London attacker was family man nicknamed 'Abz' - neighbours

2017-06-05 16:58
Debris and abandoned cars remain on London Bridge at the scene of an apparent terror attack in central London on June 3, 2017. (AFP)

Debris and abandoned cars remain on London Bridge at the scene of an apparent terror attack in central London on June 3, 2017. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


London Attacks: Ireland ID card found on one attacker

2017-06-05 14:19

Britain police say they know who the attackers are, and that one perpetrator had an Irish ID on him, in the wake of Saturday night's terror attack at London Bridge. Watch for more. WATCH

London - Neighbours of one of the suspected assailants in the London stabbings remembered him as a friendly family man and gym aficionado nicknamed "Abz" who was seen with the van used in the attack just hours before.

Located in the multi-ethnic area of Barking, the flat where British media reported the man lived was raided by police on Sunday and women in headscarves were taken out by the police.

"We saw him many, many times around here," said Salahudeen, a 40-year-old driving instructor, who lives near the ground-floor flat in a modern-looking apartment block in the east London suburb.

"He used to be friendly but suddenly we seen him, he's changing attitudes, he wasn't acting as normal. He wasn't aggressive; he used to chat but lately he was just 'hi' and 'bye'," he said.

Salahudeen said the man had two children - a boy and a baby girl.

"One is around three years old and the girl was just born two weeks ago," he said, adding that he would see him carrying the boy on his shoulders and playing football in the park.

'We call him Abz' 

Salahudeen said the man used to wear ankle-length camouflage trousers - similar to the ones seen in a picture of one of the bodies of the three attackers shot dead by police on Saturday night.

The attackers mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge with a white hire van before jumping out and going around bars and restaurants in the area wearing fake suicide vests and stabbing revellers at random.

They were shot dead in a hail of police gunfire.

Police have so far released no details about them, saying only that they know the identities and will release names "as soon as operationally possible".

They said they had arrested 11 people - five men and six women aged between 19 and 60 at the flat.

Three police vans and around a dozen officers could be seen outside.

Michael Mimbo, 25, who spoke on his doorstep in a neighbouring apartment complex, said the attacker was "an Asian male" - a term used in Britain to refer to people from or with origins in the Indian subcontinent.

"We call him 'Abz' at the local gym," he said.

"The van he rented was here on Friday. He parked. It was blocking people from coming in. People were beeping their cars saying: 'Get out of the way'."

Mimbo said he saw the van again on Saturday at around 19:45 - just over three hours before the attack.

"The van was racing up the street with another red car behind it," he said.

Armed police swoop

Mimbo said he saw armed police swoop on the flat on Sunday in the hours after the attack.

"I heard some shouting at people saying: 'Run, run' and they're screaming 'get down, get down'."

"That's when I heard the first bang so I came down to investigate what was going on and that's when I saw armed police everywhere.

"They had guns drawn at one of the suspects and one of them tried to run away. Another bang went off and he was on the floor.

"I thought he was shot or Tasered, there was definitely a Taser over his head," he said, referring to the electric stun guns used by British police.

"I don't expect things to happen like that in this area but who knows what your neighbours are like?"

Read more on:    uk  |  terrorist attack

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Audit Senior / Bookkeeper to Trial Balance

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Placement Point (Pty) Ltd
R15 000.00 - R21 000.00 Per Month

Sales Representative- Knysna

George - Knysna
George Employment Consultants
R15 000.00 Per Month Per Month

Key Accounts - IT

Southern Shore Recruitment
R15 000.00 - R25 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.