London Bridge inquest Coroner says terror attackers family unconvincing as he rules

London Bridge attacker Khuram Shazad Butt Helen Boniface, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells representing six of the eight victims’ families, said: “The cumulative weight of intelligence known to MI5 and the police prior to the attack concerns the families that we represent.“Despite the coroner’s conclusion to the contrary, the families do believe there were many lost investigative opportunities that could have identified the planning of this attack.”The parents of Christine Archibald, 30, a Canadian woman knocked down on London Bridge, called for stricter measures to try to stop terrorists using hire vehicles as weapons following the inquest.Miss Archibald died in the arms of her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson. Barbara and Greg Archibald said in a statement: “We very much hope that he [the coroner] will now recommend that appropriate measures be introduced so that MI5 is notified when a vehicle is rented by a person on their watch list. Such a protocol might have prevented the death of Chrissy and others.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “All of the family knew something of his extreme views. I have to say, I didn’t find any of them convincing witnesses,” said the coroner. “Each has accepted that they should have done more at the time.”However, grieving relatives and their lawyers said the attacks had been “preventable” at the conclusion of the inquest, held at the Old Bailey, and paid extraordinary tributes to their loved ones. The court had heard how tip-offs were lost, basic associations not explored and “opportunities galore”  missed to expose the plan. MI5 did not identify Redouane and Zaghba until they were shot dead by armed officers in Borough Market.Christine Delcros, whose fiancé, Xavier Thomas, was the first bystander killed after being struck on the bridge by the attackers’ rented van, blamed the authorities for a catalogue of “staggering failings”, adding: “Imperfect communication between authorities meant that opportunities to identify all attackers and disrupt their activities did not occur.”She also condemned the authorities for failing to erect barriers at London Bridge, two months after the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge.  A City of London police officer had identified London Bridge as a “primary security concern” but nothing was done.Ms Delcros said of the loss of her partner: “Since that fateful day, time has stood still … I am inconsolable. Moving on is too far away. Our love for each other is what keeps me alive now.”Julien Belanger, whose son, Sebastien, 38, was stabbed to death, said: “Many opportunities were missed to prevent this tragedy, including the prior arrest of Khuram Butt.”Mr Belanger criticised the “slow response” of the London Ambulance Service to reach his son after the inquest had heard he was the only one of the victims who could conceivably been saved had an ambulance been allowed more quickly into the area. Philippe Pigeard, father of another victim, Alexandre Pigeard, also expressed concern over “a lot of missed opportunities”.Helen Kennett, 38, an off-duty NHS nurse, who was stabbed and wounded as she tended to Mr  Pigeard, told The Daily Telegraph: “I would do the same again. Even if I gave Alex just a glance that gave him comfort, then it was worth it. His parents are just glad that somebody went to him.” They added: “Chrissy was a beloved and sustaining presence in many lives. Nothing can deny the brutality of her death or mitigate our grief at her loss, but we hope that in the future no one else need be injured or killed in such an attack because authorities weren’t alerted in time.”Outside the Old Bailey, Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner and Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, paid tribute to the bravery of police officers and members of the public on the night of the attack.He said Scotland Yard had carried out a “painstaking and at times painful examination” of its own investigation into Butt, adding: “With regards to the investigation itself and with the benefit of hindsight, we know certain things could have been done differently.” A coroner criticised the family of the ringleader behind the London Bridge terror attack, accusing them of being unconvincing witnesses who should have done more to alert  authorities.Mark Lucraft QC, chief coroner for England and Wales, concluded eight innocent bystanders had been unlawfully killed by Khuram Butt and his two accomplices, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba, in the attack on June 3 2017.But to the disappointment of victims’ families, the coroner cleared the security services and counter-terrorism police of any failure to prevent the atrocity on Friday.Although Butt was the first jihadist terrorist to carry out an attack while under active investigation by MI5, the coroner praised the agency’s “thorough and rigorous” inquiries into his activities. Instead Mr Lucraft criticised Butt’s close family, including his widow, Zahrah Rehman.  London Bridge attacker Khuram Shazad ButtCredit:Metropolitan Police

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