Khairi, the Libyan young man with mental problems who was already on British counterterrorism radars


READING (ENGLAND). Khairi SaadallahThe suspected bomber of Reading, who killed three people with stab wounds and wounded several others in the “Forbury Gardens” park on Saturday 20 June, is a 25-year-old boy who was granted political asylum in London several years ago, after escaping from Libya because of the civil war in its country of origin. Libya itself triggers a disturbing memory in England. Even the attacker from Manchester and the massacre of children at the Arena after the concert in Ariana Grande in 2017, the 23 year old Salman Abedi, was of Libyan origin and indeed, in his own country, he had met ISIS emissaries months before who instructed him to carry out that heinous attack. The boy’s uncle revealed to the Daily Mail that Saadallah would convert to Christianity three years ago.It is not known, at the moment, whether Saadallah has had contact with terrorists in recent times – the most frequent scenario – or if he acted alone, as a “lone wolf”, stabbing madly a group of middle-aged Englishmen who were enjoying the Saturday afternoon drinking pints of beer on the grass of Forbury Gardens in the city center. One of the victims was called James Furlong, was a middle-aged history teacher in Wokingham, near Reading, and seemed to be much loved by his students.

A recent image of Khairi Saadallah

Investigators, at the moment, believe that Saadallah has acted alone, and also for this reason they have not issued a specific alert for other public or outdoor spaces. The suspect also appears to suffer from mental problems. But of course, nothing is excluded, and for this reason there are now his phones and other devices. It is not clear why he attacked that group of people on Saturday afternoon, attacking them directly in the neck, to cause the worst – and fatal – injuries to his victims. However, it appears that Saadallah ended up on the British intelligence and counter-terrorism radar at some point in 2019. But at the time, as already seen in other circumstances, he was considered a non-dangerous subject. It appears that he had converted to Christianity three years ago.

Certainly, Saadallah had distinguished himself in Reading for other relatively minor crimes, especially assault, and for this he had spent several months in prison, something quite common in terrorists. A problematic boy, reckless, always in trouble. But nobody expected Khairi to stab madly and randomly in a Reading park on a calm Saturday afternoon, while England slowly returned to normal after the “lockdown”.

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