Updated: 18:15 (27/06/2020)
Released on behalf of CTPSE – Man charged following incident in Reading
Detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) have charged a man following an incident where three men were killed and several others injured in Reading.
The Crown Prosecution Service authorised officers to charge Khairi Saadallah, aged 25, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, with the following offences –
- Three counts of murder
- Three counts of attempted murder
The charges come following an investigation into an incident at Forbury Gardens in Reading on the evening of June 20, where a number of people were stabbed.
Three people were killed and died at the scene and a further three people were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries. They have since been released from hospital.
The incident was declared a terrorism incident by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing.
Counter Terrorism Policing South East continues to lead this investigation.
Saadallah is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday, June 29.
Statement from Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations Neil Basu
One week on from the horrific events in Forbury Gardens, my thoughts and those of everyone at Counter Terrorism Policing remain with the victims and their loved ones.
The news that our colleagues at CTP South East, along with the Crown Prosecution Service, have succeeded in bringing charges in this case means that I cannot talk further about that incident specifically, but I can and will reiterate the need for all of us to think about our collective effort to protect the UK from further atrocities – especially as the lockdown eases.
When the worst happens, it can leave us wondering what we can do to better protect ourselves and those we love from this threat.
But I want to stress once again that you can and should play your part in protecting yourself and others from the scourge of terrorism.
As we begin to return to normal, and public places become more crowded, we must be vigilant to the ongoing threat. If you see any suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to ACT – report it.
You can do that online, in confidence, via our Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) website at gov.uk/ACT. Please do not worry you may be wasting our time. We would much rather hear from you than miss an opportunity to step in before it’s too late.
You can learn what suspicious behaviour looks like by doing CT Policing’s online course. It takes 45 minutes to complete the course and be in a stronger position to help save lives. Over half a million people have already taken part and I want to thank every single one of you.
If you’re at work and you want more help to protect your colleagues and customers you can download our ACT app. There is also lots of free business advice from us online.
Updated: 18:10 (22/06/2020)
Detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) continue to appeal for anyone with information about the terrorist incident in Reading, to come forward.
A number of people sustained stab injuries during the incident which happened in Forbury Gardens just before 7pm on Saturday (20/6). And sadly, three people died as a result of their injuries.
A further three people who were taken to hospital with injuries following this incident and have now been discharged from hospital.
A 25-year-old man from Reading was arrested in connection with this incident by three police officers near to the scene. Detectives were today granted a warrant of further detention until Saturday 27 June, and the man remains in police custody.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of CTPSE, said: “This investigation is continuing at pace.
“We have a large team of officers and staff working to establish exactly what happened in the lead up to, during and after this incident.
“Our thoughts very much remain with the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones and those who have been injured and affected as a result of this tragic incident.
“I would ask both the media and the public again not to speculate on any aspect of this case at this time as this could have an impact on the ongoing investigation and any future court appearances.”
Counter Terrorism Policing have taken on the responsibility for this investigation and are keeping an open mind as to the motive for this attack.
More than 100 officers and staff are continuing to work through the information that has already been provided by witnesses and other members of the public and continue to appeal for anyone with any information to come forward.
They are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who may have been driving in the area before or at the time of the incident, and who may have dash-cam footage which could be of use to the investigation.
A number of items have been recovered from the scene and are currently being investigated by specialist teams.
DCS Barnes added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already been in touch. We have had a large amount of information come in to us via the reporting portal on www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk and via Thames Valley Police on 101, and have spoken to more than 50 witnesses at this time.
“Your information is vital and we would ask that you please continue to share this with us.
“You may think your information is insignificant, but it could be a vital piece of this investigation, so please get in touch.
“We are aware of distressing mobile phone footage which was posted online in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and I would urge you not to re-share this. We would ask that this is shared with us as a priority.”
A number of police cordons remain in place while the investigation continues and we thank those local residents who have been impacted by this. We will be releasing the cordons as soon as we are in a position to do so.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting Operation Vaselike.
Statement from Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations Neil Basu
On Saturday evening at around 7pm, a man ran into Forbury Gardens in the centre of Reading and attacked members of the public with a knife leaving 3 dead and a number of people needing hospital treatment.
This was an atrocity and my deepest sympathies go to the families who will be mourning loved ones after this horrific act, and to all those who have been affected by it. We are working with the coroner to formally identify those who have died and to inform and support their relatives.
I want to praise the actions of Thames Valley Police colleagues who responded immediately at the scene, and detained the attacker nearby. I also want to pay tribute to the bravery of members of the public who provided emergency first aid at the scene.
Counter Terrorism Policing attended the scene, and worked closely with Thames Valley Police through the night. This morning I can formally confirm that this has been declared a terrorist incident. A 25 year old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.
From our enquiries undertaken so far, officers have found nothing to suggest that there were any other people involved in the attack, and presently, we are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident.
However, detectives working closely with the security services, continue to make enquiries to ensure that there were no others involved and our investigative priority remains to ensure that there is no related outstanding threat to the public.
Although the motivation for this heinous act is far from certain, Counter Terrorism Policing South East has taken on responsibility for leading this investigation. However we are clear that it was not associated at all with the Black Lives Matter protest, which was taking place peacefully earlier in the day, and which had concluded some hours before this attack took place.
We will continue to work around the clock on this investigation and to get justice for those killed and injured.
I would appeal to members of the public who may have witnessed the attack or who have information that might assist the investigation to contact the police. Please call us on 101 quoting reference 1159 20/6.
I also reiterate the calls for people to show restraint by not sharing any images and footage of the attack on social media.
Covid-19 has already made strange territory of our familiar places and I appreciate the concern that this attack may cause.
But let me be clear that there is no specific intelligence to suggest anyone else attending crowded places is at risk. So I would ask the public to continue in your daily lives but to be alert, not alarmed, when you are in public places. If you see anything suspicious please report it on www.gov.uk/ACT.
We are working around the clock to investigate this incident and we will issue further information as it is confirmed.
Posted: 11:15 (21/06/2020)
Counter Terrorism Policing can confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading last night (Saturday, June 20), has now been declared a terrorist incident.
Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) have been working closely with Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Department throughout the night.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Policing network, has this morning declared the incident a terrorist incident, and CTPSE will be taking over the investigation.
A 25-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder last night, remains in police custody at this time.
Chief Constable John Campbell of Thames Valley Police, said: “I am deeply saddened by the events of last night.
“This was a truly tragic incident and the thoughts of Thames Valley Police are with all those who have been affected.
“Incidents of this nature are very rare, though I know that will be of little comfort to those involved and understand the concern that this incident will have caused amongst our local community.
“We will be working closely with our partners over the coming days and weeks to support the Reading community during this time, as well as with CTPSE as they progress their investigation.
“Police cordons continue to be in place and are likely to be for some time as CTPSE work further to investigate this incident and establish exactly what happened.
“I would urge the public to avoid the area at this time and thank the community for their patience. We will let you know as soon as the area is back open.
“I would also ask that the public avoid speculation.
“We would like to hear from anyone who has video footage. Out of respect for those deceased and injured, along with their loved ones, please do not circulate this footage on social media – this will be incredibly distressing.
“If you have any information about this incident, please contact us on 101 quoting reference 1159 20/6.”
Counter Terrorism Policing will make a further statement later today.