Friday, February 23, 2024

Abdul Ezedi: Everything We Know About The Manhunt

The manhunt for alkaline attack suspect has entered its fifth day, with Abdul Ezedi, 35, who has “significant injuries to the right side of his face”, still on the run. Here’s everything we know so far.

Police say a girl and her mother were left with potentially life-changing injuries after they had a corrosive substance thrown on them in south London on Wednesday.

Officers received reports that a man pushed a three-year-old girl to the ground and threw an alkaline substance at her, her eight-year-old sister and the girls’ 31-year-old mother on Lessar Avenue, near Clapham Common, a residential area in south London, on Wednesday evening.

The woman and the three-year-old girl suffered potentially life-changing injuries, the Metropolitan Police said. Police said the suspect was believed to be someone known to the victims, but they did not elaborate.

The suspect made off in his car which crashed nearby. He then left the vehicle and ran off. Twelve people were injured in total in the attack.

The Met has released CCTV video footage of Ezedi in the Tesco on Caledonian Road, where he is seen buying what appears to be water in the self-service checkout before leaving the shop.

Superintendent Gabriel Cameron reading a statement to the media on Lesser Avenue, near Clapham Common, south London.
Superintendent Gabriel Cameron reading a statement to the media on Lesser Avenue, near Clapham Common, south London.

PA Video – PA Images via Getty Images

Who is the suspect?

The Metropolitan Police identified the suspected assailant as 35-year-old Abdul Ezedi and released an image of his last-known sighting, which placed him on Caledonian Road in Islington, north London at 8.48pm on Thursday.

It has been reported that Ezedi, who is from Afghanistan, twice unsuccessfully tried to claim asylum in the UK and has also been convicted of sexual offences.

He was eventually allowed to stay in this country after converting to Christianity.

The Met said it is working with Northumbria Police as the wanted man may be trying to return to Newcastle, where he had been living.

The case has re-ignited the debate about the UK’s asylum system, with former immigration minister Robert Jenrick among those demanding answers.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Today programme presenter Nick Robinson accused Jenrick of “drawing the wrong conclusions” by attacking the asylum system.

What are the police doing?

The manhunt entered its fifth day on Monday with a £20,000 reward in place for anyone with information leading to Ezedi’s arrest.

More than 200 calls have been received from members of the public with potential sightings, but they have since been discounted.

Counter-terrorism officers have been drafted in to help scour hundreds of hours of CCTV in the search for the 35-year-old.

Police at the scene in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common, south London, where a woman and her two young children have been taken to hospital after a man threw a suspected corrosive substance on Wednesday evening.
Police at the scene in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common, south London, where a woman and her two young children have been taken to hospital after a man threw a suspected corrosive substance on Wednesday evening.

James Weech – PA Images via Getty Images

Detectives are working on the premise that he is either being hidden by someone or has come to harm.

He was using his bank card to travel around on the Tube network, but the card has not been used since Wednesday.

Ezedi does not have his phone on him – which makes the search more challenging, officers said – as it has been recovered and analysed by police.

Officers arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender on Monday and later released him on bail.


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