Reading attacker classified as an extremist, sentenced to life in prison
Libyan extremists and asylum seeker who killed three men in last June was sentenced to life in prison
A judge has determined that the attack in a reading park the last June was was a jihadist attack and sentenced Khairi Saadallah, 26 to life in prison.
The attack claimed the lives of three men in a matter of ten seconds, the police investigators believe he showed training in the murders and resembled an execution-style in the stab wounds on the victims.
Saadallah is believed to have been a part of an extremist militia group in Libya and according to witnesses shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the stabbings.
Two of the victims were stabbed in the neck while one was stabbed in the back, with medical professional later arguing that precision of the wounds showed that the attacker knew exactly how to inflict maximum lethal damage.
Three other men were stabbed that same day in June nearing the end of Britain’s first coronavirus lockdown but were lucky enough to survive.
Despite the attacker being classified as a Muslim extremist, one Muslim member of the public who chased after Saadallah told him that he had nothing to do with Islam and Islam had nothing to do with him.
Sentencing Saadallah at the Old Bailey on Monday, Mr Justice Sweeney said: “Using his combat experience in each of their cases the defendant targeted a vulnerable area where a single thrust of the knife would, as he intended, inevitably cause death.”
DCS Kath Barnes, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “The men he killed were not just murdered, they were executed at such a speed, they had very little chance to react or defend themselves.
The court heard he was in prison at the same time as the extremist preacher Omar Brooks. Sources said Saadallah spent five days in the same part of the prison in 2017 with the ability to associate with Brooks but was moved away as he was assessed as vulnerable due to poor mental health and potentially susceptible to radicalisation.
Saadallah came to the UK in 2012 and tried and failed to get asylum seeker status, but the turmoil in Libya prevented his deportation.
He had previous convictions for theft and assault and was released on 5 June 2020 from prison, 15 days before the killings.
Saadallah is one of 63 people in England and Wales serving whole-life tariffs, meaning they can never be released.
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