Police formally identify Westminster terrorist attacker Khalid Masood


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The man carried out the attack Parliament Square, Westminster yesterday has been named by police as Khalid Masood.

52-year-old Masood, who was killed during the horrific attack, was also known by a number of aliases.

Masood, on Wednesday 22nd March ploughed a rental Hyundai 4x4 into pedestrians, which killed two and injured around 40 people. He then stabbed PC Keith Palmer, 48, who succumbed to his injuries and died.

LOCKDOWN:

Masood was born in Kent, and is believed most recently to have been living in the West Midlands.

Masood 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, following a conviction in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack, in which PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade and US tourist Kurt Cochran were killed.

However Scotland Yard has said that Masood was not the subject of any current investigations, and that he had not been convicted for any terrorism offences.

"Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack," Scotland Yard said. 

"However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences."

Meanwhile eight arrests - three women and five men - were made in London and Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts following Wednesday's attack.

A woman aged 39 was arrested in east London

A 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were arrested in Birmingham

A 26-year-old woman and three men aged 28, 27 and 26 were arrested at another address in Birmingham

A man aged 58 was also arrested at a separate address in Birmingham

The Met Police says detectives are continuing to search a number of addresses, including one in Carmarthenshire, three in Birmingham and one in east London. Addresses in Brighton and south-east London have also been searched out.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has told those gathered for a candlelit vigil in Trafalgar Square in central London that terrorists "will not win".

"We are all connected and today we showed that by coming together, by going to work, by getting about our normal business, because the terrorists will not defeat us. We will defeat them," she said.

Met Police are urging anyone with any information about Masood to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

TRIBUTES

A minute's silence was held at 09:33 GMT in the Palace of Westminster and at New Scotland Yard - the timing of the silence was chosen in honour of PC Palmer's shoulder number, 933.

He was an unarmed member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Squad who had served for 15 years.

A statement released by PC Palmer's family said that he was "dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous. A friend to everyone who knew him.

"He will be deeply missed. We love him so much. His friends and family are shocked and devastated by his loss."

PC James Aitkenhead, who worked alongside Keith in the TSG said: "Keith was a genuinely nice person; nobody had a bad word to say about him. When I heard what had happened I knew it would be him because that's just the sort of guy he was, to step straight in when others might step back."

Addressing MPs, Prime Minister Theresa May said PC Palmer "was every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten".

 

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