Police are treating Reading stabbing as terrorism incident

The man held on suspicion of killing three people at a park in Reading was known to MI5, with police saying that they are treating the stabbing as a terrorist incident.

Security sources say that 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah, originally from Libya, came to the attention of MI5 in 2019, after they received information he had aspirations to travel abroad - potentially for terrorism. Originally arrested by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTSPE) on suspicion of murder on 20 June, the suspect has now been re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Intelligence agencies believe Saadallah had mental health problems.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who described the attack as an ‘atrocity’, said investigators are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.

The suspect was arrested within five minutes of the first emergency call made to police, and a number of officers were quickly on the scene.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held a meeting with security officials, police and senior ministers over the incident, and said that, ‘if there are lessons that we need to learn’ then ‘we will not hesitate to take action when necessary’. He said that included changes to the law, as they had done over the automatic early release of terrorist offenders.


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