now why would that be ?

Katy Clifton
a person posing for the camera: Killer: Khuram Butt was behind the London Bridge terror attack © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Killer: Khuram Butt was behind the London Bridge terror attack A counter-terrorism probe into London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt was suspended during the most alarming period MI5 has faced in nearly 30 years, an inquest has heard.

An investigation into Butt was suspended from March to May 2017, a senior officer identified only as Witness L told the Old Bailey.

The decision to suspend several investigations was made amid “the unprecedented level of threat which we were facing” which put pressure on MI5 resources, Witness L said.

The senior officer said on Wednesday: “In my 28 years (in MI5), I cannot recall a time as alarming as this time.”​

a man standing in front of a building: London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt (PA) Investigators failed to identify the school where Butt and his fellow attacker Youssef Zaghba both taught – the Ad-Deen primary school in Ilford – that was run by the wife of known extremist Sajeed Shahid.

Witness L accepted that a potential investigative opportunity had been lost. He also said there had been a failure to examine more closely the gym that Butt, Zaghba and the third attacker Rachid Redouane all attended, again owned by Shahid.

He said: “We did seek to task greater coverage of the gym but it did not come to fruition.”

Earlier, the court heard that MI5 received an anonymous tip-off that Butt was an extremist before an investigation was launched into him in 2015.

Witness L said an informant who specifically asked not to be contacted again had got in touch with the security service.

He said the intelligence “identified an individual called Khuram Butt who was in the right sort of age range and said that he was an extremist”.

This information was handed over before MI5 launched an official investigation into Butt in mid-2015.

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