MI5 probe into London Bridge attacker was well run, inquest told

An MI5 review found the investigation into London Bridge terrorist Khuram Butt was “well and effectively run”, an inquest has heard.

A senior officer from the security service, known only as Witness L, gave evidence to the Old Bailey on Wednesday amid tight security.

He was shielded from public view in the witness box, surrounded by curtains fastened tightly with bulldog clips.

London Bridge attackers
Khuram Butt, left, Rachid Redouane, centre, and Youssef Zaghba killed eight people in their rampage in June 2017 (Met Police/PA)

Witness L told the hearing a post attack review, carried out by a manager in MI5 with a panel of experts, found “the investigation into Khuram Butt was well and effectively run”.

It also said decisions to temporarily suspend investigations into the 27-year-old due to resourcing pressures in February 2016 and March 2017 were “logical and proportionate in the circumstances”.

Police were not consulted about the suspensions “in any systematic way” but may have been spoken to informally, he told the court.

Witness L is set to face questions about how much MI5 knew about the three London Bridge attackers before the atrocity and whether it could have been stopped.

London Bridge tributes
Floral tributes were left near the scene of the attack in the days following the atrocity (PA)

Butt, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, killed eight people and injured 48 more in a van and knife attack on June 3, 2017.

They mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing innocent bystanders at random in nearby Borough Market.

Those who died were Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

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