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Man held in Ireland after papers in name of London attacker found

The Guardian logo The Guardian 6/06/2017 Jamie Grierson and Lisa O'Carroll
Rachid Redouane, one of the London Bridge attackers. © AP Rachid Redouane, one of the London Bridge attackers.

A man has been arrested in the Republic of Ireland on suspicion of using forged documents, after papers in the name of one of the London Bridge attackers were discovered at a flat in Limerick.

The Moroccan national was detained at a property in Limerick after Irish police received a tip from colleagues in London. Gardai said a file was being prepared for the director of public prosecutions.

There were reports after the London attack that authorities had found an Irish identity card on the body of one of the attackers, Rachid Redouane, after he was shot dead by armed police

Barking-based Redouane, 30, claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, the Met police said, and also went by the name Rachid Elkhdar, claiming to be six years younger.

Security sources in Ireland confirmed Redouane married a British woman, Charisse Ann O’Leary, in Dublin in 2012. She was one of 12 people arrested after the attack, and has since been released without charge.

At time of the wedding, Redouane gave his address as Grosvenor Square in Rathmines, a Dublin suburb.

It has been reported that O’Leary split from Redouane because he had been violent towards her and she refused to convert to Islam. He reportedly refused to allow their daughter to eat pork, attend dance classes or watch certain TV programmes.

Despite being estranged from O’Leary, he made a visit to her flat to see their daughter hours before he, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zhagba launched their attack on London Bridge and Borough Market.

He left Ireland after the wedding and may have travelled to Morocco before settling in the UK, according to reports. He returned to Ireland in 2015 for an unknown length of time.

Redouane does not appear to have come to the authorities’ notice before the attack. The Irish taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said Redouane had not been one of a small number of suspected extremists under surveillance.

An Irish security source described Redouane as having “extensive immigration history related to the UK”.

RTE News reported that Redouane had been refused asylum by UK authorities but had obtained a visa given to spouses of EU citizens.

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