/The Greater Manchester links of Reading terror suspect

The Greater Manchester links of Reading terror suspect

The suspect held over three fatal stabbings in Reading on Saturday night used to live in Greater Manchester.

The Manchester Evening News understands Khairi Saadallah, 25, was based in Bury after coming from Libya as a refugee around ten years ago, before moving to Berkshire.

It is believed he spent a period of time homeless while living in Greater Manchester.

He is being held on suspicion of terrorism after the deaths of scientist David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, originally from Philadelphia in the US, and history teacher James Furlong, 36, at Forbury Gardens in Reading’s town centre around 7pm on Saturday night.

It is believed that officers investigating the case have been in contact with Greater Manchester Police.

However the M.E.N has learned investigators have uncovered no evidence of any criminal link between the suspect and Manchester Arena bombers Salman and Hashem Abedi.

Police forensics officers near Forbury Gardens, in Reading town centre
(Image: PA)

Meanwhile, Oldham College has said it has ‘no record’ of Saadallah studying there, after a social media post suggested he was a student between 2010 and 2014.

Alun Francis, Oldham College principal, said: “We’ve been contacted by media organisations today about a Facebook account which claims that Khairi Saadallah studied here between 2010 and 2014.

“We understand the public interest but, despite an exhaustive search of our records, we are unable to find anything which confirms this to be true. No records match the cited name and we await more detailed information to help to conclude our search.

“We will issue a further statement once we are absolutely certain – either way – of the validity of this claim.

“At this stage I also wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest sympathy for the victims.”

However, sources have confirmed he lived in Bury and was also homeless for a period while he was in Greater Manchester.

A number of people were stabbed by a man in Forbury Gardens in Reading’s town centre around 7pm on Saturday night, leaving three dead. Three others were taken to hospital, although one has now been discharged.

A 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was arrested at the scene and taken into police custody.

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The attack is being treated as a terror incident and counter-terror police have since taken over the investigation from Thames Valley Police.

The suspect, who was initially arrested on Saturday on suspicion of murder, was rearrested on Sunday under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He is a Libyan refugee understood to have been granted asylum in the UK.

In normal circumstances, people who are arrested can be held for up to 72 hours before they have to be charged or released.

But anyone arrested under the Terrorism Act can be held for much longer, up to 14 days.

Police must get the permission of a judge to allow terror suspects to be held for longer periods of time to allow them to uncover evidence that could help them bring criminal charges.

Prosecution lawyers will decide if the evidence merits a charge, taking into account if there is a ‘realistic prospect of a conviction’.

Original Source