One of the three jihadis behind Saturday’s terror attack in London had been reported to anti-terror police on at least two occasions, British media reported.
The suspect developed deep extremist views over the past two years, according to one of his former friends. The friend said he contacted police about comments the suspect made about previous attacks, but authorities did not move forward with an investigation.
“We spoke about a particular attack that happened and like most radicals he had a justification for anything and everything and that day I realized I needed to contact the authorities,” the unnamed friend told BBC.
“I did my bit, I know a lot of other people did their bit, but the authorities did not do their bit.”
The man got increasingly radicalized by watching YouTube videos of American hate preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril.
“He used to listen to a lot of Musa Jibril,” the friend told BBC.
“I have heard some of this stuff, and it’s very radical. I am surprised this stuff is still on YouTube and is easily accessible.
I phoned the anti-terror hotline. I spoke to the gentleman. I told him about our conversation and why I think he was radicalized.”
Erica Gasparri, a neighbor of the suspect, claims she reported him to authorities two years ago after he began “brainwashing” her children. She confronted him when her children came home and told her they wanted “to become a Muslim.”
“He was trying to radicalize the children, he would go down to the park and talk to them about Islam,” Gasparri said, according to The Telegraph.
“He also came to the houses and gave the kids money and sweets during Ramadan.”
The attacks killed seven people and injured 48. Police have not released the identities of the suspects.
The Met Police said their names would be released “as soon as operationally possible” as officers work to establish if they were part of a wider network.
They were shot by police after driving into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbing people in Borough Market.
Officers searched two addresses in east London on Monday morning.
Police said a “number of people” had been detained following the raids, in Newham and Barking.