Widows of Ilford and Barking London Bridge terrorists ask for anonymity, court hears

Left to right: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Picture: MET POLICE

Left to right: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Picture: MET POLICE - Credit: Archant

Widows of the London Bridge terrorists have asked for anonymity over fears they could be targeted, a pre-inquest hearing was told.

Eight people were killed and many more injured when Youssef Zaghba of Ilford and Khurum Butt and Rachid Redouane of Barking, drove a van into pedestrians and stabbed others in Borough Market in June 2017.

Police then shot and killed the men in eight minutes.

Two of the partners of the men made a request for anonymity during inquest preparations into the deaths in London on June 3 last year.

Jonathan Hough QC, counsel for the inquests, said all applications for anonymity had to be balanced against the principles of open justice.

He said neither of the women faced a “real and immediate risk of death of serious harm”, if they were named in public.

Although the windows said they feared reprisals, neither have mentioned a specific threat and both have been identified in media reports before, the Old Bailey heard.

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Mr Hough added that it could affect how much the public learns about the attackers’ lives and preparations before the killings.

The courtalso heard that the police have taken 1,800 statements as part of their investigation and seized “huge amounts” of CCTV footage.

Body-worn video footage from police officers in the aftermath of the attack was being examined to identify the timing of shots.

Mr Hough said forensic work was ongoing on the van used in the attack as well as “petrol bomb” bottles found inside and the knives used.

An expert report was being compiled on the body armour used by Pc Wayne Marques who was injured in the attack and attended court.

Another would deal with the attackers’ use of steroids in the run-up to the killings.

The inquests will examine how much the three men had come to the attention of authorities in Britain and abroad and

“whether their activities gave any warning signs”.

The hearing was told that would include what MI5 knew about Butt and his associates.

Mr Lucraft adjourned to a further pre-inquest hearing in January.

The full inquests are expected to begin next April and go on for two months.

The attacker’s inquest will be conducted with a jury which is common practice when police are involved in the killing of civilians.

It will take place after the victim’s inquest which will be lived streamed to the families of the deceased who live abroad.