Sat 07 December 2019:
London Bridge killer Usman Khan has been buried in Pakistan in his family’s ancestral village after objections in his local Muslim community to a burial in his home town.
The body of the 28-year-old terrorist who attacked five people, killing two, was flown out of the UK on Thursday afternoon and arrived in Pakistan on Friday morning for the burial, almost exactly a week after the atrocity.
His family who issued a statement this week “totally condemning” his actions organised the funeral in their native Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after concerns about burying him in the UK.
A cousin said his parents wanted to keep the burial “low key” and “did not want to bury him in the UK” because they were “scared”.
A pre-burial ritual known as a Janaza took place in a Birmingham mosque before the body was flown to Pakistan after being released by the City of London coroner. Janaza are funeral prayers and their purpose is to ask forgiveness for the deceased.
But it is understood many members of the Muslim community in Cobridge, Stoke, were unhappy with a burial at the local Ghausia Masjid despite its close ties with Khan’s family.
A village resident in Kashmir told the BBC that local people would attend out of sympathy with the family, not because they condoned the attack.
Relatives said his funeral, in the 3,000-strong village of Kajlani at 4pm local time had been attended by a “large number” of people.
Raja Khurshid, another relative, said he was shocked and saddened by Khan’s actions. He said that when he had visited as a teenager, he had been a “humble and good human being.”
Khan was disowned by friends and his family after he was jailed for a terrorist plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange in 2012. The cousin said “he went on his own path” and the family were “genuinely shocked when this [the attack] happened.”
In a statement on Tuesday issued through the Metropolitan Police, the Khan family said: “”We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done.
“We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.”
Khan had been at a Learning Together event at Fishmongers’ Hall at London Bridgen when he murdered Cambridge University graduates Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merrit, 25.
Learning Together, for which both worked, had helped Khan when he was released from prison in December last year after his 2012 conviction,
He injured three other people in his knife rampage before being shot dead, wearing a mock suicide vest, last Friday. The three have been discharged from hospital and are “recovering well,” medics said.
Police continued to appeal for witnesses to the terrorist attack and have so far retrieved more than 80 hours of CCTV footage, through which they are trawling, received more than 500 images and videos from the public and taken almost 300 statements from witnesses.
“We have found no evidence to suggest anybody else was involved in this attack, but we continue to make extensive enquiries to ensure this is the case,” said Neil Basu, the assistant commissioner who heads counter-terrorism for the Met Police.
The inquests into the deaths of Khan and Ms Jones and Mr Merritt were opened and adjourned this week. The City of London coroner declined to comment on the release of Khan’s body.
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