An undated photo of French national Xavier Thomas, 45, who was missing after the terrorist attack on London Bridge on June 3, 2017. Photo: EPA
An undated photo of French national Xavier Thomas, 45, who was missing after the terrorist attack on London Bridge on June 3, 2017. Photo: EPA

London terror attack: another arrest and another death



LONDON // Police searching for a French man who has been missing since the London Bridge attack say they have recovered a body from the River Thames.

The body was found Tuesday downstream from the bridge. He was named as Xavier Thomas, and though formal identification has not yet taken place, his next of kin have been informed.

If confirmed, Thomas, 45, would be the eighth person killed in the vehicle and knife attack. He was in London for the weekend with his girlfriend and was over the bridge to the south bank when the attack began on Saturday night.

Police said earlier that witness accounts suggested he might have been thrown into the river. Thomas’ girlfriend was hit and seriously injured by the van.

Early on Wednesday, police arrested a 30-year-old man in East London in connection with the attack and searched his home.

Two men are now in custody on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act. They have not been identified or charged. All others who had been arrested have been released without charge.

The Italian mother of Youseff Zaghba, the last of the three terrorists to be named, said her son had done “a horrible thing” and vowed to educate young people about the true meaning of Islam.

Valeria Collina, a Muslim convert, said she had told Italian airport authorities to detain her son after he was stopped on March 15 last year on his way to Turkey with a one-way ticket.

Ms Collina said her son, whose father is Moroccan, had become radicalised during the last year while living in London.

“When I went to England, he was a bit more rigid, but not so much,” Ms Collina said on Wednesday. “But from his face, from his look, I could tell there had been a radicalisation, as they say. And this happened in England.” Her son had always been self-critical, she added, but he wanted to go to Syria to start a family — not to fight — since he believed that he could find “pure Islam” there.

Britain’s failure to keep tabs on Zaghba despite being warned about him by Italian authorities was understandable, Italy’s top policeman said on Wednesday.

Zaghba, 22, was identified by the Italian authorities as a potential jihadist after he was stopped at Bologna airport in March 2016 on his way to Syria, via Turkey.

They tipped off the authorities in Britain and Morocco about him, but for reasons that are still unclear he was not on the radar of British police and intelligence services before Saturday’s attack.

“We have the record of the notification and our conscience is clear,” said Franco Gabrielli, the chief of Italy’s State Police. “But as we are very aware of the responsibilities involved, we understand the distress and difficulties faced by those who have to manage such a complicated situation.”

Italy was in an easier position than countries like Britain, which had to deal with “innumerable” notifications of potentially dangerous individuals, he said.

Mr Gabrielli, who is also in charge of Italy’s department of public security, said investigators had found material from extremist websites on Zaghba’s mobile phone. That was enough to warrant the warning to Britain and Morocco, but not to take further action against him, he said.

“We can’t charge people simply because they visit certain internet sites,” he said. “The possibility of forging links, exchanging ideas and discussing causes, these are some of our fundamental freedoms.”

Mr Gabrielli was speaking from the Italian island of Lampedusa at the first meeting of police chiefs from eight southern European countries in a new forum, the European Relationship for Mediterranean Security, aimed at boosting cooperation on terrorism and migration.

As well as Zaghba, British intelligence agencies also knew about the Khuram Shazam Butt’s extremist views. He had even appeared in a TV documentary about extremists entitled The Jihadis next Door.

The attack, and the earlier attacks in Manchester and near the British Houses of Parliament in London, have prompted prime minister Theresa May to call for tougher counterterrorism laws even if it means changing human rights protections.

Reaction to the attack has dominated the final days of campaigning before Thursday’s general election, with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and others criticising Mrs May for cutting police numbers by roughly 20,000 during her tenure as home secretary, the British equivalent of interior minister..

* Associated Press and Agence France Presse

TOUR DE FRANCE INFO

Dates: July 1-23
Distance: 3,540km
Stages: 21
Number of teams: 22
Number of riders: 198

Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 3/5

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

Long Shot

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan

Four stars

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Results

Ashraf Ghani 50.64 per cent

Abdullah Abdullah 39.52 per cent

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 3.85 per cent

Rahmatullah Nabil 1.8 per cent

COMPANY PROFILE

Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12

The specs

Engine: 6-cylinder, 4.8-litre
Transmission: 5-speed automatic and manual
Power: 280 brake horsepower
Torque: 451Nm
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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

THE SPECS

Engine: 3.6-litre V6

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 310hp

Torque: 366Nm

Price: Dh200,000

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
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7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
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Company: Eco Way
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Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
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