A man wanted for an acid attack on a mother and two children faked his religion to sneak into the U.K.

LONDON, UK – A man of Afghan descent, wanted in connection with a brutal acid attack on a mother and her two young daughters in London, has been revealed to be a convicted sex offender who previously converted to Christianity to secure asylum in the UK after two unsuccessful attempts, sources say.

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, stands accused of launching a corrosive alkaline substance from a metal coffee cup at a 31-year-old woman and her two daughters, aged 3 and 8, on Wednesday night on Lessar Avenue in the city’s southern district. The victims remain hospitalized.

Ezedi allegedly tried to flee the scene in a car, but crashed into a parked vehicle before escaping on foot, according to reports.

Ezedi, a former asylum seeker from Afghanistan, was granted permission to stay in the UK despite a 2018 conviction for a sexual offense. He first arrived in the UK in 2016, hidden in a truck. He was sentenced to a nine-week suspended jail term for sexual assault and a 36-week suspended term for exposure. His third application for asylum was successful in 2020.

A local priest confirmed Ezedi’s conversion to Christianity, a factor that reportedly aided his asylum application. Ezedi was previously a practicing Muslim.

The Metropolitan Police have indicated that Ezedi and the female victim were acquainted. The severity of the injuries sustained by the woman and her younger daughter could be life-altering, according to Superintendent Gabriel Cameron.

In addition to the primary victims, three other women were injured when they attempted to assist the family. They have since been discharged from the hospital with minor burns. A man, also in his 50s, declined hospital treatment for minor injuries. Five officers were injured during their response but have since been discharged from hospital.

The Metropolitan Police are now working to locate Ezedi. Superintendent Cameron described him as a dangerous individual and stressed the urgency of his capture.