LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday 74 convicts have been let out early from prison exactly like the London Bridge attacker.
Johnson’s revelation came only a couple of days after a convicted terrorist, Usman Khan, who was released early from prison because of an automated early release system, stabbed and killed two people, before he was shot down by armed police. Khan injured three others during the incident on Friday afternoon, which was declared as a terrorist attack by British authorities.
It is “legitimate” to question how the terrorist could be out that early, Johnson stated during an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. The government has come under fire since Friday’s incident. Khan was attending a rehabilitation event for ex-convicts in a building near the London Bridge when he started stabbing people.
He wore a fake suicide jacket with hoax explosives strapped around his body. During the interview, Johnson was asked about the Islamophobia allegations within the ranks of his Conservative Party. Marr read out an excerpt from Johnson’s article which was published by the Spectator after the July 7, 2005 terror attacks in London.
“To any non-Muslim reader of the Qur’an, Islamophobia – fear of Islam – seems a natural reaction, and, indeed, exactly what that text is intended to provoke. Judged purely on its scripture – to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques – it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers,” Johnson wrote.
“People are always going to drag out bits and pieces of what I have said over the years to distract,” Johnson noted in response.
The British prime minister also linked himself with his great grandfather, saying he knew the Quran by heart, referring to Ali Kemal, who was a minister in an Ottoman government in the early 20th century.
The Conservative Party has often been accused of Islamophobia and the biggest Muslim umbrella group, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has urged the government to take action and fully investigate the claims with a series of letters. Johnson has stated that the party will launch an investigation into all kinds of racism within the party before Christmas.