Suspected UK Terrorist Was Released From Prison Early and Known to MI5

Suspected UK Terrorist Was Released From Prison Early and Known to MI5

Khairi Saadallah, the Libyan refugee who has been detained on suspicion of perpetrating the knife attack in Reading, was released early from prison, was enrolled in the government’s Prevent deradicalisation scheme, and is believed to have been known to the UK’s security services as a possible terror suspect before the attack.

Saad­allah had been sentenced in October 2019 to 25 months and 20 days in prison for breaching a suspended jail term, racially motivated assault, criminal damage, and affray (public fighting) — yet only served 17 months and 20 days behind bars.

In March, the Court of Appeal decided to cut the prison sentence for the 25-year-old short, releasing him 16 days before the terrorist attack took place this past Saturday, June 20th.

The Libyan refugee was given strict licence conditions upon his release due to his violent past and history of mental illness.

“He obviously had an interest in extremism dating to last year. He had delusional and probably paranoid schizophrenia and was on strong medication which could be administered regularly in prison. His issues mean any trigger could have been very quick,” a source said.

Khairi Saadallah reportedly first entered the United Kingdom as an illegal migrant in 2012 before being granted asylum in 2018.

According to The Telegraph, he had bragged to his friends that he was a former child soldier in Libya, fighting to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

“He would describe himself as a Libyan soldier and said he had escaped because he didn’t want to be in the army,” a friend of Saadallah said.

The 25-year-old is also said to have told friends that he “fought for and against Islamic State” terrorist organisation. His erratic claims were believed by health officials to be linked to a form of mental illness.

He is reported to have met with Prevent officials, and had access to various support services provided through the programme. Officials, however, determined that Saadallah was not a likely terror threat.

Sources inside Whitehall also revealed that Saadallah was “fleetingly” on MI5’s terrorist suspect list of 40,000 people, yet was never placed on the “subject of interest” list that monitors around 3,000 people believed to pose the highest threat to national security.