Homeland Security

London Attack Reveals That 'Known Wolf' Terrorism Is Worse Than You Could Imagine

Earlier this week, I reported here that at least one of this weekend’s London attackers was a “Known Wolf” — a person already known to UK authorities as a terror risk before the attack — just like the recent Westminster and Manchester terrorists:

But yesterday, we discovered just how much warning authorities had about terrorist Khuram Butt, a British citizen born in Pakistan. He had been referred to UK authorities at least twice:

Then it got worse: Butt had been featured in a Channel 4 documentary, “The Jihadis Next Door,” which tracked a group of ISIS supporters and was filmed over two years:


The failure doesn’t end there. During the documentary, they pray with a jihadist flag:

In retrospect, this seems like a pertinent question for authorities:

Butt had also tried to go to Syria to join ISIS:

It turns out he was the target of a two-year police probe:

And UK authorities had determined that Butt was “potentially one of the most dangerous extremists in the UK”:

Butt was not only on the radar of UK authorities, but reportedly the FBI as well:

Despite this, Butt had potentially dangerous access to vital areas because of his job with the Tube.

He was also linked to the 7/7 bombers:

And he had been reported to police for assaulting other Muslims:

If you think that’s bad, consider that the second killer, Moroccan/Libyan Rachid Redouane, had been denied asylum by the UK in 2009:

And it was revealed that, much like Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, he had fought in Libya with the Western-backed “rebels”:

Like Redouane and Abedi, there are hundreds more Libyan fighters living in the UK who fought in Libya, creating a threat impossible to measure:

So if he had been denied asylum by the UK, what was he doing living there?

Because, as he had Irish citizenship, he had an EU residency card:

There are concerns that other potential terrorists may exploit the EU residency loophole:

Then there was the third attacker, Youssef Zaghba, who was an Italian citizen born in Morocco and who also “slipped through the net”:

Neighbors testify, according to the media, that he was a “good boy”:

And London Met police claim he was not a subject of interest:

This is where it gets really interesting.

In March 2016, Zaghba showed up at Bologna airport trying to board a flight to Istanbul with a one-way ticket to make his way to Syria to join ISIS.

During the course of his interrogation, he declared: “I am going to be a terrorist”:

Zaghba had later planned to fly to Istanbul from Catania, Sicily, but he never showed up for the flight.

Notwithstanding two attempts to travel to Syria to join ISIS, having declared to officials “I am going to be a terrorist,” he was let into the UK:

According to The Guardian, Italian authorities had let the UK know about Zaghba’s extremist leanings:

After he was stopped at Bologna airport, details about him were uploaded to a Europe-wide database of potential jihadis, although Scotland Yard said in a statement: “He was not a police or MI5 subject of interest.”

His mother said he had remained under monitoring by Italian intelligence ever since […]

The Italian security services sent an alert to London with the information gathered from his phone and from other checks carried out in Bologna, understood to have included searches of his mother’s home, according to the paper.

Zaghba apparently tried again to reach Istanbul, reserving a ticket to fly from Catania in Sicily, but never took the flight.

An Italian official told the Guardian that Italian authorities had alerted their British counterparts when Zaghba moved to London. But it is unclear what form that alert took.

Needless to say, there are considerable questions to be asked about the handling of each of these cases by UK authorities as Prime Minister Theresa May faces a general election within days:


Lest we be too preachy with our British cousins, it bears mentioning that our record with the “Known Wolf” problem in the U.S. is just as bad:

I’ve been reporting on the “Known Wolf” problem here at PJ Media since 2014:

After the Westminster and Orly airport attacks, I asked “[h]ow many more must die” before Western authorities acknowledge, let alone deal with, the “Known Wolf” issue?

The answer to that question from the attacks over the past 90 days has been: many more.

The three terrorists didn’t just “slip through the net.” We now know that Western law enforcement, intelligence, and national security agencies are fundamentally broken at a time when the threat from these attacks is escalating rapidly.

We are less than a week away from the one-year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse night club attack by Omar Mateen, who had been investigated twice by the FBI before he killed 49 Americans:

The Orlando attack was the largest loss of life from a terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11. Yet a year has passed, and nothing has changed — except the exploding growth of the threat internationally.

The lethal consequences of refusing to address the “Known Wolf” issue leaves citizens more vulnerable than ever before. And the nature of the “Known Wolf” terrorism threat we face is greater than we could possibly imagine.