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Pakistan

December 7, 2019

Unknown to PIA, Swissport Cargo booked terrorist Usman Khan's dead body

Pakistan

Sat, Dec 07, 2019

LONDON: A multi-national cargo service booked the dead body of London Bridge attacker Usman on Pakistan International Airline’s flight PK792 from Birmingham to Islamabad for burial in Kejlani, District Kotli Azad Kashmir, without informing the airline about the true identity of the dead person.

A spokesman of the Swiss Port International Limited told Geo News on query that it had booked the dead body of Usman Khan with PIA’s Birmingham Office for transportation on Thursday for arrival in Islamabad on Friday morning for burial to a place near Kotli in Azad Kashmir.

The spokesman confirmed that the Swiss Port International, which has offices spread in dozens of countries around the world, was aware of the identity of the dead body as it had seen the death certificate, the coroner’s report and identity papers of the dead person but he confirmed that the Swiss Port International didn’t inform the PIA officials about the fact that the dead person being transported was the London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan who was born and raised in the UK.

A spokesman of PIA in Birmingham told this correspondent that it was not aware that the dead body was of the London Bridge attacker. The spokesman said that it was surprised to know through news reports that the dead body of the terrorist was flown on its PK792 flight bound for Islamabad. The PIA official said that it only had the “handling responsibility” at the Birmingham International airport and its staff cannot open the coffin.

The City of London coroner confirmed that the dead body of Khan was released on Tuesday evening to parents of the dead attacker. News reports said that the Khan’s parents took his dead body to Pakistan because they feared reprisals in the UK and they didn’t want any attention on them.

Usman Khan, the terror suspect shot dead in the 30 November 2019 terror attack near London Bridge, was born in Stoke-on-Trent to parents from Azad Kashmir. He was convicted at the Woolwich Crown Court in 2012 with eight others for planning to bomb London Stock Exchange.

It became evident during the trial at Woolwich Crown Court that Usman Khan had no relation of any kind with Pakistan or Azad Kashmir, birthplace of his parents. The trial had heard from the counter-terrorism police experts that while Usman Khan discussed setting up a training camp for Jihadi training in Azad Kashmir, that plan never materialized. The evidence submitted before the court had established that there was no involved of anyone from Pakistan in the nefarious plans that Usman Khan and his terrorism associates were making.

It became clear during the trial that Usman Khan was inspired by the terrorist ideology of terror group Al Qaeda but his source of inspiration was online grooming, local radical groups and widespread availability of extremist literature online and in social circles.

Usman Khan was part of a gang of nine Islamist extremists from Stoke-on-Trent, Cardiff and London who were sentenced in February 2012 at Woolwich Crown Court. He was 19 at the time and youngest of the group. Most of the gang members were British Bangladeshis and three of them were born were born in Bangladesh while all the rest were British born.

Khan went to a local Stoke school and dropped out without any qualifications. Coming from a deprived and socially excluded background, Usman Khan started hanging around with local street gangs and drug pushers in the area. He lived for a large part of his life on Persia Walk. As he grew up, he started mixing with religious radicals. He was often seen doing stalls of "dahwa" in Stoke for the proscribed terrorist organisation al-Muhajiroun, which was once led by solicitor-turned-hate preacher Anjem Chowdhury.

The nine-members gang included Mohammed Shahjahan, Omar Latif, Nazam Hussain, Usman Khan, Mohibur Rahman, Mohammed Chowdhury, Shah Rahman, Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Miah. Mohammed Chowdhury was the lynchpin of the terror group.