THE widow of the ringleader of the London Bridge attack told an inquest on Thursday (6) that she would not grieve his death.
Describing Khuram Butt’s final moments with the family, his wife said he gave her a peck on the cheek before going to meet his fellow jihadis — Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.
Zahrah Rehman said they had been living separate lives before the attack, with her concentrating on bringing up their two children and Butt going out with the “brothers.”
Describing the evening of the attack, Rehman said: “He came in, gave me a peck on the cheek and said, ‘OK, I’m going to the mosque now’ and left. There was no goodbye from him, it didn’t seem like he was saying goodbye. He just left. He didn’t kiss my son, didn’t kiss my daughter, he just went.”
On the morning of the attack, Butt had presented a ring to his wife. He also spent quality time with their children.
“He said keep it it’s your Eid gift and he said check you size to make sure it fits,” she told the inquests.
Rehman said she had no prior knowledge of her husband’s plot.
When she heard about the attack at London Bridge, she did not think Butt was involved.
Rehman said: “I was living with him he was in the same house as me and my kids, how he could do that? It took a long time to register it and even now, it’s been two years and I haven’t been able to look at the victims’ pictures.
“I am not going to grieve him, what he did was disgusting. I think he does not deserve my grieving.”
Rehman knew of her husband’s extremist views, but she never thought he would do something to hurt others.
“I knew he was capable of packing his bags to go to Turkey or Syria. I never, ever, ever thought he would do something in this country, he never expressed any desire to do it, never praised it, with the two previous attacks including the one in Manchester, he never praised it. He never wished he could do it or said he would love to do it.”
Earlier this week, the inquest heard that police officials investigating the ringleader of the London Bridge attack were not aware that Butt was reported to a terror hotline.
A senior counter-terror office who was investigating Butt two years before the 2017 London Bridge attack admitted there was a “failing” in how a warning from his brother-in-law was handled.
Usman Darr, the brother of Butt’s wife, had reported Butt to the national terror hotline after noticing “radical changes in his personality.”
Darr also said Butt was distributing anti-Western texts and links to jihadi sites. But the family member’s warning was not passed on to the police.
“It did not come to me, nor did not come to anyone in my team, and that was a failing,” the Metropolitan Police officer who headed the investigation the inquest on Tuesday. “I think the assessment was wrong.”
The inquest continues.