Several homes raided in hunt for Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi

Several homes raided in hunt for Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi thumbnail

Published Feb 2, 2024, 3:45pm|Updated Feb 2, 2024, 4:33pm

Several homes have been raided as part of the manhunt for a sex offender thought to be behind a horrific chemical attack in London.

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi has been on the run after a mother, 31, and her two daughters suffered potentially life-changing injuries in an alkali attack in Clapham on Wednesday night.

The 35-year-old, who is originally from Afghanistan, was seen in a Tesco Express in Caledonian Road, north London, at 8.48pm on January 31, around one hour after the incident happened.

He was pictured on CCTV with a severe injury to his right eye and was clutching a bottle of water.

The Met Police also said they have now gained a further image of Ezedi boarding a Victoria Line underground train heading southbound at around 9pm.

Speaking from New Scotland Yard this afternoon, Met commander Jon Savell said: ‘Last night, five search warrants were executed. Two in east London and three up in Newcastle.

‘Two empty containers with corrosive warnings on the label were found at an address in Newcastle. Forensic tests are currently ongoing to see if the containers held the substance used in the attack in Clapham.’

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One of the homes raided was thought to be that of Ezedi’s brother in Leytonstone, east London, in the early hours of the morning.

Cmdr Savell also issued a direct appeal to Ezedi and said: ‘Do the right thing and hand yourself in.’

The woman injured in the attack ‘remains very poorly in hospital’, he added.

‘She is sedated at the moment,’ said Cmdr Savell. ‘We expect that those injuries will be life-changing.

‘Thankfully we’ve had an update from the hospital that the two young children that were with her, their injuries are not as serious as first thought and are not likely to be life-changing.

‘They remain with mum in the care of the NHS and we of course wish them the very best recovery we can.’

Timeline of Abdul Ezedi’s movements

The Met Police has issued an update on the timeline of Abdul Ezedi’s movements on Wednesday, January 31. They are as follows:

  • 12.15am: Abdul Ezedi left Newcastle in his car and travelled south to London
  • 6.30am: He was in the Tooting area of the capital
  • 4.30pm: There was a further sighting of his vehicle in Croydon
  • 7pm: He was spotted driving in the Streatham area
  • 7.25pm: The ‘awful’ chemical attack is carried out in Lessar Avenue in Clapham, SW4, before he crashes the car and flees on foot
  • 7.33pm: He boards a train at Clapham South underground station
  • 7.59pm: Ezedi is spotted leaving that train at King’s Cross underground station
  • 8.42pm: He’s pictured on CCTV leaving Tesco Express in Caledonian Road, north London with a significant facial injury, turning right out of the store
  • 9pm: A new CCTV image has come to light showing Ezedi boarding a Victoria Line tube train at King’s Cross heading southbound

Police previously said the injury to Ezedi’s face makes him ‘distinctive’ but urged people not to approach him – and to call 999 if they see him.

Cmdr Savell reinforced that again at the press briefing today and said: ‘We would very much like all of the public’s help in identifying where he’s travelled.

‘If you’ve seen Ezedi, or you know where he is, then I urge you please to contact us.

‘If you think you’ve seen Ezedi now, do not approach him, ring 999 and we will be there urgently. We need the public’s help to trace Ezedi. It’s really important.’

He added: ‘We have received dozens of calls of possible sightings of Abdul Ezedi and every single one has been followed up and investigated.

‘Fast-paced enquiries, led by senior detectives have been carried out in the past 24 hours to trace the whereabouts of the suspect.

‘And I’d like to thank Northumbria Police, British Transport Police and Transport for London for their help as we progress this investigation.’

Ezedi arrived in the UK in a lorry eight years ago and was granted asylum after two failed applications after he said he’d converted to Christianity.

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He was convicted of ‘sexual assault/exposure’ at Newcastle Crown Court in 2018 and was given a suspended sentence with an unpaid work order.

Once the order was completed in 2020, he was discharged from probation supervision but will remain on the sex offenders register until 2028.

Detectives believe he is known to the family who were injured, but they are not clear on the exact relationship.

Emergency services rushed to Lessar Avenue, near Clapham Common, at about 7.25pm on Wednesday.

He is described as mild-mannered and to ‘keep himself to himself’, according to residents in the Byker area who spoke to the Telegraph.

Ezedi’s last known address was a hostel in the city which provides accommodation for people deemed to be homeless or vulnerable.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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