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Met Police
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Met Police
UK News

Clapham attack suspect had converted to Christianity as part of his asylum bid

by Tola Mbakwe

It’s been reported that the person at the centre of a police manhunt in connection to a chemical attack in south London was granted asylum in the UK for religious reasons.

The Metropolitan Police have named 35-year-old Abdul Shokoor Ezedi as the suspect. They believe he targeted a mother and two children with a corrosive alkaline substance in Clapham on Wednesday.

It’s been reported that Ezedi, who’s originally from Afghanistan, arrived in the UK by lorry in 2016.

According to the BBC, his asylum application was refused twice by the Home Office, but was later approved in 2020 or 2021 when he said he had converted to Christianity and would be in danger if he returned to Afghanistan.

Ezedi, who’s believed to live in Newcastle, was convicted of "sexual assault/exposure" in 2018. A judge at Newcastle Crown Court handed him a suspended prison sentence and an unpaid work order.

Miriam Cates, a Christian and co-chairman of the New Conservative group of MPs, told the Telegraph: “This shocking and tragic case is everybody’s worst nightmare but it also shows the urgent need to tighten up our asylum processes.

“This man should never have been granted asylum in this country and we need to get to the bottom of how he was able to be granted leave to remain.

“This brings home the enormous security threat that this country faces from thousands of illegal migrants entering the UK each year.”

Police say Ezedi was last seen at a Tesco store on Caledonian Road in north London on Wednesday evening with “significant injuries” on his face.

They’ve asked the public not to approach him, but to call 999 immediately.

The 31-year-old mother and her eight and three-year-old daughters are still in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

However, injuries to the woman and one of her daughters could be life-changing.  Police believe Ezedi and the woman are known to each other.

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