London, Riyadh – London Police named the perpetrator of Wednesday’s deadly attack as a 52-year-old British man, Khalid Masood.
While the attacker was not the subject of any current investigations and had not been convicted for any terrorism offenses, he was known to police and security services with previous convictions for several crimes.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “He was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.”
On Thursday, ISIS claimed Masood was one of its “soldiers” in a statement released on its Aamaq news agency. Still, London Police believe that the attacker was a lone wolf, although investigations are underway to identify possible associates.
Eight people have been arrested so far, and six addresses raided across London, Birmingham and elsewhere on Wednesday night, police said.
They added that Masood, who recently converted to Islam, was born in the county of Kent in southeast England and was most recently living in the West Midlands region of central England.
In an address before UK Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May said Masood had been previously known to MI5.
“Some years ago, he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz
King expressed his deep condolences for the British government and the families of the victims of the terrorist attack.
In a phone call with May, the Saudi King reiterated Saudi Arabia’s strong denunciation of such criminal acts, which “contradict humanitarian and ethical principles.”
He also stressed the need to unify international efforts to eradicate terrorism and dry up its resources.