NCA drafted in to probe 'gang links' to Clapham chemical attack suspect after corrosive substance tubs found

4 February 2024, 00:07


By Chay Quinn

The National Crime Agency has been drafted in to find Abdul Ezedi as they probe whether the Clapham chemical attack suspect had help from organised crime.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Britain's version of the FBI has been drafted in to help the manhunt for Ezedi as it enters a fourth day.

The development comes as police release footage of the raid on Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi's house in Newcastle - along with new images of the wanted man.

Abdul Ezedi, 35, is being pursued by police after the mother, 31, and her two children were attacked with a corrosive substance in south London on Wednesday.

Metropolitan Police manhunters have released the footage after the search for Ezedi enters its third day.

The footage shows police entering the property in Newcastle - and finding white tubs with corrosive substance labels upon them.

Read More: Clapham chemical attack suspect 'was in relationship with victim who suffered life-changing injuries'

Forensic tests, and now on the way to determine whether the containers held the substance used in the attack.

Alongside the footage, police also released images of the suspected attacker at Kings Cross railway station, where he was last seen.

The women targeted in the attack was left with likely life-changing injuries.

Her children, aged eight and three, were also hurt but their injuries are not as serious.

The footage shows police entering the property in Newcastle - and finding white tubs with corrosive substance labels upon them.
The footage shows police entering the property in Newcastle - and finding white tubs with corrosive substance labels upon them. Picture: MPS
The tubs had labels marking them as corrosive.
The tubs had labels marking them as corrosive. Picture: MPS

A relative, who has remained anonymous, has Ezedi - now travelled down from Newcastle and is the subject of a nationwide manhunt - was in a relationship with the woman.

Read more: Decision to let Clapham attack suspect stay in UK 'was margin call influenced by his claim of becoming Christian'

"This isn't the man I know, I don't believe he would do that kind of thing," they said.

The relative said they wanted to "find out if he is alive or dead" and was "worried" about him.

New images released by police show a visible facial injury after the alkaline attack, which left a total of 12 people injured.

"His injury is very bad and he needs medical attention," the relative, who is in London, told Sky News.

"I will bring him in by myself if I have to."

Police released new images of Ezedi on Friday
Police released new images of Ezedi on Friday. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The decision to allow Ezedi to stay in the UK was a "margin call" likely influenced by his claimed conversion to Christianity - and ministers are launching a review into how he was allowed to stay in the UK.

He was convicted of a sexual assault and twice denied asylum by the Home Office after arriving from Afghanistan.

Yet he was ultimately granted approval to stay when an immigration tribunal heard he had converted to Christianity and a priest vouched he was completely committed to it.

A source told The Times the decision to allow him to remain was "margin call" thought to have been swayed by that claimed conversion.

Read more: Chemical attacks happening 'almost weekly', Newcastle doctors warn amid manhunt for Clapham attack suspect

Ezedi is suspected of launching an attack in Clapham
Ezedi is suspected of launching an attack in Clapham. Picture: Alamy

Now, ministers are looking into why he was allowed to stay.

Home secretary James Cleverly has demanded to be shown all the details of his case.

Read more: Last known sighting of Clapham chemical attack suspect as police reveal 'significant evidence' found in raids

It has led to more criticism of the asylum system, with Ezedi having been smuggled into the UK in a lorry in 2016 - then gone on to be convicted of sexual assault and indecent exposure in 2018.

A senior Tory source said: "This is a terrible crime committed by someone who clearly should not have been in the UK.

"This is exactly why we are taking action to reform our asylum system and send illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

"Our new laws passed in the last two years mean serious criminals and illegal immigrants will not be able to claim asylum and stay in the UK — all of which Labour has tried to block, with Sir Keir Starmer himself campaigning to stop the deportations of dangerous foreign criminals."

Rishi Sunak's spokesman said the prime minister does not "think that foreign criminals should be able to stay in the country".

And yesterday, David Johnston, the children and families minister, told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast the government wants to end the "merry-go-round" of the asylum system.

"Too often people in the public have seen people be able to frustrate the legal system, keep making legal appeals, eventually claim asylum where it's very unclear that they shouldn’t have been allowed to," he said.

He insisted the Rwanda plan would "remove the ability for people to make endless legal appeals".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Election 2024 Trump

Judge in Trump hush-money case asked to issue gag order on former president

Paul Scully claimed the cities had 'no-go' areas.

Fury as Tory MP claims there are religious ‘no-go’ areas in Birmingham and London as party's Islamophobia row deepens

Charlotte Church has been criticised for the chant being used at the concert

Charlotte Church says she is 'in no way anti-Semitic' after singing controversial 'from the river to the sea' chant

Hungarian parliament

Hungary’s parliament votes to ratify Sweden’s application to join Nato

Police have recruited the diver who helped assist the search for Nicola Bulley.

Cops recruit Nicola Bulley 'expert' diver to assist in search for boy Xielo Maruziva, 2, who fell into River Soar

St. Vincent Grenada Hijacked Yacht

Hijackers threw elderly couple overboard after capturing yacht, police say

Fawziyah Javed (l) and Kashif Anwar (r)

The woman who caught her own killer: Pregnant lawyer's last words helped jail murderer who pushed her off cliff

Three Just Stop Oil protesters have been found guilty of aggressive trespass after disrupting a Wimbledon tennis match

Three Just Stop Oil protesters found guilty of aggravated trespass after disrupting Wimbledon tennis matches

Father Felice Palamara was presiding over Mass in the small town of Cessaniti, Calabria, in the southern region of Italy when he noticed an acrid smell coming from the wine

Priest handed poisoned chalice after mafia hitman spikes holy communion wine with bleach

Passengers told 'do not travel' amid train delays and cancellations after 'major signalling fault' strikes the South East

Chaos on the trains: Rush-hour passengers face severe delays after landslip grinds services to a halt

WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Global economy weighed down by war, uncertainty and instability, says WTO chief

Donald Trump and his lawyers

Trump to appeal against £350m judgment made against him in fraud lawsuit

Damaged buildings seen after Russian forces completed their takeover of Avdiivka

Ukrainian troops pull back again amid Russia’s onslaught in east of country

Tunisian Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi speaks at his home in the town of Soliman, February 23

Imam deported from France after labelling tricolore flag 'satanic' despite living in the country for 40 years

Cat killer Scarlet Blake, 26, has been jailed for life.

Trans killer who had 'obsession with death' jailed for life for murdering stranger as he walked home from night out

Lord Jacob Rothschild

Financier and banking dynasty member Lord Jacob Rothschild dies aged 87