Terrorist Attack in London Leaves 5 Dead
By Kathryn B.
The 82-second attack, killing five (including the assailant), has also left over forty injured and the world in shock.
On March 22, Khalid Masood drove his vehicle onto Westminster Bridge in London where he proceeded to speed up, swerve onto the sidewalk, and randomly hit pedestrians. Masood, speeding at approximately 76 miles per hour, continued to drive the rest of the distance to the Palace of Westminster until he crashed into the gate’s railings.
The assailant at this point exited the car, and ran through the gates of the Palace of Westminster, armed with a knife, where he stabbed a police officer. Police shot Masood shortly after.
In this attack four others were killed: Kurt Cochran, P.C. Keith Palmer, Leslie Rhodes, and Aysha Frade.
Masood, 53, was born in Kent, England, and was registered at birth as Adrian Russell Elms. When his mother remarried, he became Adrian Russell Ajao. Although it is believed by some that he later changed his name to Khalid Masood when he converted to Islam, it is still unclear how exactly he became radicalized.
According to BBC, Masood “spent a number of years working in Saudi Arabia teaching English as a second language at the General Authority of Civil Aviation in the port city of Jeddah,” which he held a work visa. This was the occupation he listed when he rented the vehicle he used for the attack.
Masood also retained another visa in Saudi Arabia, Time reported, that is “usually granted to those going on a religious pilgrimage.”
Throughout his life he also held a criminal record. The Metropolitan Police have released a statement saying, “He was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.” He spent time in three different jails due to these offenses.
When reporters inquired if police had been monitoring Masood Prime Minister Theresa May explained that although he was “once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism, [he was] a peripheral figure [and was] not part of the current intelligence picture.”
Although Masood acted alone in the attack, there have been twelve people arrested in connection with it. Scotland Yard has disclosed they have all been released without being charged. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack saying Masood was one of their “soldiers.”
Dailymail.co reports “pre-inquest reviews for both cases are expected to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on May 19.”