'Police caught the London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt with reams of Islamic State propaganda including martyrdom videos more than six months before the atrocity, but he was not prosecuted, a court has heard.
The inquest into the June 2017 attacks was told about a series of alleged missed opportunities by counter-terrorism investigators in the months before eight people were killed.
Butt was the ringleader and had been under investigation by police and MI5 since 2015 over fears he was planning an attack in the UK. He was under active investigation when he staged the attack on London Bridge, and the victim’s families believe opportunities were missed to realise the scale of the danger he posed.
A senior Metropolitan police counter-terrorism detective, known only as witness M, insisted police had not come across any material showing Butt was planning an attack.
Gareth Patterson QC, for the victim’s families, questioned the senior detective about a raid on Butt’s home in which his phone and laptop were examined by police.
The raid, over a fraud allegation, took place in October 2016 and resulted in no criminal charges after it was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The inquest heard the material recovered from Butt’s phone and laptop included Isis propaganda about martyrdom and suicide missions, which Patterson said showed “an obsession with Islamic State”.
Butt had a YouTube subscription to an extremist preacher, material from other propagandists linked to inspiring and praising al-Qaida and Isis attacks, a voice message from one extremist saying he was looking forward to meeting Butt in paradise, and one in reply from Butt mentioning “like-minded brothers” in London who offered their support.
Patterson said: “Butt is speaking about death in the context of an obsession with martyrdom and suicide attacks.”'
Read more: London Bridge attacker ‘had been caught with Isis propaganda’
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