London's Metropolitan Police Service has identified the terrorist responsible for the 22 March Westminster attack as Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old UK resident.
In a statement, the police said that the Kent-born man “was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack”.
Prior to #WestminsterAttack Masood,52, was not subject of any current investigations & no intel about his intent to mount a terrorist attack— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017
“He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences... However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences,” the police said in a statement.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack near the Parliament in central London that killed five and wounded several. However, the terror outfit did not name Masood in its statement, issued by its Amaq news agency.
What We Know About Masood So Far
UK PM Theresa May said that Masood was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism, The Guardian reported.
"The man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relations to concerns about violent extremism... He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture,” she was quoted as saying.
Police said Masood’s first conviction was in 1983 for criminal damage and his last one was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.
During five minutes of mayhem in the heart of London on Wednesday, the accused sped across Westminster Bridge in a car, plowing into pedestrians. He then ran through the gates of the nearby parliament building and fatally stabbed an unarmed policeman before being shot dead.
Masood allegedly posed as a teacher when he went to hire the Hyundai SUV in person, that he would later use to mow down people, BBC reported. However, there is no record of him ever working as a qualified teacher.
Detectives believe he was living in the West Midlands region of central England. The Daily Mail said Masood had been born Adrian Elms and had later converted to Islam. Other reports said he was a married father of three, who was into bodybuilding.
The Washington Post quoted Marjoli Gajecka, one Masood’s neighbours as saying:
They were just an ordinary family. I would never have assumed that he was in any way related to terrorist activity.
(With inputs from Reuters)