London attacks: British police arrest two more suspects

VIDEO: REUTERS
A flower left in tribute to the victims of the March 22 terror attack is seen next to the Palace of Westminster that houses the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 23, 2017.
A flower left in tribute to the victims of the March 22 terror attack is seen next to the Palace of Westminster that houses the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 23, 2017. PHOTO: AFP
Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command investigating the Westminster attack have released an image of Khalid Masood.
Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command investigating the Westminster attack have released an image of Khalid Masood.PHOTO: METROPOLITAN POLICE

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - British police said on Friday (March 24) they have made two further significant arrests in the investigation into the attack on London's parliament.

“We have made two further significant arrests overnight,” counter-terrorism commander Mark Rowley said, confirming that there are currently nine people in total in custody over the attack.

One woman arrested earlier was released on bail.

Five men and three women aged 21 to 58 had been arrested in earlier raids in London and the central city of Birmingham. Police said on Thursday that they were being investigated "on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts".

 
 

Rowley said on Friday that the birth name of the man behind the assault was Adrian Russell Ajao and not Adrian Elms as previously reported. 

Police had earlier named the attacker as British-born Muslim covert Khalid Masood but said he had been using “a number of aliases”.

Rowley appealed to the public for information about the assailant. ​“There might be people out there who did have concerns about Masood but did not feel comfortable for whatever reason in passing those concerns to us,” he said.

Rowley also said police carried out more than a dozen searches, seizing 2,700 items including “massive amounts of computer data” and were attempting to work out whether others had “encouraged, supported or directed him”. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group has claimed responsibility, saying the attacker was one of its “soldiers”.

As for those injured, Rowley said “at least 50” people were injured when Masood ploughed through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before knifing a policeman to death just inside the gates of Britain’s parliament and being shot dead by another officer.

A total of 31 people of 12 nationalities have been treated in hospital, two people remain in critical condition while two officers have very significant injuries.

Rowley also identified the fourth victim who has died following the attack. The 75-year-old man who died in hospital on Thursday night was Leslie Rhodes, a retired window cleaner from Clapham in south London.

The anti-terror police chief said there would be a review of parliamentary security to see if changes were needed.

"Our current arrangements have been developed with Parliament over many years and are designed to provide access to the seat of our government, balanced carefully with security that is proportionate but not overly intrusive. 

"Of course, after an incident like this, as would be expected, my team will work with Parliamentary authorities to assess whether a different tone or a different balance is necessary."

 

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