Armed police officers walk near Borough Market after the attack
Armed police officers walk near Borough Market after the attack on June 4Reuters

The twin terror attacks that shook London and the UK late on the night of June 3 could have been prevented, it has emerged. The attacks led to the deaths of seven people, while three terrorists who carried out the attacks were also killed.

Following the attack, 12 people were arrested in connection with it on June 4, even as the homes of one of the deceased attackers was raided. Subsequently, two of the attackers would be identified as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane. The identity of the third attacker has also emerged, as has the fact that not only was the UK warned about him, but also the possibility that had there been action on that intelligence, the attacks could have been avoided.

According to a BBC report, the third attacker has been identified as "Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Moroccan-Italian man who lived in east London." A CNN report has since claimed that he was on the watchlist of Italy after being "stopped at the Bologna airport by Italian airport police in March 2016 as he was trying to board a plane bound for Istanbul."

The police there had found "extremist material" on his mobile phone. However, they did not arrest him because he held an Italian passport, and "having extremist material on a phone isn't against the law in Italy," according to the CNN report.

Youssef Zaghba
In picture: Italian national Youssef Zaghba, 22, identified by Italian and British law enforcement bodies as the the third man shot dead by police officers during the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market.Reuters

The news report quoted Italian media outlets as saying that the airport police had suspected he was headed to Syria from Istanbul in Turkey, and had warned several intelligence agencies, including those of the British, about his movements. A Politico report from its EU bureau has since claimed that Zaghba had told the airport police: "I'm going to be a terrorist."

These pieces of information, when taken together, have given rise to speculation of what could have happened if Britain had acted upon this "actionable intel" and notified its airports about Zaghba. The possibility definitely has some Twitterati from the UK in a tizzy. See what they have to say: