Saskia Jones
Saskia Jones

Second London terror victim named

The woman killed in the London Bridge terror attack on Friday has been named as 23-year-old Cambridge University graduate Saskia Jones.

Convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, stabbed to death Saskia and 25-year-old Jack Merritt in the knife rampage on Friday, leaving three other people injured.

Paying tribute today Saskia's family said she "was a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people's lives", The Sun reports.

 

In this undated family photo issued Sunday Dec. 1, 2019, by London's Metropolitan Police showing Saskia Jones, 23. Picture: Family photo/London's Metropolitan Police via AP
In this undated family photo issued Sunday Dec. 1, 2019, by London's Metropolitan Police showing Saskia Jones, 23. Picture: Family photo/London's Metropolitan Police via AP

 

Saskia Jones’ family paid tribute to her. Picture: Family photo/London's Metropolitan Police via AP
Saskia Jones’ family paid tribute to her. Picture: Family photo/London's Metropolitan Police via AP

"She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.

"She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.

"Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment program, wishing to specialise in victim support.

"This is an extremely painful time for the family. Saskia will leave a huge void in our lives."

Mr Merritt's father David called his son a "beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog".

Jack's family said he died "doing what he loved".

They said: "He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly."

But they asked for his death not to be used to justify introducing "even more draconian sentences" on offenders.

It continued: "We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary."

 

 

 

TERROR VICTIMS

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge Professor Stephen Toope paid tribute to Jack and Saskia, both former students.

He said: "I am devastated to learn that among the victims of the London Bridge attack were staff and alumni of the University of Cambridge, taking part in an event to mark five years of the Learning Together program.

"What should have been a joyous opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this unique and socially transformative program, hosted by our Institute of Criminology, was instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act.

 

This undated photo provided by West Midlands Police shows Usman Khan. Picture: West Midlands Police via AP
This undated photo provided by West Midlands Police shows Usman Khan. Picture: West Midlands Police via AP

 

Screengrab showing London Bridge attacker Usman Khan speaking to the BBC in 2008. Picture: BBC
Screengrab showing London Bridge attacker Usman Khan speaking to the BBC in 2008. Picture: BBC

 

"I am sad beyond words to report that a course co-ordinator, Jack Merritt, was killed, as was former student [Saskia]."

One of the three further people injured in the attack has now been able to return home. Two people remain in a stable condition in hospital.

Questions have emerged around how the terrorist, who was wearing a monitoring tag during the attack, was released automatically on licence 11 months ago.

Khan, who was living in Stafford, was known to authorities and was convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences.

He was released from jail on licence last December and wore a fake suicide jacket during Friday's shocking attack in the capital.

Khan had attended a conference on prisoner rehabilitation hosted by Cambridge University scheme Learning Together at Fishmongers' Hall near London Bridge.

The killer was given permission to travel into the heart of London by police and the probation service.

Khan was wrestled to the floor after he began stabbing at people on the stairs outside the main conference room at Fishmongers' Hall.

As the knife-wielding maniac ran out to London Bridge to carry on his rampage, he was pursued by heroic former prisoners and staff, before he was shot dead by police.

Extraordinary footage posted online showed Khan being taken to the ground as one man sprayed him with a fire extinguisher and another lunged towards him with a narwhal tusk believed to have been taken from the wall inside the building.

He is the first freed terrorist to launch an attack in this country.

Khan was part of an al Qaida-inspired terror group - linked to radical preacher Anjem Choudary - that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange.

A list of other potential targets included the names and addresses of the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London, then London mayor Mr Johnson, two rabbis, and the American Embassy in London.

In February 2012, Khan was handed an indeterminate sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of eight years - meaning he could have been kept in prison for as long he was deemed to be a threat to the public.

The sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a determinate 16-year jail term, with a five-year extended licence period, under legislation which meant he was released automatically halfway through the sentence.

The UK head of counter-terrorism policing, Neil Basu, said he believed Khan had complied with an "extensive list of licence conditions" following his early release.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Khan was one of its fighters, but did not provide any evidence.

No-one else is being sought over the attack.

London Bridge and Borough market were the scene of a terror attack in 2017, when eight victims were killed along with the three terrorists, who were also wearing fake suicide vests and armed with knives.

The latest attack comes weeks after the UK's terrorism threat level was downgraded.

The threat level was lowered on November 4 to "substantial" from "severe", meaning attacks were thought to be "likely" rather than "highly likely".

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.



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