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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

UK terrorist taught young children on eve of atrocity

School head struck off after allowing extremist to run after-school classes

The van used in the June 3 London Bridge attack that left eight dead (Metropolitan Police London via AP)
The van used in the June 3 London Bridge attack that left eight dead (Metropolitan Police London via AP)

A school head has been banned from teaching in the UK for allowing an extremist to run after-school classes for young children the day before he carried out a terrorist attack in London.

Khuram Butt was allowed to teach the Quran to young children at an independent Muslim school in London despite having links to an extremist group and after being seen on a television documentary praying beneath a black flag that resembled one of ISIS.

Sophie Rahman took on Butt in February last year as a volunteer at the Eton Community School in east London but failed to carry out any checks on his background.

His last day was on June 2, the day before he joined two other men and drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before jumping out and stabbing people in bars and restaurants in the area leaving eight dead and dozens injured. The three attackers were shot dead by police within minutes.

A panel heard that Butt could have taught up to three classes a week in the months before the attack. The school closed within two months.

One of the pupils, an eight-year-old girl, reported him as saying that the “worst creatures are the kuffar” and that it was fine for children to lie to their parents if there is a “state of war”, the disciplinary panel heard.

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Read more:

New UK plan to confront ‘step change’ in terrorism

Britain mourns on anniversary of London Bridge attack

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The person who set up the school – the father of Ms Rahman’s children - knew Butt from a gym where the London Bridge plotters met on the night before the attack. He was taken on to teach the Quran despite not being able to speak Arabic, the hearing was told.

Both men were linked to the extremist group Al Muhajiroun, which was banned for hate speech after its leaders promoted suicide attacks against western targets.

The panel found that the head should have known that he was a member of the banned terrorist group.

Following the attack, Ms Rahman emailed the local authority to say that he had been in contact with six children on a weekly basis. The panel said she should have known there were more than six and criticised a delay of some 41 days before she supplied the names of those who may have had unsupervised contact.

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