The Reading terror attacker expressed a desire to start a revolution in Libya and then return to Britain to “blow people up”, an inquest has heard.

Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails were murdered by Khairi Saadallah – who had a history of offending – on June 20 2020 in Forbury Gardens, Reading.

On Monday, the inquest into the attack at the Old Bailey saw written evidence from March 2018 that while at HMP Bullingdon, Saadallah had expressed a desire to start a revolution in Libya and then come back to Britain to “blow people up”.

A witness from the security services said MI5 was not initially made aware that the Reading terror attacker was granted asylum and leave to remain in the UK, the inquest heard.

When asked by Nicholas Moss KC, the witness said: “No, I don’t think we were aware of that specifically.”

The witness, described at the inquest as a “senior manager at MI5”, said the counter-terror system relied on accurate information being shared.

The witness said: “MI5 is part of a counter-terror system. It is not an alternative to it."

The witness added that it was only two years after the fact that MI5 became aware that, in 2017, Saadallah was keen to speak with Islamist terrorist Omar Brooks, also known as Abu Izzadeen, in prison.

The witness said: “[The information' wasn't sent to us. I’m not sure I can explain why.”

They added that the post-attack investigation was “rigorous and detailed”.

Asked by Mr Moss, if “in layman’s terms, he [Saadallah] was acting alone”, the witness replied: “Yes, that’s right."

Asked if there was no indication that Saadallah had any “specific targets in mind”, the witness replied: “Yes, that remains the assessment.”

Saadallah was declared a “subject of interest” by MI5 in 2019, however, months later he became a “closed subject of interest”.

The witness said the process for the closure of a subject of interest was based on the “likelihood of re-engagement and the potential impact if that re-engagement occurs”.

In January 2021, Saadallah was handed a whole-life sentence at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

The inquest continues.