School, in Eton Road, Ilford, it is claimed.
“For the last couple of months he was teaching five or six children,” a source close to the school has said.
“He would hire out a room after school, and teach them the Qu’ran privately, teach them to memorise it.
“They were young children, 10 or 11-years-old.”
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It is thought Butt may have tried to radicalise the youngsters, and the local authority and Prevent are investigating.
And the source told the Recorder he had been informed Butt passed a DBS check – what used to be known as a CRB check – to work at the school.
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“He had a CRB check and he was cleared, that’s what the school told me,” he explained.
“The Prevent officer took a copy of it.”
It is understood the police knew about Butt, who was an associate of Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary, in at least 2016, when he was filmed on Channel 4 programme The Jihadis Next Door.
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) spokesman said: “We currently offer Standard and Enhanced checks.
“Anyone employing people to work with vulnerable adults or children should request an Enhanced DBS check.
“Subject to filtering arrangements this will list convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings held on the Police National Computer.
“In addition the certificate may also contain further relevant information from local police forces or show if someone is currently barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.”
The spokesman added that the DBS check should only form “part of any organisation’s recruitment decision and should be considered alongside other information that is available”.
Butt, of Barking, was the mastermind of the horrific attack on June 3.
Rachid Redouane, Youssef Zaghba and ringleader Butt ploughed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge.
They then got out and began stabbing people until they were eventually shot dead by police near Borough Market. Eight people died, as well as the terrorists.
In the days after there were numerous anti-terror raids in Ilford, and it is understood before the attack the jihadis met at the Ummah Fitness Centre, off Ilford Lane.
In June the Recorder reported that Redbridge Council, the police and Prevent were investigating whether Butt tried to radicalise youngsters in the borough, both at the gym and possibly at schools.
It is now believed Eton Community School, which used to be known as the Ad Deen Primary School, was the only school he had links to.
The independent school, which costs £2,400 a year, failed two Ofsted inspections in 2016, which reported pupils were being taught in “unsafe” environments.
However two months before the attack, when Butt is thought to have been teaching the Qu’ran, it passed its inspection with teachers commended for “enhanced safeguarding training”.
The Recorder has been informed the school does not wish to comment on the allegations.
The Met have said police received a call to their anti-terror hotline about Butt, which led to an investigation, however they found not evidence of any planned attack.
A spokeswoman continued: “Butt was arrested by police in relation to low-level fraud but there was insufficient evidence against him. Following consultation with the CPS he was about to be released from bail with no further action.”
She said he had two cautions, for fraud in 2008 and common assault in 2010.
The spokeswoman added: “Police are aware of Khuram Butt’s connection to the Eton Community School, Eton Community Centre and we are working with local partners to address any safeguarding issues.”
An Ofsted spokeswoman said: “Ofsted does not have the necessary legislative powers to inspect madrassas or after school centres.
“We work closely with the Department for Education (DfE) to keep children safe in and out of school. However, it is for the government and not Ofsted to decide if after school religious centres should be inspected and which agency will have the power to inspect these centres.
“Eton Community School received a full inspection in February 2016 when it was found to be inadequate. Since then it has had two follow up inspections to check on its progress towards meeting the Independent School Standards set out by the DfE. In February 2017 we found the school was able to demonstrate it was meeting all the necessary standards.
“If the DfE has concerns about a particular school it can ask Ofsted to inspect them at any time and Ofsted constantly risk assess schools using all publically available information.”
A DfE spokeswoman added: “Although we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation it is extremely concerning that an individual like this was allowed to be involved with any school in any capacity.
“Although this school was judged by Ofsted to be meeting the Independent Schools Standards in April 2017, we continue to work with the police and relevant authorities and we will not hesitate to take appropriate action to safeguard children, which can include the closure of schools and barring individuals from schools.”
The Met has been contacted for comment.
In June a spokesman told this paper: “Police are investigating lots of different lines of inquiry including Butt’s activities with young people in Redbridge”
Redbridge Council declined to comment.