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

29 May 2021, 16:07

By Seán Hickey

The Fishmongers' Hall terror attacks were 'completely avoidable,' but a failure to understand the motivations of extremists meant that victims 'weren't protected' by their employer.

Dev phoned in and told Maajid Nawaz that he used to work with Jack Merritt at the organisation he and Saskia Jones were working for when they were murdered in a terrorist attack.

He told Maajid that the main issue with Learning Together was that there was no "ethnic representation in the higher echelons" of the organisation.

The caller hinted that a serious lack of cultural and ideological sensitivity to the convicted terrorists and extremists the organisation worked with could have been at the heart of the 2019 stabbings.

Maajid pointed out that the attack coincided with the invasion of Kashmir, where Usman Khan was from, and "a convicted terrorist who clearly has been motivated by that particular political dispute in the past would've been himself on edge as a result of the revived political tensions."

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

Read More: Rehabilitating extremists 'not impossible,' but requires change of approach, Maajid Nawaz insists

He added that "somebody aware of that bigger picture" may have been able to foresee the plans of Mr Khan and anticipated it.

Dev added that the terms and sensitivities used by these radicalised individuals "are not known...to white, middle class, academic" people and having these people as those in charge of the organisation is a recipe for disaster.

Of Mr Merritt and Ms Jones, the caller said "they were great human beings, and they needed protecting."

"When you've got young, 20-something idealists, they need to be protected by their institutes," but the caller told Maajid that "they weren't protected."

He reiterated Maajid's point that "it was completely avoidable" if only someone who understood the intricacies of the geopolitical and ideological situation was on hand in the organisation, and in the security services, the Fishmongers' Hall attack could have been prevented.