The estranged wife of London Bridge attacker Rachid Redouane says she endured five hellish years married to a man who bullied, beat and controlled her at every opportunity.

Charisse O'Leary, 38, married Redouane, 30, in Ireland in 2012, enabling him to continue living in the UK after he was refused asylum by British authorities.

The Moroccan-born former pastry chef died in a hail of bullets with a fake bomb belt strapped to his waist and an Irish ID card in his pocket after he and two others launched their deadly assault on Saturday night.

O'Leary told friends that she grew to "hate" her husband, finally splitting with him in January after he tried to force her to convert to Islam and impose his strict beliefs on their young daughter Amina.


As Redouane became radicalised, his views became increasingly bizarre and he tried to stop his daughter from being enrolled in dance classes or watching TV in case it made her "gay".

"He was always really selfish and I gave up so much for him," O'Leary confided in a friend, The Sun reported.

"I was never going to convert and become a Muslim. There's no way I was going to do that.

"I just didn't agree with what he wanted. He didn't want Amina to eat pork or go to dance classes and I wasn't having that.

"He didn't want her watching things on TV either in case it made her 'gay'."

O'Leary was last night released without charge following her arrest in the aftermath of the attacks, which killed seven people, two of them Australians, and wounded more than 50.

She was one of 12 people taken into custody after counter-terrorism police blew the door of her apartment off during a series of raids on Sunday morning.

Witnesses told of hearing her plead "don't shoot, don't shoot" as heavily armed officers stormed the property, described as a subsidised unit for vulnerable mothers, in the presence of 17-month-old Amina.


Yesterday it emerged that Redouane made a secret trip to his estranged wife's home just hours before the attack so he could say his final goodbyes to the child.

Neighbours claimed they saw him at 7pm on Saturday - just three hours before he and two accomplices launched a murderous assault.

"I was standing right next to him in that lift," a man who lived in the same block as O'Leary but did not want to be named, told The Telegraph.

"I've seen him four or five times, he's come here often to see his daughter. He didn't say a word, we just stood silently until we got to his floor.

"It was only the next day when my mate told me about the attacks that I realised it was him."

Police have said in a statement that Redouane was not known to security services and are trying to establish his movements over the past two decades.

While he is described on his daughter's birth certificate as a Moroccan pastry chef, police said he also identified as Libyan. He had another alias, Rachid Elkhdar, which listed his age as 25.

An Irish ID card was found on his body after he was shot dead by armed police in Borough Market, Southwark. The plastic credit card-sized document is believed to have been issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau and is given to people from outside the EU.

The card has a person's certificate of registration which states they have permission to stay in Ireland and must be carried at all times.

Irish sources told The Telegraph that Redouane had been living in the Rathmines area south of Dublin until about three months ago and was not believed to have been under surveillance by Irish police.

The same cannot be said of his two accomplices, Pakistan-born, UK-raised Khurum Butt, 27, and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Italian national of Moroccan descent, both of whom were on the terrorism radar.

An Italian lawyer has revealed that Zaghba was stopped at the airport last year while attempting to travel to Syria via Turkey.

During a grilling by authorities at Bologna Marconi Airport on March 15, 2016, Zaghba declared; "I want to be a terrorist" before "quickly correcting himself", prosecutor Giuseppe Amato told Italy's Radio 24 according to newspaper Corriere della Sera.

After that, he was tracked by Italian intelligence officers whenever he was in the country, Amato said.

"We did everything we could have done," he told the station. "But there weren't elements of proof that he was a terrorist. He was someone who was suspicious because of his way of behaving."

Italy has expelled nearly 50 people in the past two years who were suspected of extremist activities but for whom there was insufficient evidence to bring formal charges.

However, Zaghba's Italian citizenship prevented such an expulsion, Italian daily La Repubblica reported.

Meanwhile, his mother Valeria Collina has blamed "the internet" for her son's radicalisation.

She said her son used to show her videos of Syria and wanted to go "because it was a place where you could live according to a pure Islam".

Collina told Italian weekly news magazine L'Espresso she had last spoken to her son on Thursday last week on the phone but now realised it had been his way of saying goodbye.

She told reporters she had tried to stop him seeing friends she regarded as "radical" but that "he had the internet and from there he got everything".

Butt was a failed customer services clerk with links to one of Europe's most prolific hate preachers, Anjem Choudary, who was jailed for his ties to Islamic State and openly praised the September 11 attackers.

The 27-year-old embraced Islamism while living in London and featured in a documentary called The Jihadis Next Door, in which he was filmed unfurling an Islamic State flag in the street.

An unnamed British government source told The Telegraph that Choudary's now-banned al-Muhajiroun group was linked to one of Butt's alleged connections, Sajeel Shahid.

Shadid allegedly provided al-Qaeda terror training to Mohammed Siddique Khan, one of the four suicide bombers who killed 52 people during London's morning rush hour in 2005. He was also accused of training other terror suspects in Britain.

After losing his customer service job, reportedly because he failed his probation, Butt worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken and used a gym in East London.

In his spare time, he tried to recruit followers to the Islamic State group - a practice that prompted a neighbour to report him to the police in 2015.

He was one of about 3000 suspects who were known to British authorities but not part of 500 active investigations.