London attacker was criminal who wasn't seen as threat
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 04, 2017,
Apr 04, 2017, 7:21
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.
In the recent development, two more significant arrests have been made by the London police on Friday in connection with the attack. One woman was later released on bail. Of them, two men, one aged 58, and the other 27 - both arrested in Birmingham - are being held under the Terrorism Act.
He was athletic and popular in high school, known as someone who liked to party, according to Stuart Knight, a former classmate, who said the young man was one of only two black students in the school of 600.
Following the recent terror attack near Britain's parliament in London that killed five people and injured 40 people, Prime Minster Narendra Modi called his United Kingdom counterpart Theresa May to express India's solidarity and conveyed condolence for victims.
He appealed to the public for information about the killer, who was also known as Adrian Elms but was using the name Khalid Masood at the time of the attack.
Masood drove his auto into crowds on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a police officer Keith Palmer on Parliament grounds before he was shot dead by police.
The project, Muslims Unite for London, was set-up by Muddassar Ahmed who was in Parliament when the attack happened and captured footage of the scene on his phone.
Police have searched 16 addresses, with five more raids still underway, mainly in London and the central city of Birmingham, where the attacker reportedly lived and near where he rented the vehicle used in the assault.
The attacker, Khalid Masood, was born Adrian Russell Ajao in southern England in 1964.
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.
Rowley said Friday that police were trying to establish whether Masood acted totally alone "or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him".
More than 50 people of a dozen nationalities were wounded in the attack, 31 of whom required hospital treatment, including one Australian.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although it was unclear what links, if any, Masood had with the militant group.
"Clearly that's a main line of our investigation is what led him to be radicalized: Was it through influences in our community, influences from overseas or through online propaganda?"
Looking to ensure security heading into the weekend, police have almost doubled the number of armed officers in London; elsewhere in the United Kingdom, up to a third more armed officers are on duty. With the investigation on, fresh details about his life have also emerged. Ultimately, 20 to 30 people were working to save the officer's life.
May said the attacker had been investigated by security services but was regarded as a "peripheral figure". "We never thought anything of him".
The hotel manager said that Masood had been "laughing and joking". Hours before carrying out the attack on Wednesday, he told the staff of Preston Park Hotel in Brighton, where he was staying, that "London isn't like what it used to be".