Assailant Inspired by Islamic Ideology
Grief and shock continue to grip the British community after the London attack that killed four people and injured more than dozens. London Police finally named Khalid Masood as the perpetrator of the deadly terror attack.
Masood, 52, who was born in Kent with the birth name Adrian Elms, rammed a rental car onto the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge, killing four and wounding 50 people. Six people remain critically injured. The attacker was killed by the Police later on.
In an investigation conducted by the UK police, Masood was believed to have been inspired by Islamic ideology. However, the attacker had previous convictions for violence but not terrorism offenses, including possession of offensive weapons like a knife and public order offences. His most recent was in December 2003 for possession of a knife, after he slashed a workmate’s face.
The attack outside the Houses of Parliament was the first terrorism-related attack in Britain since 7th July 2005. Then, 52 people died in the bomb attacks on the London public transportation system.
The Westminster Bridge Attack
The assailant acted alone in his onslaught. Masood drove the rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three people. Two people died on the spot and one succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Then, he rammed the car outside the parliament, with the aim of entering the building, armed with two knives. Masood rushed through Carriage Gates into New Palace yard where he stabbed an unarmed police officer who later died from the injuries. Police then shot the attacker.
Police disclosed the number of victims that included an American man and a woman of Spanish origin. Masood stabbed the unarmed police officer as he stood guard at Carriage Gates. The dead officer was identified as PC Keith Palmer, 48, who had served the parliamentary security for 15 years.
Among those wounded were 10 nationalities besides the British, among them French, South Korean and American.
The American man was named Kurt Cochran, a tourist from Utah in the US. He and his wife, Melissa, were on the last day of a trip to Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Melissa remains in hospital with serious injuries, The Daily Mail reported.
UK Will Never Waver in the Face of Terrorism
In an address to the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed that Britain’s freedoms and values will prevail amid the terrorism outrage.
In a defiant speech, May vowed with conviction that Britain will not be cowered by the attack.
PM May said, “Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. But today we meet as normal – as generations have done before us, and as future generations will continue to do – to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid. And our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”