Metropolitan Police are intensifying their search for Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, the suspect in a chemical attack in Clapham, south London. The police believe Ezedi is receiving assistance from others. The 35-year-old was last seen last Wednesday, shortly after a mother and her two daughters were attacked with a corrosive liquid. A new image of Ezedi has been released, showing him heading towards Victoria Embankment.
The 31-year-old mother is currently sedated in hospital and may lose sight in her right eye due to the attack. Met Cdr Jon Savell stated that the investigation is focusing on Ezedi’s associates, with a £20,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest. He also revealed that a man was arrested for assisting an offender.
Policing minister Chris Philp emphasized that no one should be protecting Ezedi. This statement follows the arrest of a 22-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender. Further details about Ezedi’s previous sexual assault and exposure convictions have been revealed. In 2017, he was found guilty of grabbing a woman’s bottom without consent and exposing himself in public. He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register and ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.
Ezedi was granted asylum after two failed attempts and was allowed to stay in the UK after converting to Christianity. The Catholic Church in the North East of England confirmed that Ezedi was a client of a charity project it ran.
The Counter Terrorism fugitive team has traced Ezedi’s last known location near the Millennium Bridge. Two main theories about his whereabouts are being considered: that he has come to harm or that someone is sheltering him. Police are reviewing CCTV footage and tracking Ezedi’s movements via his bank card.
Ezedi, originally from Newcastle and believed to have arrived in the UK from Afghanistan in 2016, is not the father of the children injured in the attack. He was visiting their mother in London at the time. The attack occurred outside a Clapham hotel, after which Ezedi attempted to flee, injuring five police officers and four members of the public in the process.