More details about Khalid Masood, the man responsible for the terror attack at Westminster Bridge and U.K. Parliament on Wednesday, which resulted in the death of three people and the injury of dozens more, have begun to emerge, including that Masood had been on the radar of British intelligence as a potential violent extremist and appears to have been at least inspired by ISIS. Here is what we know so far.
1. He Changed His Name When He Underwent A Radical Conversion
According to authorities, Masood, 52, was born in Kent before later moving to the West Midlands. The Daily Mail reports that he was born to a single mother and his birth name was Adrian Elms, which he changed after he underwent a radical conversion. He grew up in Rye, East Sussex, reportedly raised in a £300,000 house. Though initial reports described him as a teacher, that appears to be false, based on him falsely listing teaching as his profession. Sky News reports that he was heavily into bodybuilding. He was a married father of three.
2. He Had A Lengthy Criminal Record
The Metropolitan police said that while Masood had not been convicted of any terror-related crimes in the past, he had a years-long record of violent offenses, including assault and grievous bodily harm. “His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last was in December 2003 for possession of a knife,” reports the Guardian. “They added that he was known by a number of aliases and had most recently been living in the West Midlands.” According to Sky News, one of those aliases was “Khali Choudri,” another was “Adrian Ajao.”
The Daily Mail provides more details about Masood’s criminal history:
His first conviction was for criminal damage in November 1983, when he was just 19.
His last was for an attack in 2003, where he stabbed a 22-year-old man in the face, leaving him slumped in the driveway of a nursing home in Eastbourne. The victim was left needing cosmetic surgery after the vicious attack.
Masood is understood to have spent time in Lewes jail in East Sussex, Wayland prison in Norfolk and Ford open prison in West Sussex, The Times reported.
He was sentenced to two years for wounding in 2000 and sent back to jail in 2003 for the attack in Eastbourne.
3. MI5 Had Looked Into Him But Determined Him Not To Be A Threat
Though the Met police said that they knew of “no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack,” British Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed that he had come under investigation by British intelligence for potential violent extremism, but MI5 lost track of him after dismissing him as only a “peripheral figure.” NBC News reports:
[Prime Minister May] said [Masood] had been investigated “some years ago” by the MI5 domestic intelligence service “in relation to concerns about violent extremism.”
May added: “He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot.”
The prime minister told lawmakers that “the working assumption is that the attacker was inspired by Islamist ideology.”
4. ISIS Claims Him As One Of Their Soldiers
Hours after the attack, the propaganda arm of ISIS, the Amaq media agency, issued a statement describing Masood as an ISIS “soldier.”
“The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British Parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition,” Amaq claimed.
Terror experts say the language of the statement indicates that rather than being specifically directed to carry out the attack, he was likely “inspired” by ISIS to carry out a jihadist act on his own initiative.
5. British Authorities Have Made Multiple Arrests Following The Attack
Though May said that officials still believe Masood this “acted alone and the police have no reason to believe that are imminent further attacks on the public,” authorities conducted a series of raids Wednesday night resulting in multiple arrests. NBC News reports that “police raided at least six properties in cities including Birmingham and London overnight and made eight arrests.”
Metropolitan Police told reporters Thursday that the investigation is “ongoing” and they are “focused on his motivation, his preparation and associates.”
More from the Daily Wire on the British Parliament terror attack: