June 22, 2020 / 6:44 AM / 24 days ago

Britain's security minister says Reading attack was shocking act

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s security minister on Monday said a knife attack which left three people dead in the town of Reading was a shocking and callous act, although he refused to comment on reports that the suspected attacker was known to British intelligence.

The stabbing rampage in the southern English town of Reading was an act of terrorism, police said on Sunday, calling the attack in the park on groups enjoying a sunny evening an atrocity.

“It’s a shocking and callous act that we have seen in Reading,” security minister James Brokenshire said.

A Western security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the arrested man was a Libyan called Khairi Saadallah.

The security source said Saadallah had come across the radar of Britain’s domestic security agency MI5 last year over intelligence he had aspirations to travel for extremist purposes, although his plans came to nothing.

When asked about the reports, Brokenshire said the government did not comment on intelligence matters.

Teacher James Furlong, 36, is the only victim to have been named so far.

“James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun,” his parents said in a statement. “We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever.” (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)

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