Place of Birth: Libya;
Khairi Saadallah is a 25-year-old Libyan refugee who was granted asylum in the United Kingdom. He arrived as a refugee, having fled the civil war in his home country of Libya in North Africa.
He boasted to friends that he had fought as a child soldier to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Saadallah claimed he had been forced to move to the UK because his life was in danger. He was granted asylum for five years in 2018 by the UK authorities.
Saadallah was known to security services prior to Saturday’s fatal knife attack in a Reading park which left three people dead. He briefly came to the attention of MI5 last year, but the information provided did not meet the threshold of investigation.
A security source said that MI5 had received intelligence that Saadallah planned to travel abroad, possibly for terrorism purposes, but the threat was found to be insubstantial.
Saadallah had six previous convictions for 11 crimes between June 2015 and January last year. He was originally jailed for 25 months and 20 days in October for a string of crimes and the sentence was later reduced.
Offences included racially aggravated assault, knife offences and criminal damage. In November 2018 he called a police officer a “slave” and spat in her face while being detained under the Mental Health Act after reports he was attempting suicide.
Saadallah admitted possessing a bladed article and criminal damage after being found “apparently very drunk” by police officers in December 2018 with a butter knife in his waistband, claiming he was “out for revenge”, the judgment said, having “been attacked” and left with a head injury that required stitches.
In January 2019 he was also involved in an altercation with a security guard, during which he struck the man in the face with his belt. He also was convicted of affray and assault by beating an emergency worker.
In September 2019 Saadallah was jailed for 10 weeks after admitting spitting at District Judge Sophie Toms as she sentenced him six months earlier at Reading Magistrates’ Court for two previous convictions.
He had also breached an earlier suspended sentenced for carrying a knife in a plastic bag at a supermarket, according to the court papers.
Saadallah, who had lived in Basingstoke Road in Reading, had his overall sentence reduced to 17 months and 20 days behind bars at the Court of Appeal in March this year.
Saadallah had a history of debt and homelessness, alcohol and substance misuse, and “suffered from the effects of” post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and a personality disorder. In the document he was also described as being “aggressive and unpredictable”.
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