London terror attack: The attacker

British-born, once investigated for violent extremism

British Prime Minister Theresa May tells lawmakers that the man who launched Wednesday's attack was born in Britain, but wanted to "silence" the country's democracy.
Police have named the attacker as Khalid Massood. He is believed to be from the West Midlands and born in Kent.
Police have named the attacker as Khalid Massood. He is believed to be from the West Midlands and born in Kent.PHOTO: PA IMAGES

But he was peripheral figure, not part of current intelligence picture: British PM

LONDON • The man who drove a rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and killed a policeman guarding the United Kingdom Parliament was born in Britain and known to the British intelligence services.

He was once investigated by British spy agency MI-5 "in relation to concerns about violent extremism", British Prime Minister Theresa May told lawmakers in Parliament yesterday.

"He was a peripheral figure," she said. "The case is historic; he was not part of the current intelligence picture."

Late yesterday, British police identified the man as Khalid Massood, 52. He is believed to be from the West Midlands and born in Kent.

Police stormed a flat in Birmingham, which is in the West Midlands, in an overnight armed raid.

Yesterday, it also emerged that the Hyundai Tucson he used to launch his attack was rented in Birmingham, less than 2km from the flat that was raided.

Mrs May said there was no intelligence about his intent nor about his terror plot.

Officials say they believe he was a "lone wolf" attacker inspired by extremism. Police have arrested eight people in raids in Birmingham, London and other parts of the country.

Tan Dawn Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'British-born, once investigated for violent extremism'. Print Edition | Subscribe