Yesterday, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old married father of three carried out a terror attack in London killing 3 people and injuring about 29 others. Scotland Yard identified the middle age man who was shot dead yesterday as having a long list of crimes to his name.
He was a British citizen but with links to violent jihadism. ISIS also claimed that the killer was a ‘soldier of the Islamic State’ and said they were responsible for the attack even though experts believe Masood did not receive direct orders or help from ISIS but may have been inspired to carry out the attack by material online, Daily Mail reports. Contrary to some reports that there were two terrorists at the location yesterday, Masood was ‘lone-wolf’ attacker, who was living in the Birmingham area with his wife and three children. Sky News also uncovered that he was a former English teacher and a religious convert who was into bodybuilding.
Driving his rented Hyundai Tucson over the kerb and then on the pavement on Westminister Bridge heading towards the Parliament, Masood killed mother-of-two Aysha Frade and US tourist Kurt Cochran as he ploughed along a crowded pavement causing grave injuries along the way. He then crashed through the Parliament gates, got out of his car and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death with two knives.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said this afternoon: ‘Masood was also known by a number of aliases. He was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.
‘However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.
‘His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences.’
Mark Rowley, the Met’s senior anti-terror officer, told reporters: ‘Hundreds of detectives have been working through the night and during that time I can confirm we have searched six addresses – and made seven arrests.
‘The inquiries in Birmingham, London and other parts of the country continue. It is still our belief – which continues to be borne out by our investigation – that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism.
‘To be explicit – at this stage, we have no specific information about further threats to the public.
‘Clearly our investigation is ongoing – developing all the time – and is focused on his motivation, his preparation and associates.
‘The large and complicated crime scene remains in place and our work there continues – I would like to thank everyone for their support and patience as we finish this work.’
In a message, Queen Elizabeth 11 said: ‘Following the shocking events in Westminster, Prince Philip and I are sorry that we will not be able to open the New Scotland Yard building as planned today, for very understandable reasons. I look forward to visiting at a later date.
‘My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday’s awful violence.
‘I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.’