London Bridge killer Usman Khan cackled ­beside his school mates as he watched videos of 9/11 victims plummeting to their deaths.

Former pupils told how he repeatedly played footage of the atrocity in the school canteen while making noises imitating planes crashing.

Horrified classmates saw him change from a bullied oddball into a fanatic while at Haywood High School in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

They spoke out after the convicted jihadi, 28, stabbed two people to death before police shot him dead nine days ago.

One ex-classmate said he wasn’t surprised to find out that he was behind the carnage.

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He said: “Khan used to sit with his mates watching footage of the Twin Towers getting hit on a mobile phone.

“He’d laugh at the people forced to jump to their deaths.


“And he would make noises imitating the sound of a plane flying and then crashing.

“The 9/11 stuff stuck sharply in our heads. It was disgusting.

“Khan was reported because it was really offensive. But ­nothing was ever done.

The former pupil claimed: “We got branded as racists if we spoke out. It was all just brushed under the carpet.

“You knew back then he wasn’t wired the right way.”

Khan spewed his extremist hate after classmates mocked his teenage facial hair and pot belly, dubbing him King Kong.

And the schoolboy, who had a picture of Osama bin Laden pinned to his class planner, was tormented over his poor ­personal hygiene.

The former pupil, now 29, went on: “He was a big lad and got bullied constantly because of his facial hair.

“But it was his body odour which was the main thing. He stank and he got ridiculed for it.

“He wasn’t popular and he never stood out. He was just this fat kid in the ­background. If it wasn’t for his fascination with 9/11 I’d have completely forgotten about him.” After leaving school at 16 in 2007 Khan preached Islamic extremism.

He was pictured handing out leaflets at a street stall with fellow activists and ­waving al-Qaeda flags.

Anti-terror police raided his family’s home when he was 17 in 2008 but p­rosecutors decided there was not enough evidence to charge the teenager.

At the time, Khan told a local paper reporter: “I am born and bred in this country and I don’t agree with the killing of innocent people. The ­police came to my house at 7am and knocked my door off its hinges. I think that’s disgusting.”

And, chillingly, he vowed: “We are going to carry on until the last breath because we believe this is the truth.”

Two years later police rounded up Khan and eight other men over a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange and bomb pubs in his home town.

The terror cell were found guilty and Khan was handed an indeterminate jail term.

The sentence was later cut on appeal to 16 years.

Khan was automatically ­released on licence last December having served half of his term, despite threatening prison staff while behind bars.

Agreeing to wear an a tag, Khan moved into a flat in Stafford and joined Cambridge University’s Learning Together prisoner rehabilitation programme – whose workers he mercilessly targeted at London Bridge.

Khan attended a conference organised by the group at Fishmongers’ Hall but, wearing a fake suicide vest, went on the rampage armed with two knives.

He killed Cambridge ­graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and put another three people in hospital.

Khan’s former classmate ­immediately recognised him. “As soon as I saw his face on TV I knew it was him. It took me straight back to school,” he said.

“His resentment was borne out of his time in school. That’s where the seeds were sown.

"It makes you wonder if they had dealt with him then, maybe London Bridge wouldn’t have happened.

“Something should have been done about him years ago. The scariest thing is that there will be kids in school now with the same views Khan had. What are we doing to stop them now before this happens again in the future? ”

Khan’s family have ­condemned his actions.

Haywood High, now called Haywood Academy, was ­approached for comment.

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