Terrorist wrote play foretelling elements of Fishmongers’ Hall attack

A play by homegrown terrorist Usman Khan which foretold elements of his Fishmongers’ Hall atrocity did not give security services cause for concern, a senior MI5 official has said.

The script, entitled Drive North, was written while 28-year-old Khan was serving eight years in prison for planning a terror training camp in his parents’ homeland of Pakistan, and was passed on to MI5 in early 2019.

Khan went on to kill Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones at an event by prisoner education programme Learning Together in central London on November 29 2019, during which he strapped knives to his hands and wrapped a fake suicide belt around his waist.

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones
Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones (Family handout/Metropolitan Police/PA)

The inquests into the deaths on Thursday heard that the plot featured two characters, later revealed to be the protagonist in conversation with himself.

That character had been treated in a secure unit before being released where he would go on to commit a series of murders armed with a knife.

The play concluded with an investigation into whether the deaths could have been prevented.

Giving evidence on Thursday, a senior MI5 official known only as Witness A described how the play was seen by her colleagues but was deemed simply a piece of creative writing.

Usman Khan
Usman Khan (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The inquests were previously told Khan enrolled on Learning Together courses while in prison, including one on creative writing.

Witness A told the inquests: “At the time we received it in early 2019, they (the MI5 investigation team) saw it as very much part of the literature he had been producing.

“He (Khan) had been undertaking literature courses as part of his rehabilitation.

“It didn’t give them cause for concern or add or detract from the united picture – that Khan may re-engage in terrorist activity.”

The inquests continue.