Treating UK Parliament attack as 'Islamist-related terrorism

25 March, 2017, 00:12 | Author: Gregory Stephens

The arrests bring the total number of people in police custody to nine, with one woman having been released on bail.

He was born in Kent, a mostly affluent part of south-east England, but police believe he had most recently been living in the Birmingham area in central England.

London police said Friday they have made two more arrests in connection with the attack near Parliament.

Kurt Cochran, an American tourist from Utah, Leslie Rhodes, a 75-year-old Englishman, and Aysha Frade, a London mother of two, were also killed in the brutal attack.

Masood killed four people, first driving his black Hyundai i40 vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbing to death Keith Palmer, an unarmed police constable on duty at the gates of the Palace of Wesminster, before he was himself shot dead by other police officers.

Armed British police patrol outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster following a terrorist attack on 22 March, 2017.

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley told reporters that he believed the assailant "acted alone" and that he was "inspired by global terrorism". Almost 30 other people were treated in a hospital, the Guardian reported.

A media outlet associated with Islamic State militants said the attack was committed by one of its "soldiers".

"As a result of their co-operation and our enquiries, we are completely satisfied that they are not connected in any way to the terrorist attack in Westminster on Wednesday", he said. The fourth victim was PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death outside Parliament. Rowley said the police investigation focuses on understanding Masood's motivation, preparation and associates.

Police say Masood has used several aliases and had a string of convictions between 1983 and 2003 for offenses including assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

Police have carried out more than a dozen searches and seized some 2,700 items since the attack, including "massive amounts of computer data", Rowley added.

The so-called Islamic State group claimed it was behind the attack a day after when it issued its statement to its self-styled Amaq news agency.

"He was normal, in fact friendly, because we spent possibly five or 10 minutes talking to him about his background and where he came from", Sabeur Toumi told Sky News on Friday.

Khan said the vigil in the most recognizable public plaza in London was meant to honor the dead and injured, but also "to send a clear, clear message: Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism". Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that Masood had been investigated by MI5 in the past for violent extremism, but had been considered "a peripheral figure".

A total of 90 percent of United Kingdom citizens think that further terror attacks are likely to happen in the country after the attack in London, which is 6 percent more than in summer 2016, a YouGov poll issued on Friday revealed.

"Finally, last night a true cross section of people came together to stand together to remember - but also to send a message".


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