Sadiq Khan faces death threats from Islamist extremists, source says

Sadiq Khan faces death threats from Islamist extremists, source says

The mayor of London, accused by a former senior Tory MP of being under the control of “Islamists”, is in fact facing death threats from Islamist extremists, the Guardian has learned.

Sadiq Khan has been receiving police protection, usually reserved for a handful of senior cabinet ministers or royals, since 2017.

A source with knowledge of the security arrangements said that as well as currently facing threats of violence from the extreme far right, Khan also faces threats from Islamist extremists.

London’s mayor was vocal in denouncing Islamist terrorism when the city was subject to two Jihadist attacks in 2017, after the subsequent attack on Manchester, and when a far-right extremist targeted worshippers leaving a London mosque.

Khan, the first Muslim mayor of the capital, has a team of about 15 police protection officers protecting him around the clock.

Some Islamist extremists see Muslims in public office in western democracies as potential targets. As an MP, Khan voted for same-sex marriage and has championed gay rights as mayor.

It also emerged on Tuesday that a man had pleaded guilty to making threats against Khan after Lee Anderson’s comments.

Christopher Massey, 52, from Ipswich, twice called the control room of Suffolk constabulary.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he had pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of sending communication threatening death or serious harm.

The threat was made on Saturday. The charge against Massey said that in the phone call to police he had “conveyed a threat of death or serious harm to another, intending or being reckless as to whether an individual encountering the message would fear that the threat would be carried out”.

Massey is scheduled to be sentenced on 21 March at Ipswich magistrates court for the offences under the 2023 Online Safety Act.

A source close to the mayor of London said: “Sadiq faces threats from a wide range of sources. His main concern has always been the safety of his family, and also that young people from his background will be put off entering public life.”

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