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Dave Merritt: 'Usman Khan shouldn't have been on that course'

29 May 2021, 17:48

By Seán Hickey

Father of one of the Fishmongers' Hall terror victims admits that services 'didn't have the expertise' to deal with the threat Usman Khan posed to his son.

Dave Merritt joined David Lammy to reflect on the findings of an inquiry which found that his son Jack and Saskia Jones were "unlawfully killed" after failings of authorities.

David addressed comments which suggested that the 2019 terror attack showed that extremists cannot be rehabilitated. "The work goes on in tribute, we cannot lose faith in redemption" he said.

Read More: Terrorists like Fishmongers' Hall killer 'beyond rehabilitation', intelligence expert claims

He was fearful of a "knee-jerk to a hard place where we lock people up forever" and asked for Mr Merritt's point of view.

"What message would it send if we allowed what one person did to destroy all the good work that Learning Together have done?"

Read More: Jack Merritt's friend: Victims 'weren't protected' by employer in terror attacks

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Remembering his son, Mr Merritt told David that "he was principled, and he was a decent guy" and told listeners that after his death, the family received condolences from many prisoners that Jack had worked with.

"Usman Khan was a high-risk, category A terrorist offender," Mr Merritt pointed out.

He told David that "those people make up fewer than 0.1% of the entire prison population" and organisations rarely have to deal with these people interacting with the public.

"If there are any lessons" to be learner, Mr Merritt concluded, it is that "Usman Khan shouldn't have been allowed on that course."