Reading terror attack suspect was ‘known to MI5’

The suspect in the Reading terror attack was known to MI5, according to security sources.

Three people were stabbed to death at a park in the city centre yesterday evening, including teacher James Furlong who was named this afternoon.

Khairi Saadallah, 25, was arrested at the scene and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.

According to the BBC, he drew the attention of security services after they were given information he wanted to travel to Syria.

However, security sources told the broadcaster that no immediate risk or genuine threat was identified when the information was investigated.

A case file on him was not opened, the sources said.

Saadallah is a Libyan asylum seeker who lives in Reading, the Press Association reports.

A security source told the agency that mental health is being considered a ‘major factor’ in the incident.

He was arrested at the scene after a lone policeman rugby-tackled him to the ground and now remains in police custody.

As well as the three people stabbed to death, another three were seriously injured.

This morning it was declared that the attack is being treated as terrorism and that counter-terror police would now be taking over the investigation.

This afternoon, James Furlong became the first victim to be identified.

He was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham.

A letter from the school, which has been shared online, describes Mr Furlong as a ‘kind and gentle man’ who had a ‘real sense of duty and cared for each and every one of our students’.

It continues: ‘He truly inspired everyone he taught through his passion for his subject and his dedication. He was determined that our students would develop a critical awareness of global issues and in doing so become active citizens and have a voice.’

Keith Power, whose daughter attends the school, said: ‘He was a wonderful man. He was so helpful and supportive of my daughter. He had a real passion for history and teaching and was so caring of his pupils.

‘It’s so senseless. So much hatred in the world right now. I fear for my kid’s futures.’