Convicted London terrorist claimed he had 'changed his ways' moments before fatal attacks

Inquest jury hears Usman Khan was at rehab conference prior to killing Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt

The inquest into a terrorist attack on London Bridge was told of Usman Khan's barbaric last moments. West Midlands Police via AP/Getty
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A convicted terrorist told people at a rehabilitation event he had "changed his ways" before killing two people in a terrorist attack in London.

Usman Khan stabbed University of Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and wounded two others at Fishmongers’ Hall in 2019 before being shot dead by police on London Bridge.

An inquest heard how barrister Catherine Jaquiss invited Khan, 28, to sit at her table and share his experiences in a group discussion at the conference.

Ms Jaquiss told jurors on Tuesday that Khan seemed "a little shy" but she did not notice anything unusual about him.

"I remember him saying something to the effect of he had been involved with a group of people who had been leading him down the wrong path," she told the hearing.

"He had now seen that way was wrong and he was now essentially turning the other way or going a different way."

Khan, 28, was out on licence when he attended the event organised by the university on November 29.

The extremist was jailed in 2012 after being found guilty of plotting to bomb the headquarters of the London Stock Exchange.

Film-maker Amy Coop was filming at Fishmongers’ Hall when heard screams and a "loud and guttural roar".

"It was a horrible noise coming from someone. It sounded like the kind of thing you see in a film," she told the jury.

"It very quickly became apparent that something very bad had happened."

On Monday, Mr Merritt's mother Anne told the opening day of the nine-week inquest that her son's life was a triumph, even if his death was a tragedy.

"Jack Merritt was a good person,” she told a jury. “Jack was a force for good in the world, someone who made other people's lives better for knowing him.

"We are hugely proud of who Jack was and what he stood for. His death was a tragedy but his life was a triumph."

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Metropolitan Police Armed Response officers gather near Borough Market after reports of shots being fired on London Bridge on November 29, 2019 in London, England. Police responded to an incident around 2:00 pm local time, followed by reports of gunfire. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Last year, Mr Merritt's family started legal proceedings against the government over the management and assessment of Khan's risk to the public before he was released.

Mr Merritt was attacked in the toilets where Khan had been making his final preparations for the attack, while Ms Jones was stabbed in the neck by the hall’s cloakroom.

The family of Ms Jones said they wanted the coroner and the jury to focus on the evidence before them.

A separate jury inquest into Khan’s death is expected to follow the hearing at London’s Guildhall.

A UK watchdog last year called for extremists to be given lie detector tests, arguing that deradicalisation programmes don't work.