Usman Khan is now on record as having fooled prison chaplain Paul Foster and counterterror top dog Steve Machin. It was easy. Both were so eager to believe in the myth of deradicalization.
Machin says: “I couldn’t live my life expecting every encounter with the community or ex-offenders is going to lead to devastation, I couldn’t live with that level of paranoia.”
Sure, Machin. It would be terrible to have to live with that level of paranoia. Now how is it to live with the knowledge that two people are dead because you didn’t want to seem paranoid?
“London Bridge terrorist ‘duped anti-terror boss who asked about big coat he was wearing to hide fake suicide vest,’” by Ryan Hooper, Emily Pennink, and Tom Faria Matthews, MyLondon, April 29, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
The London Bridge terrorist who fatally stabbed two graduates duped a counter-terrorism boss about his bulky coat that had a fake suicide belt inside just before his deadly attack, a jury was told.
Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, were fatally stabbed by terrorist Usman Khan at a prisoner education event held in at Fishmonger’s Hall next to the Thames.
Steve Machin, governor of counter-terrorism at HMP Whitemoor, questioned Khan as to why he was wearing the extra large coat, which he wouldn’t take off, at the event on November 29, 2019.
Mr Machin told jurors that Khan had said he was dressing for the weather, which Mr Machin found “plausible”.
Jurors heard from Mr Machin that he was not “in the same headspace” while outside the prison.
Mr Machin said: “I couldn’t live my life expecting every encounter with the community or ex-offenders is going to lead to devastation, I couldn’t live with that level of paranoia.”
On Wednesday, Mr Machin said Khan, from Stafford, tried to give him a hug when the pair met, telling him: “I have learnt that violence isn’t the path.”
But inquest jurors at City of London’s Guildhall heard Khan had spent the previous week buying items needed for his murderous plans, including a black coat that he wore to the event, under which he concealed a fake suicide vest.
On Thursday (April 29), Nick Armstrong, representing the family of Ms Jones who was a guest at the event, asked: “Why don’t you pick up the fact he’s wearing the coat?”
Mr Machin replied: “He provided a backstory and it sort of made sense. I could see below the coat was a base layer.
“He said when he checked the weather he was expecting a cold day. He said: ‘I don’t want this being my outer top’.”
Mr Armstrong accused Mr Machin of dropping his guard despite being faced with warning signs about Khan’s presentation.
Mr Machin said: “I’m not in the same headspace as when I’m at work – I wasn’t there as a counter-terrorism governor, I was there as operational manager of HMP Whitemoor.
“My head space would have been completely different.”
Mr Machin rejected Mr Armstrong’s suggestion that Khan being an example of a “good news story” for rehabilitation had effectively “blunted his antennae” of concern.
Mr Machin said: “I didn’t see it as a ‘good news story’.
“I saw him being involved (with Learning Together) as good, it hadn’t got to the point of a good news story.”
Mr Armstrong replied: “The problem with a good news story is they’re not always true.”…