Attack on Parliament at Westminster

A car-and-knife attack outside the British Parliament has left four dead, another 20 wounded according to The Spectator:

Four people – including a police officer – have died and twenty people have suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries in a terror attack outside Parliament. A 4×4 car was driven into pedestrians on the pavement of Westminster Bridge before being crashed into railings outside Parliament. It is believed a man armed with a knife then emerged from a vehicle and ran around the corner and into the entrance of the Palace of Westminster, where he fatally stabbed a police officer. The attacker was then shot two or three times by police. Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood is believed to have given first aid to the injured officer in the aftermath of the attack. The Telegraph are reporting that Ellwood – a former soldier whose brother died in the 2002 Bali terror attack – gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the officer in a bid to save his life.

The details of the attack fit a growing pattern of terrorist attacks featuring assailants plowing vehicles into groups of unsuspecting victims:

Truck attack at a Christmas market in Germany — 12 killed, 50 wounded

Truck attack at a Bastille Day festival in Nice, France — 84 killed

Car and knife attack at Ohio State University — 11 wounded

Truck attack in Jerusalem — 10 wounded

The Daily Mirror tweeted a photo of the suspect:

There are some who claim based on “reports” to have the name of the attacker, but the Metropolitan Police have not yet released any such information as of the time of this writing:

The Daily Mail says Channel 4 got it wrong in identifying the attacker as Trevor Brooks/Abu Izzadeen’s lawyer as well as his brother both of whom reportedly say that he’s still in jail:

Channel 4 has since walked it back:

I’m not ready to pull the trigger on believing anything about the attacker just yet, at least until we hear anything definitive from local law enforcement, but I don’t expect to learn that the attacker is Amish.

However this shakes out, the story is still developing, and Denzel Washington’s words ring especially true if the attacker is in fact not Brooks/Izzadeen:

Added Mar. 23

The London Metropolitan Police have named the person believed responsible for the attack:

From their statement:

The man police believe to be responsible for the terrorist attack in Westminster yesterday, Wednesday, 22 March, has now been formally identified as Khalid Masood.

Masood, aged 52 (25.12.1964), was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands. Masood was also known by a number of aliases.

Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.

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.

His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

He has not been convicted for any terrorism offences.

Anyone with any information about Masood can call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.