Police release image of Khalid Masood

The police reportedly want to know if Masood was encouraged or supported by any groups.

Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton with a history of violent offences but no terrorist convictions, was shot by police on Wednesday after a rampage through Westminster.

The hotel manager said that Masood had been "laughing and joking".

Masood plowed a rented SUV into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing an American man and a British woman and injuring more than 30 people of nearly a dozen nationalities.

Three people on the bridge died after being hit by the speeding vehicle, then the attacker leapt out and fatally stabbed a police officer just inside the gates of the Houses of Parliament before being shot dead.

There are over 213,000 Muslims in Birmingham, more than a fifth of the population, according to the 2011 census, and there has been growing concern about divisions in the diverse city.

Masood, who at 52 is considerably older than most extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record in Britain dating to 1983. The violence came later, first in 2000 when he slashed a man across the face in a pub parking lot in a racially charged argument after drinking four pints of beer, according to a newspaper account from the time.

The victim, Piers Mott, was scarred for life, said his widow, Heather.

Police raided the room at the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton after the attack, searching for clues about Masood.

"He is thought to have changed his name when he converted to Islam", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from London.

Heather Mott said Masood appeared to come out of jail "even worse".

The neighbours said they had not seen Masood or his children since his family left before Christmas.

The dead were identified as Kurt Cochran, 54, of Utah and British school administrator Aysha Frade, 43 - both struck on the bridge - and 48-year-old Constable Keith Palmer, a 15-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police.

Details about how he became radicalized aren't clear.

In a briefing outside Scotland Yard, London's top counterterror officer, Mark Rowley, said two more "significant" arrests had been made, bringing to nine the number of people in custody over Wednesday's attack.

But her call for a "back door" system to allow authorities to retrieve information is likely to meet resistance from the tech industry, which has faced previous law enforcement demands for access to data after major attacks.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood sent a WhatsApp message that can not be accessed because it was encrypted by the popular messaging service, a top British security official said Sunday.

Born Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent, southeast of London, on Christmas Day in 1964, he moved though several addresses in England and lived recently in Birmingham, central England.

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

  • Leroy Wright