Khalid Masood: What we know about the London attacker

Sympathizers at the scene
  • The lone UK attacker identified as Khalid Masood;
  • Masood, 52, born in Kent, UK;
  • Detectives believes he most recently lived in West Midlands;

London has been gripped by a horrifying attack on Wednesday where a Khalid Masood, a lone assailant rammed into crowds of people gathered on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer dead just outside the UK Parliament. The deadliest attack in Britain’s history which the dreaded Islamic State, ISIS, has claimed responsibility.

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The intelligence investigations carried out and made public on Thursday by the Police noted that a fourth person had died and named the attacker as 52-year-old Khalid Masood.

Nevertheless, it is pertinent we know the person behind this name as there is so much we do not know about the man that has shocked Britain.

Armed police officers secure the area near the attack.

WHAT IS KNOWN

  • The driver and mastermind of the horrifying attack has been named Khalid Masood, 52, having different also known as (aka).
  • The attacker was born in Kent, and living off-late in the West Midlands, police noted.
  • Masood has never been convicted for prior terrorism offenses, police noted.
  • However, Masood had been previously convicted for assaults, including bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses.
  • Masood was first convicted in November 1983 for criminal damage; and bagged his last conviction in December 2003 for possession of a knife.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker (Masood) was known to authorities for links to “violent extremism.”
  • Speaking in the House of Commons, May noted he (Masood) was investigated “some years ago” by security services, but was regarded as a “peripheral figure”.
  • Masood was not part of the “current intelligence picture,” and the UK authorities was not aware of his willful assault.
  • The vehicle Masood drove in the terror triggered attack was traced to a car company Birmingham.
  • UK’s top counter-terror police officer said there are ongoing investigations in London, Birmingham and other areas on Thursday.
Forensic officers work at the scene of the attack
  • The lead officer in the UK for counter-terrorism policing, Mark Rowley, believed the attacker (Masood) acted alone.
  • The working theory is that the attack was ISIS “inspired or copycat,” a UK official told CNN.
  • The terrorist group ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Khalid Masood a “soldier of Islamic State.”
British police officers patrolling near Houses of Parliament bow their heads.

WHAT IS YET UNKNOWN 

  • Activities of Masood moments before he attacked. Investigators have looked-up contacts in Birmingham and elsewhere, but traces of his whereabouts before Wednesday have not been confirmed.
  • Why the attack. A British official said: “52 is interesting. Not the usual young pup profile” for an ideologically-driven attacker.
  • On whether he acted alone. The authorities have arrested in Birmingham in connections with the attack, however, it is not clear how those suspects were associated with Masood.
  • The truth on Amaq’s responsibility. That the ISIS-linked news agency (Amaq) alleged that the attack was carried out by one of its “solider” did not really mean that ISIS had some connections to the lone assailant.

 

Credits: News.met.police.uk, CNN,

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