UK migrant suspect is convicted sex offender who converted to Christianity to get asylum

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An Afghan migrant man, who is wanted for maiming a mother and her two daughters in a corrosive substance attack in London, is a convicted sex offender who converted to Christianity to successfully claim asylum after two failed attempts, according to multiple reports. 

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, allegedly threw a corrosive alkaline substance from a metal coffee cup at a 31-year-old woman and her daughters, ages 3 and 8, during an incident on Wednesday night along Lessar Avenue in the southern part of the city. All three remain in hospital. 

The suspect attempted to escape the scene in a car but crashed into a stationary vehicle and then ran, the BBC reports.

London attack suspect

The suspect in the attack in London was identified as Abdul Shokoor Ezedi. (Metropolitan Police)

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It has now emerged that Ezedi is a former asylum seeker from Afghanistan who was allowed to stay in the U.K. despite being convicted of a sexual offense in 2018. He arrived in the U.K. on the back of a truck in 2016.

He received a nine-week jail term suspended for two years for sexual assault and 36 weeks’ imprisonment, also suspended for two years, for exposure. He was granted the right to stay in the U.K. on his third application in 2020, the BBC reports.

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A priest vouched that Ezedi had converted to Christianity, which helped his application, the Daily Mail reports. He previously practiced the Muslim faith.

The Metropolitan Police say investigators believe Ezedi and the woman “are known to each other.” 

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“While none of their conditions are life-threatening, the injuries to the woman and younger girl could be life-changing,” Superintendent Gabriel Cameron said. 

“It may be some time before hospital staff are able to say how serious that might be,” Cameron added. 

Scene of the crime at London acid attack

The substance used in the attack in London has been identified by police as alkaline. (James Weech/PA Images via Getty Images)

Police also said that three women — two in their 30s and one in her 50s — were injured when they came to the aid of the family.

They have all been discharged from hospital with minor burn injuries. A man in his 50s who also helped declined hospital treatment for minor injuries.

Five officers who responded to the scene suffered injuries but have since been discharged from hospital care after receiving treatment, according to Cameron. 

“All these members of the public, and my officers, deserve enormous recognition and praise for coming to the aid of this woman and children in what must have been a terrifying scenario,” he said. “We will provide them with all the support we can.” 

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The Met Police are now working to track down Ezedi. 

“We believe he traveled down from Newcastle earlier that day. We don’t know yet what led to it. We’re working to establish the circumstances,” Cameron said.

“While this appears a targeted attack, he is a dangerous individual, and we urgently need to find him,” he added.

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