Muscat: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday condemned terrorist attacks in London on Wednesday. In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the Sultanate extended its condolences to the families of the victims and to pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. The Sultanate also affirmed its solidarity with the UK in taking all possible measures to protect its national security and taking all necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such criminal attacks against innocent civilians.
LONDON: The attacker who killed three people near parliament in London before being shot dead was named on Thursday as British-born Khalid Masood, who was once investigated by MI5 intelligence officers over concerns about violent extremism.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued by its Amaq news agency, but did not name Masood and gave no details.
It was not clear whether the attacker was directly connected to the group.
Police said Masood, 52, was born in the county of Kent in southeast England and was most recently living in the West Midlands region of central England.
“Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament the attacker had once been investigated by the MI5 intelligence agency over concerns about violent extremism, but was a peripheral figure.
Police said Masood had never been convicted of a terrorism offence.
His 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, Masood sped across Westminster Bridge in a car, ploughing into pedestrians. He then ran through the gates of the nearby parliament building and fatally stabbed an unarmed policeman before being shot dead.
Police arrested eight people at six locations in London and Birmingham in the investigation into the attack, which May said was inspired by a warped religious ideology.
The Enterprise rental car company said the vehicle used in the attack had been rented from its Spring Hill branch in Birmingham, which is located in the West Midlands.
About 40 people were injured in the attack, of whom 29 remain in hospital, seven in critical condition.
The bloodshed in London took place on the first anniversary of attacks that killed 32 people in Brussels, and resembled IS-inspired attacks in France and Germany where vehicles were driven into crowds.
The dead were Masood, two members of the public, and Keith Palmer, the 48-year-old policeman stabbed by Masood. — Reuters