Ex-wife of London Bridge attacker reveals details of their life

The ex-wife of one of the London Bridge attackers said she was “shocked” at his involvement as she gave details of their life together at the victims’ inquests.

Charisse O’Leary broke down in tears as she told the court what she knew about Rachid Redouane, 30, with whom she had a child.

Ms O’Leary began a relationship with Redouane – one of three perpetrators of the 3 June 2017 attack – in 2010 when he was working as a cash-in-hand pastry chef, she told the inquest.

The pair married in 2012 and she became pregnant in 2015.

She says she did not see any extremist views from Redouane, nor his family when she met them in 2014.

In March 2016, the couple moved to Barking where there was a mosque nearby which enabled Redouane to start attending every day.

It was not until the months before they split up in January 2017 that she noticed him becoming more extreme – saying he did not like her watching western music channels or certain programmes because “if there were gay people on there it would turn their child gay”.

He also did not like the clothes people wore on music channels.

Their relationship worsened towards late 2016 and he became violent on one occasion during an argument about the temperature of the baby’s milk.

Their split came as he distanced himself from her and stopped supporting her emotionally and financially, she said.

After that Redouane would try to show her clips on YouTube of attacks in the Middle East, in particular when there was a UK terror attack. He would talk about innocent people dying in the Middle East.

In the run-up to the attack, said Ms O’Leary, Redouane “didn’t engage in that conversation” when she attempted to make plans for the future.

On the day of the attack Redouane waited outside her flat with their child who was wet, saying he did not have time to change her.

Before leaving, he offered her £50.

The next morning she was woken by police and spent the next few days being questioned.

Redouane killed eight people and injured 48 others in a van and knife rampage along with fellow attackers Youssef Zaghba, 22, and Khuram Butt, 27.

All three were shot and killed by police.

Gareth Patterson QC, representing six of the victims’ families, suggested police failures to investigate the Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford used by the attackers and a primary school where two of them worked were “a very real missed opportunity” to stop the attack.

However, also giving evidence at the inquest was a counter-terrorism police officer known during the proceedings as “M”.

M said: “There is nothing I could look back on and say ‘This was a missed opportunity around a significant disruption’, nor was there anything that we had in our possession at the time that indicated any attack was being planned.”

The inquest also heard that extremist material found on Butt’s phone and laptop when he was arrested for fraud in 2016 showed he had an “obsession” with IS and a willingness to die.

The content included images of IS executions and suicide bombers, a terrorist propaganda magazine, an image of a man with a spade pushed into his face and searches for the word “martyrdom”.

Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, died in the attack, which lasted less than 10 minutes.

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