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Third London bridge attacker an 'Italian national'

06 giugno 2017 | 14.35
LETTURA: 3 minuti

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The third of the three London Bridge attackers is Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was on Italy's list of persons at risk after he was held at Bologna airport last year bound for Syria, it was reported on Tuesday.

Zaghba had an Italian passport and his mother's name is Valeria, sources told Adnkronos.

Zaghba was shot dead by police after Saturday's deadly rampage in which seven people were killed and 48 were injured.

British police said in a statement on Tuesday they believed Zaghba to be the third attacker, that he was an Italian national of Moroccan descent and that his family had been informed.

"He was not a police or M15 subject of interest," the statement said.

At the time of the London Bridge attacks, Zaghba had been working in a London restaurant and was in touch with his mother, the sources told Adnkronos. There were conflicting reports on her whereabouts, with some sources saying she was in Bologna, and others claiming she was in Casablanca, Morocco.

Zaghba's parents reportedly lived in Morocco but then separated and his mother settled in Bologna. Zaghba spent a lot of time with relatives in East London but visited his mother several times in Bologna and when he was stopped at the city's Marconi airport in March 2016, he had told his mother he was going to Rome.

At the time of his arrest, Zaghba was travelling with just a backpack and his passport was impounded. His mobile phone was also confiscated and was found to contain religious videos and images but no violent jihadist images.

He was however charged with international terrorism and recorded on intelligence files as a suspected foreign fighter. Although the charge was later withdrawn, he remained on file as "a person at risk", Italian daily Corriere della Sera said.

Italy's intelligence services had reported Zaghba and his frequent movements to Moroccan and British authorities, Corriere reported.

The secretary of Italy's main Muslim umbrella group, Ucoii and coordinator of Bologna's Muslim community, Yassin Lafram told Adnkronos they did not know Zaghba.

"We don't appear to know him. If I understand correctly, he did not live here," Lafram said.

"Not everyone attends prayers," Lafram added.

Zaghba's fellow attackers were named as 27-year-old Pakistan-born British citizen Khuram Butt, and Rachid Redouane, 30, a Moroccan-Libyan pastry chef who had an Irish wife.

All 12 people arrested on Sunday after the attack have now been released without charge while a 27-year-old man was held in Barking near London on Tuesday in connection with the investigation, police said.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed Saturday's attack, in which Zaghba, Butt and Redouane allegedly drove a hire van into pedestrians on London bridge at around 10pm local time before stabbing people in the area around the nearby Borough Market.

Zaghba, Butt and Redouane were all shot dead by police at the scene within eight minutes of receiving an emergency call.

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