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Everyone Arrested In Connection With The Westminster Attack Has Now Been Released

Khalid Masood, born Adrian Russell Ajao, was named as the attacker. He was among those who died near parliament on March 22. Three civilians, Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran, Leslie Rhodes, and a police officer, Keith Palmer, have been identified as his victims.

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What We Know So Far:

  • Khalid Masood, 52, originally from Kent, was named as the Westminster attacker by the Metropolitan police. He was born Adrian Russell Ajao, the Met police said on Friday morning. Other aliases he is believed to have used include the name Adrian Elms.
  • He had no prior terrorism offence convictions, although he had been previously investigated by security services as a "peripheral figure". Police released a picture of him on Friday.
  • At least five people died — including a police officer and Masood — and 31 others required hospital treatment.
  • Eleven arrests were made after several raids across the country, the Met confirmed. Everyone arrested has now been released with no further action.
  • Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old unarmed officer, was stabbed before Masood was shot by police. A government minister administered CPR, but Palmer ultimately died.
  • Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old teacher and mother of two, was one of the civilians killed. Kurt Cochran, an American citizen, was named as among the dead. Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London, was later named as the fourth victim.
  • The attack began when a vehicle driving over Westminster Bridge rammed into several pedestrians before crashing into railings at the Palace of Westminster. Masood, armed with a knife, continued the attack.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility through its news agency, calling the assailant – who it did not name – its "soldier".


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All people arrested in connection with the Westminster terror attack have now been released

All those arrested in connection with the terrorist attack in Westminster have now been released and police will take no further action.

A 30-year-old man arrested on March 26 in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts and detained under the Terrorism Act was released on Sunday, Met police said in a statement.

Eleven other people who were previously arrested in connection with the investigation have also been released with no further action.

The inquest into the death of Khalid Masood was adjourned on Thursday and a pre-inquest review has been set by the coroner for May 19.

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The man who mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before fatally attacking a police officer outside parliament was killed by a single gunshot to the chest, coroner's officials said.

In all, Khalid Masood killed four people and injured more than 30 others in the March 22 attack before he was shot dead. One other person remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Masood's cause of death was revealed Thursday in Westminster coroner's court, the Associated Press reported.

—Jason Wells

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Rohey Hydara, wife of the man who attacked parliament last week, gave a statement through police in which she expressed her "sadness" for those who had lost their lives.

"I express my condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured," the BBC reported her as saying.

Hydara, believed to be Masood's second wife, also asked for privacy for "our family, especially the children, at this difficult time".

It comes following the mother of Masood, who was born Adrian Elms, stating she was "shocked" and "deeply saddened" by the actions of her son.

Masood, 52, drove a car across Parliament Bridge, injuring scores of people, before crashing the vehicle into railings at the side of the houses of parliament. He then assaulted police officer Keith Palmer, who later died of his injuries, before being shot dead by officers on the scene.

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The mother of the man who carried out the deadly attack in London says she is "deeply shocked, saddened, and numbed" by his actions.

In a statement issued Monday, Janet Ajao said she in no way condoned the actions of her son Khalid Masood, who was shot dead by police during the attack, which killed four people:

I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster. Since discovering that it was my son that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident. I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity. I wish to thank my friends, family and community from the bottom of my heart for the love and support given to us.

—Jason Wells

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No evidence Masood had any direct connections to ISIS or al-Qaeda, Met police say

More information has emerged about the actions of the man who killed four people – including a police officer – outside the houses of parliament before being shot dead.

Speaking on Monday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for UK counterterrorism policing, said there was "no evidence" the man who took the name Khalid Masood in 2005, having been born Adrian Elms, had discussed his intentions prior to the assault.

"His attack method appears to be based on low sophistication, low-tech, low-cost techniques copied from other attacks, and echo the rhetoric of IS leaders in terms of methodology and attacking police and civilians, but at this stage I have no evidence he discussed this with others."

Basu continued that while there were no direct connections to ISIS or al-Qaeda, "there is clearly an interest in jihad".

He also said there was "no evidence" Masood had been radicalised in prison, adding that "this is pure speculation at this time".

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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A 30-year-old man has been arrested in Birmingham in connection with Wednesday's attack in Westminster, it was announced on Sunday night.

The Metropolitan police said the man was arrested on Sunday at an address in the city on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. One other man, aged 58, remains in custody, while a 32-year-old woman has been bailed until later this month.

Meanwhile, UK home secretary Amber Rudd has said it is "completely unacceptable" that messages Khalid Masood may have sent on WhatsApp before launching his deadly attack remain encrypted.

"There should be no place for terrorists to hide," Rudd said on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show. "We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other."

—Matthew Champion

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The Metropolitan police have said they believe Westminster attacker Khalid Masood acted alone, and warned that we may never know why he acted as he did.

Masood was shot by police 82 seconds after his murderous attack began and later died, and while 11 arrests were made in the days after the attack, only one man remains in custody and one woman is out on bail.

"We still believe that Masood acted alone on the day and there is no information or intelligence to suggest there are further attacks planned," said deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing.

"Even if he acted alone in the preparation we need to establish with absolute clarity why he did these unspeakable acts to bring reassurance to Londoners, and to provide answers and closure for the families of those killed and the victims and survivors of this atrocity."

But Basu added: "We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him.

"Nevertheless, we are determined to understand if Masood was a lone actor inspired by terrorist propaganda or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him. If the latter proves to be the case, they will face justice."

Appealing for members of the public to help the investigation into the killings, Basu said: "If you knew Khalid Masood and had spoken to him in the months, weeks or days leading up to this attack please come forward." —Matthew Champion

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The family of slain police officer Keith Palmer have said they are "overwhelmed by the love and support" they have received since the 48-year-old was killed.

"Most especially," a statement released through the Metropolitan police added, "the outpouring of love and respect for our Keith."

The statement said: "We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us over the past few days for their kindness and generosity. The police have been a constant, unwavering support at this very difficult time. It has made us realise what a caring, strong and supportive family Keith was part of during his career with the police. We can't thank them enough.

"We would also like to express our gratitude to the people who were with Keith in his last moments and who were working that day. There was nothing more you could have done.

"You did your best and we are just grateful he was not alone. We care about him being remembered for his selfless bravery and loving nature. We miss him so much, but we are also incredibly proud of Keith."

Meanwhile Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, who gave first aid to Palmer after the officer had been stabbed by Westminster attacker Khalid Masood, has said he is "heartbroken" he could not save him.

"I am heartbroken that I could not do more for PC Keith Palmer who gave his life in holding the line against terrorism and defending democracy. I shall be writing to the family of PC Palmer to offer my sincere condolences," he said in a statement.

"I'm deeply humbled and overwhelmed by the messages of support, especially from the policing fraternity, which I now realise is as close knit as the military's in supporting its own.

"I played only a small part that day, doing what I was taught to do, and am honoured to have been invited to join the Privy Council afterwards.

"It is right that we concentrate our thoughts on the victims as we stand side by side to protect all that we hold dear, including our precious values and way of life which will always prevail." —Matthew Champion

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The deadly Westminster attack that left four people dead Wednesday began and was over within 82 seconds, police said Saturday.

Police released a timeline of the bloody attack, revealing that in just over a minute Khalid Masood killed three civilians and one police officer, and injured 31 other people.

The attack began Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. when Masood drove his car over the Westminster Bridge and then veered on to the footpath.

Masood drove through the pedestrian walkway for 30 seconds before crashing into a perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster, police said.

Exactly 21 seconds after the crash, the first call to police was made.

Masood then got out of his car and was shot by an officer inside the Palace of Westminster 31 seconds after that call was made.

Police said their investigation is still continuing, and asked for people who knew and spoke with Masood in the previous weeks and months to contact authorities.

"We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement. "That understanding may have died with him."

Authorities believe he acted alone.

"Whilst the attack lasted only 82 seconds it will remain in the memories of many forever," Basu said.

—Salvador Hernandez

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Only one person remains in custody over Wednesday's attack

On Saturday evening police revealed that one of the two people still in custody in connection with the attack in Westminster had been released.

The 27-year-old man arrested late on Thursday in Birmingham was told he would face no further action. A 39-year-old woman arrested in east London and bailed until the end of this month has also been released with no further action.

Seven other people have also been released and one woman remains out on bail, meaning only one person remains in custody over Khalid Masood's attack – a 58-year-old man who was arrested on Thursday morning at an address in Birmingham, who is being detained under anti-terror laws.

—Matthew Champion

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"Not in Our Name" rally held in Birmingham

I'm at Birmingham's "not in our name" rally and there's about 200 people here

Watch live footage as Muslims from the West Midlands hold a rally against terrorism after this week's attack in Westminster.

—Matthew Champion

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Seven of the 11 people arrested by police investigating Khalid Masood's attack this week have now been released with no further action, it was announced last night.

As well as the six people released from custody last night, a 35-year-old man has been released with no further police action, and a 32-year-old woman has been bailed until the end of the month. Both were arrested in Manchester.

Meanwhile, two men remain in custody: a 58-year-old man arrested in Birmingham on Thursday morning, and a 28-year-old man arrested later in the day at a separate address in the city. They are being detained under the Terrorism Act 2000.

One other woman remains on police bail: a 39-year-old arrested at an address in east London on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. She is due to return to police until a date later this month.

—Matthew Champion

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Authorities on Friday released six people who were arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack in London.

Among those released were a 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man who were arrested at one address, as well as a 26-year-old woman and three men aged 28, 27, and 26, who were taken into custody at separate locations in Birmingham, the Metropolitan police announced.

A 39-year-old woman arrested in east London on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts was also released on bail until a later date in March.

Four others arrested in Birmingham and Manchester on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts remain in custody as part of a sweep of 21 locations. While police believe Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old British man with a history of violent crimes, carried out the attack on Westminster Bridge and outside parliament alone, they are investigating what help he may have received and whether he had any accomplices.

—Jason Wells

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Muslim leaders in Birmingham are holding emergency meetings across the city

There are concerns of a ramped up anti-Muslim backlash that communities may face following the London terror attack.

Mahmooda Qureshi from Hope Not Hate, an anti-racism campaign group, told BuzzFeed News a rally was being organised in Birmingham city centre on Saturday, and said: "It's to distance ourselves and that it has got nothing to do with Islam and to state: not in our name."

Morning, reporting from #Birmingham today. This poster for a public rally tomorrow "not in our name" is circulating…

A number of other vigils and rallies were being circulated via WhatsApp, urging people to turn up:

Here are the vigils @mendcommunity, Muslim anti-racism campaigners, have organised over the weekend in cities acros…

Imams from major Birmingham mosques read sermons addressing the attacks, and called for "unity".

At a packed Friday prayers with Muslims from all backgrounds, Sheikh Abdur Raheem McCarthy said in a sermon delivered in English that Muslims were "blessed" in the UK as they have freedom of faith. "We also need to increase our relationship with the local community. And instead of making this divide us, let it bring us closer together and let us stand in solidarity against that which is wrong."

After prayers, the imam read out a statement from the Metropolitan police reassuring the communities there would be extra patrols on the streets, and that the attack was by "a terrorist and someone not of the faith".

Muhammad Afzal, the chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, called for calm and said in a statement: "We request all communities for the unity and calm."

He added: "We call upon those that may have even a shred of sympathy for the like-minded terrorists to shake their conscience and realise that such acts are the work of evil and not the work of God-fearing people."

—Aisha Gani

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"The Muslim woman on Westminster Bridge" has spoken out regarding reaction to her photo

In the aftermath of Wednesday's attack in London, this photo of a woman walking along Westminster bridge went viral. The woman was accused by people on the far-right of ignoring a victim on the road, and not showing emotion after the attack. Now the woman, who has not been named, has provided a statement defending herself via the charity TellMAMA:

What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to victims. I then decided to call my family to say that i was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station. My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence.

—Rachael Krishna

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In an updated statement, the Met police clarified that Masood had previously gone by both Adrian Elms and Adrian Russell Ajao. "He may also be known by a number of other names," they added.

The statement also said the number of arrests had risen to 11. A 32-year-old woman was arrested on Friday at a location in Manchester on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. Ten people remain in custody.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Downing Street added to pressure on Google and Facebook on Friday, warning the internet giants that they "can and must do more" to stop hateful and violent material appearing on their platforms.

Theresa May's official spokesperson would not comment on whether there was specific evidence that the internet had played a role in the apparent radicalisation of the Westminster attacker, Khalid Masood.

As a general point, however, he told reporters that the "fight against terrorism and hate speech has to be a joint one" and that the technology companies weren't, in the government's view, pulling their weight.

"Social media companies have a responsibility when it comes to making sure that this material is not disseminated," the Number 10 official said. "And we have been clear repeatedly that we think they can and must do more. And we are always talking with them on how to achieve that."

"The message that we've delivered consistently is that we want them to do more and the ball is now in their court," he added. "Let's see how they respond."

Read more here

—Alex Spence

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This photograph, taken when Masood was at school, is believed to have been taken after a four-hour five-a-side tournament for charity.

Kenton Till, who was part of the charity team, described him to the BBC as an extremely popular student who was thought of as bright and sporty. "He had a big personality and everyone liked him," Till said.

It comes as details about Masood's background slowly begin to emerge.

Earlier, acting deputy Met police commissioner Mark Rowley said they believed Masood was born Adrian Russell Ajao. Earlier media reports had identified one of his aliases as Adrian Elms, born in the Dartford district of Kent.

It is thought he took his stepfather's name, Ajao, after his mother remarried two years after he was born.

It is believed Masood was an English teacher, The Sun also reported. The newspaper also claimed to have seen a recent copy of Masood's CV in which he claims to have an economics degree and describes himself as "friendly and approachable".

The BBC found he had recently lived in the West Midlands, but he is also thought to have lived in Crawley, West Sussex, and Rye and Eastbourne, both in East Sussex, as well as Luton and east London.

Read more about what we know so far here.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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The fourth victim, 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes, was named by the Met police today.

Rhodes was a retired window cleaner, who was described by neighbours as a "lovely man," according to the Press Association. The neighbour told the news organisation Rhodes had no children and was not married, and that he "would do anything for anybody".

American Kurt Cochran was identified yesterday. He and his wife Melissa Payne Cochran were thought to have been celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in London. Relatives said she suffered serious injuries in the attack and is still being treated in hospital.

Clint Payne, understood to be Kurt's brother-in-law, wrote on Facebook: "Our hearts are broken this day as we say goodbye to our dear brother-in-law Kurt. He passed away from the injuries sustained in the London terrorist attack yesterday. We love him so much and will never forget him."

Aysha Frade, 43, was reportedly on her way to pick up her children from school when she was struck by the car that drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

The mother of two taught Spanish at DLD College London. " She was highly regarded and loved by our students and by her colleagues. She will be deeply missed by all of us," a spokesperson for the college told BuzzFeed News.

Veteran police officer Keith Palmer was killed. The 48-year-old was married with a five-year-old daughter.

In a statement on Thursday, his family said he would be remembered as a "wonderful dad and husband," a loving son, brother, and uncle, and a long-time supporter of Charlton FC.

He was a friend to "everyone who knew him" and was brave, dedicated, courageous, and proud to be a police officer, they said.

1/2 Deeply saddened to hear that my constituent Leslie Rhodes has died from the injuries he sustained in Wednesday's shocking & awful attack

2/2 The thoughts and prayers of all our community are with Mr Rhodes' family and friends - we can only imagine what they are going through

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Khalid Masood's birth name has been stated as Adrian Russell Ajao, acting deputy police commissioner Mark Rowley has said in a briefing outside New Scotland Yard this morning.

"We stated he had a number of aliases, and we do know that his birth name was Adrian Russell," Rowley said.

Rowley said there was "no evidence of further threats", but that a "large, fast paced investigation" was examining Masood's actions leading up the attack: "Our determination is to find out if he acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda or if others encouraged or supported him."

Rowley said two further arrests were made last night: one in the West Midlands, and one in North West England. One woman has been released on bail. Nine people remain in custody.

Five searches on addresses were in progress, with 16 searches on properties around the UK concluded. "We have seized 2,700 items from these searches," he said, including "massive of amounts of computer data for us to search through".

Addressing those injured in the attack, Rowley named the fourth victim as Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Streatham, in south London.

The number of those hurt in the attack rose. Rowley stated at least 50 people were injured, with 31 people requiring hospital treatment, in the attack. "Those affected include a real cross-section of ages, from at least 12 nationalities," he continued.

He said of those in hospital, two remained in "critical condition", with one person considered to have "life-threatening" injuries. Two off-duty officers who were caught up in the assault on Westminster Bridge remain in hospital with serious injuries.

Earlier, multiple media reports identified Adrian Elms as one of the alias believed to have been used by Masood.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Details around the attacker, named by the Metropolitan police as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, continue to emerge on Friday morning.

Masood, who operated under a number of aliases, is believed to have been born as Adrian Elms in Kent, the BBC reported.

It is believed that Masood was an English teacher, The Sun also reported. The newspaper also claimed to have seen a recent copy of Masood's CV in which he claims to have an economics degree and describes himself as "friendly and approachable".

Most recently he lived in the West Midlands, but he is also thought to have lived in Crawley, West Sussex, and Rye and Eastbourne, both in East Sussex, as well as Luton and east London.

Masood had a chequered past, according to his police record. His first conviction was in November 1983, aged 19, when he was convicted for criminal damage. His last conviction was in 2003 when he stabbed a 22-year-old man in a nursing home in Eastbourne. He was charged and convicted of GBH, wounding with intent, and possessing an offensive weapon, and served time in prison.

Read more about Masood here.

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A fourth victim has died after the Westminster attack

A 75-year-old man who was injured in the attack at Westminster died on Thursday, police said. The man had been in a hospital, and he was taken off life support.

The man, who was not named, was one of two people who suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack. Around 23 people were injured in Wednesday's attack, and several were in critical condition.

—Claudia Koerner

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Sadiq Khan, who spoke at the vigil, told BuzzFeed News it was a way of showing "evil and twisted individuals" that they were not going to be successful in their aims. The home secretary Amber Rudd also addressed the crowd to pay tribute to PC Keith Palmer.

—Phil Han, Ikran Dahir, and Laura Gallant

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The Metropolitan police have confirmed to BuzzFeed News that as part of today's investigations, houses were also searched in Brighton and Wales. Previously police had only said searches were carried out in London, Birmingham, and "elsewhere".

The news was confirmed by the Met after Norfolk police issued a statement on their website announcing the searches had been carried out.

The Met said searches were ongoing at an address in Carmarthenshire, three in Birmingham, and one in east London. Searches at addresses in Brighton and southeast London have concluded.

New information has also been released about the arrests made since yesterday's attack.

Overnight a 39-year-old woman was arrested at an address in east London; a 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were arrested at an address in Birmingham; a 26-year-old woman and three men aged 26, 27, and 28 were arrested at a separate address in Birmingham – all on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. Police have said they believed the attack's perpetrator, Khalid Masood, had acted alone.

A 58-year-old man was also arrested at a separate address in Birmingham this morning, also on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

Meanwhile the police watchdog the IPCC says it has opened an independent investigation into the fatal police shooting of Masood.

"It's important to stress that we are currently investigating the circumstances of the incident and no police officers are under investigation," said IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green.

"The IPCC and the Metropolitan Police Service are following agreed working arrangements related to terrorist incidents, which are working well. I recognise that this is a very difficult time for the police service, following the tragic loss of PC Keith Palmer and the injuries to other officers. We are giving this investigation the highest priority and we will conclude it as soon as possible."

– Matthew Champion

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Tributes have been paid by MPs after Thursday's attack.

– Phil Han

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The PM quietly visited victims who were injured in the attack along Westminster Bridge on Thursday afternoon.

In a private visit to an unnamed hospital, Theresa May spent about 40 minutes speaking to victims of yesterday's attacks and hospital staff.

– Rose Buchanan

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In a statement, Palmer's family said the former soldier and policeman of 15 years was "dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous".

Palmer, 48, who was married and had a 5-year-old daughter, was described as "a wonderful dad and husband".

"A loving son, brother and uncle. A longtime supporter of Charlton FC. A friend to everyone who knew him. He will bet deeply missed. We love him so much," his family said.

The statement came shortly before a number of Palmer's colleagues were due to lay a wreath outside New Scotland Yard in his memory.

Colleague PC James Aitkenhead described him as "a genuinely nice person; nobody had a bad word to say about him. When I heard what had happened I knew it would be him because that's just the sort of guy he was, to step straight in when others might step back.

"He had a great work ethic, he worked on our warrants' car for years, getting up at 4am to serve warrants and arresting wanted offenders. He was always so positive, always staying late after everyone else and getting in early."

Flowers left outside new Scotland Yard by the colleagues of PC Keith Palmer. #londonattack @itvnews

– Rose Buchanan

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The 52-year-old 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.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said "was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack".

He had a range of previous convictions, although none for terrorism offences, 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 was investigated "some years ago" as part of a historic investigation into violent extremism but was a peripheral figure.

It is assumed by police that he was acting on extreme Islamist ideology. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday.

Read more here.

—Emily Dugan

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People Are Calling Out Nigel Farage For Linking The Westminster Terror Attack To "Uncontrolled Immigration"

.@Nigel_Farage: “If you open your door to uncontrolled immigration from Middle Eastern countries you are inviting i…

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been called on to retract his statement that the Westminster terror attack on Wednesday was linked to uncontrolled immigration – after it emerged that the security services believe the attacker was born in Britain.

Speaking on Fox News on Wednesday night after the attack, Farage said recent terrorism was the fault of politicians who advocated mass immigration. "The moment has come for us to point the finger of blame. What these politicians have done in the last 15 years will affect how we live for 100 years," he said.

Social media was awash with people who challenged him to retract the statement after the prime minister told the House of Commons on Thursday morning that the attacker was born in Britain and had been investigated at some point by security services.

We now know yesterday's attacker was British born. And yet Nigel Farage went on Fox News last night to say we don't vet *refugees* properly

@FoxNews @Nigel_Farage again he was British born. Nothing to do with immigration.

Farage's office has not yet responded to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

Read more here.

–Patrick Smith

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Kurt Cochran, from Utah, was killed in terror attack in Westminster, and his wife Melissa was seriously injured and is in hospital in London.

The couple were in London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Clint Payne, understood to be Kurt's brother-in-law, wrote on Facebook: "Our hearts are broken this day as we say goodbye to our dear brother-in-law Kurt. He passed away from the injuries sustained in the London terrorist attack yesterday. We love him so much and will never forget him."

He said his sister, Melissa sustained a broken leg, broken rib and a cut to her head. "We are grateful that she will recover," he said in the post. "Our hearts ache for her and their children in losing their loving companion and father. Please continue to pray for our family. Thank you."

US president Donald Trump tweeted his condolences.

A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack. My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.

Another relative, Shantell Payne, wrote in a separate Facebook post on Thursday: "This pain is so heart wrenching and raw it has rocked our family and all that knew him to its core. We will miss Kurt beyond words. We love you Kurt. RIP."

Read more here.

–Sara Spary

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People around the UK have been sending flowers to their local police forces after a police officer was killed during the Westminster terrorist attack on Wednesday.

Many of the tributes included messages of condolence for PC Keith Palmer, the 48-year-old officer who died after he was stabbed outside the houses of parliament.

Deeply touched and very grateful to everyone who has visited our stations and sent in messages of support today. Th…

After seeing a picture of his local liaison officer Søren D. Sozza in news coverage of the attack, Mark Oakley, who owns The Eagle pub in Vauxhall, situated near the attack, was moved to share his gratitude on Facebook.

"This image has reinforced my love and respect for the many officers who I have worked with for many years and seeing how close this terror is to where I live and work, and knowing that one of his colleagues was murdered on our streets has deeply saddened me tonight," he wrote.

Sozza told BuzzFeed News he was "humbled by Mark's very kind words of appreciation and am encouraged by his defiance to being affected by the incident".

Read more here.

—Laura Silver

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World leaders express condolences for London and the British people

Vladimir Putin, Russia's leader, released the following statement: "Terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly cunning and cynical. It is obvious that all members of the international community should join forces to stand up against the terrorist threat."

Earlier, former US president Barack Obama tweeted his support and his sorrow for those killed.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families in London. No act of terror can shake the strength and resilience of our British ally.

Yesterday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said US president Donald Trump had spoken to Theresa May, and that the US was continuing to monitor the situation.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, before more details about the nature of the attack had been established, said: "Even if the background to these attacks has yet to be cleared up, I would like to emphasise on behalf of Germany and its citizens: We stand resolutely on Britain's side in the fight against any form of terrorism."

François Hollande, France's leader, declared France's "solidarity and support" for Britain and the victims of the attack.

"Terrorism affects us all," he said. "France, which has been so badly hit in recent times, knows what the British people are suffering today."

The Netherlands' leader, Mark Rutte, said: "Horrible images from London. The very heart of the city has been struck. Our thoughts are with the British people." 

And Belgium's leader, Charles Michel, who only yesterday marked the year anniversary of a terror attack on Brussels, expressed his condolences with London and the British people. "Belgium stands with UK in fight against terror," he said.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Security services could have dropped monitoring attacker because of resources or the closure of an investigation

Stressing they did not know the identity of the attacker, a former British intelligence officer told BuzzFeed News that "peripheral figure" would indicate an individual that MI5 would have looked into, and possibly monitored, for reasons of behaviour, background, or connections.

After a period of time, the investigation would have been dropped for a number of reasons, including human rights law that demands surveillance be proportional, resources, or the closure of an investigation, but it is difficult to speculate on these until the identity of the attacker is known.

—Alberto Nardelli

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The woman who was pulled alive from the Thames following Wednesday's terrorist attack in Westminster has been named as 29-year-old Romanian Andreea Cristea.

The Romanian embassy in London confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Cristea was the woman pulled from the Thames and said she remains in a "critical condition" in hospital.

A spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Cristea had surgery last night that was described as "successful" and her condition is being monitored.

Cristea, who has been reported to be an architect, was in London celebrating the birthday of her fiancé, who also sustained injuries in the attack.

The embassy said he had suffered a knee injury but has been discharged from hospital and that it is in contact with both their families.

Read more here.

—Sara Spary

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An indiscriminate attack by a British-born terrorist was a strike against "free people everywhere" and injured people from various countries, Theresa May told the House of Commons on Thursday.

Updating parliament on the ongoing investigation into Wednesday's attack, the prime minister confirmed that the attacker, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, was born in the UK and was known to the police and intelligence services.

The man had been investigated "some years ago" because of concerns about violent extremism but was considered a "peripheral" figure, May said.

"The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture," May said.

May chaired a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra, at 7.30pm on Wednesday night. She will have further briefings and meetings with security officials throughout Thursday. There was no intelligence suggesting another attack was imminent.

Echoing defiant comments and tributes to the security authorities made by MPs in the House throughout the morning, the prime minister insisted Britain would not be cowed.

"We are not afraid. And our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism," she said.

Read more here.

—Jim Waterson and Alex Spence

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Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to the "vibrant, diverse, and wonderful city" of London during a sombre edition of First Minister's Questions at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

The weekly event, where the first minister is usually grilled by the four opposition leaders, was dominated this afternoon by tributes to those who lost their lives or were injured in yesterday's attack at Westminster.

"Many of us in this chamber have friends and colleagues, indeed some of us have family members, who work within the Palace of Westminster," said Sturgeon. "Parliamentarians, staff, and journalists.

"Yesterday was a harrowing day for all of them and they have our support and good wishes. Above all, we stand in solidarity with London – a vibrant, diverse, wonderful city that will never be cowed by mindless acts of violence."

Sturgeon went on to confirm that there was "no intelligence of any increased threat" to Scotland in the wake of yesterday's attack in London, but added that security had been stepped up in "key locations" throughout the country.

"Acts of terrorism are not the responsibility of any one faith or section of our society," the first minister continued. "The only people to blame for acts of terrorism are the individuals who plan and perpetrate them."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson expressed her "deep shock" at the events in London, but went on to warn would-be attackers: "We will not be silenced, and we will not be cowed."

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale described Westminster as a "beacon of democracy", and went on to say that "this cannot and must not turn into a war on any one community".

The Scottish parliament was debating a referendum on independence when news of yesterday's attack broke and the session was cancelled.

It was confirmed this morning that the debate will continue on Tuesday next week.

—Jamie Ross

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ISIS has claimed the Westminster attack through its Amaq news agency

#IS just claimed responsibility for London attack through Amaq.

The claim of responsibility for the attack comes almost 24 hours after the assault took the lives of four people – including the attacker – outside Westminster on Wednesday afternoon.

In a message posted online, the terror group claimed that a "soldier of the caliphate" carried out the attack.

The Amaq message claiming Westminster attacker as 'soldier of Islamic State'

The nature of the #IS claim frames the attack as *inspired* not *directed* - this distinction is hugely important.

It follows careful words from the prime minister, who in the Commons today warned it would be wrong to characterise this attack as Islamic.

"It is wrong to describe this as Islamic terrorism," Theresa May said. "It is Islamist terrorism. It is a perversion of a great faith."

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In the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack on Wednesday in which at least four people died, some conservative-leaning commentators in the UK and US said London was "cowed" and "divided".

Lords and MPs such as Tory MP Dominic Grieve, pictured here dodging some police tape, carried on regardless on Thursday.

And despite one Fox News commentator implying that the city had been "shut down", Victoria station was busy and people continued to go to work.

Bless, someone's just been on the tube for the first time ever.

—Patrick Smith

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Following the attack, an image of a London Underground sign began to circulate on Twitter. However, immediately after the sign was shared, it was quickly shown to be fake. The sign appears to have been created using an online generator.

On Thursday, MP Simon Hoare raised the sign in the Commons. "My judgment is he or she speaks for the whole country irrespective of faith of creed when they wrote: 'All terrorists are politely reminded that this is London and whatever you do to us we will drink tea and jolly well carry on'," he told the house.

May called it a "wonderful tribute", and said it "in a very simple way I think has encapsulated everything everybody in this house has said today".

Read more here.

—Rachael Krishna

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Leaders of the UK's major political parties have addressed Wednesday's terror attack on Westminster following Theresa May's speech to the House of Commons on Thursday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the "appalling atrocity" and paid tribute to the capital's emergency services.

"What happened yesterday was an appalling atrocity," he said. "Today, we are united by our humanity, by our democratic values and by that human impulse for solidarity to stand together in times of darkness and adversity.

"I express my condolences to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer, who gave his life yesterday in defence of the public and our democracy – and to the loved ones of those still in a critical condition including the French schoolchildren visiting our capital from Concarneau in Brittany. ...

"I thank all the dedicated NHS staff working to save lives, including those from St Thomas' Hospital who rushed out to help those in need. We are grateful for the public service workers who yesterday, today and every day they pull on their uniforms.

"It behoves us all not to rush to judgement, but to wait for the police to establish the facts. We must stay united in our communities and not to allow fear or the voices of hatred to divide or cower us. It is by demonstrating our values of solidarity, community, humanity and love that we will defeat the poison and division of hatred."

The Scottish National Party's leader in the House of Commons Angus Robertson echoed May and Corbyn's sentiments, saying: "Today of all days we are reminded that notwithstanding our differences on political and constitutional issues we are as one in our dedication to democracy, the rule of law and harmony between peoples of all faiths and none."

Robertson also paid tribute to police,and the bravery of the Conservative minister who went to the aid of the stabbed officer: "'We are all hugely grateful to all the police, security staff and first responders who ran towards danger without concern to their safety, and I include in that our colleague the Right Honourable and gallant member for Bournemouth East Tobias Ellwood."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron condemned the "unspeakable attack" and said: "Those who attack us hate our freedom, our peaceful democracy, our love of country, our tolerance, our openness, and our unity."

—Francis Whittaker

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In an emotional address to the Commons, MP James Cleverly asked for members of the chamber to formally recognise officer Keith Palmer's "gallantry and sacrifice" in yesterday's attack on Westminster.

Cleverly, who met Palmer when the men served together in the Royal Artillery, described the man he first encountered as Gunner Palmer 25 years ago as "a strong, professional, public servant".

"It was a delight to meet him again here only a few months after being elected," Cleverly told the chamber, his voice breaking slightly.

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Parliament is to review its security procedures in an emergency meeting later today in the wake of yesterday's terror attack.

Lindsay Hoyle, deputy speaker of the House of Commons and chairman of parliament's security committee, told the BBC that he would be hosting a meeting to check if additional measures were required.

"We will be having an emergency meeting," he said. "We'll be getting information, what else needs to be put in place, and we will reflect, not instantly, we've got to take on board what's happened and we will make decisions accordingly. Of course, we've got to look after both houses."

TV footage on Thursday morning showed new concrete blocks being moved into place around the Palace of Westminster in the wake of the attack. The blocks have already been in place around parts of the parliamentary estate as part of longstanding security measures against vehicle attack.

Read more here.

—James Ball

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Speaking in the Commons, Theresa May revealed some details about those injured in the attack. She said around 40 pedestrians were hurt on Westminster Bridge, including 12 Britons, three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish person, one Chinese person, one Italian, one American, and two Greeks.

"We are in close contact with the governments of the countries of all those affected," the prime minister said.

The French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, was in the Commons and Speaker John Bercow paid tribute to him earlier that session, noting his presence was indication of the international support given to the UK in the wake of the attack on parliament.

May added that the injured included three police officers who were returning from an event recognising their bravery, two of whom remain in a serious condition.

Earlier, the acting Metropolitan police commissioner had said there were 29 people in five hospitals across the country. Seven are in a critical condition.

—Matthew Champion

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Addressing the House of Commons, prime minister Theresa May confirmed that the attacker, who has still not been publicly identified, was known to MI5 and police and had been a "peripheral figure" in a "historic" investigation into violent extremism.

"It is still believed that this attacker acted alone and there is no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public," she said. "His identity is known to police and MI5 and when operational considerations allow he will be publicly identified.

"What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 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. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot. Intensive investigations continue."

May also reiterated earlier lines from the police and defence secretary Michael Fallon that the investigation is focusing on the "working assumption" the attacker was "inspired by Islamist ideology".

"We know the threat from Islamist terrorism is very real," she said. "But while the public should remain utterly vigilant they should not – and will not – be cowed by this threat.

"As acting Deputy Commissioner Rowley has made clear, we are stepping up policing to protect communities across the country and to reassure the public."

May praised the security and emergency forces for their swift and calm response to the attack, made more remarkable after they had "lost one of their own".

"We will remember the exceptional bravery of our police, security, and emergency services who once again ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way," she said.

"On behalf of the whole country I want to pay tribute to them for the work they have been doing to reassure the public, treat the injured and bring security back to the streets of our capital city.

"That they have lost one of their own in yesterday's attack only makes their calmness and professionalism all the more remarkable."

—James Ball and Francis Whittaker

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Prime minister reveals nationalities of those wounded and more details on attacker in speech to House of Commons

May lists nationalities wounded: 3 French, 2 Romanians, 4 South Koreans, 1 German, 1 Pole, 1 Irish, 1 Chinese, 1 Italian, 1 US, 2 Greeks

Attacker's identity "is known to the police and MI5". He is British-born and was previously investigated by MI5 as a "peripheral figure".

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BuzzFeed News has spoken to a survivor who was hit by the attacker's car and flung to the ground on Westminster Bridge, and who said he was unable to describe the Wednesday's events because of the horrific aftermath. The survivor, who asked not to be named, was visiting London from Liverpool and sustained cuts and bruises to his legs – he was with friends who were also hit by the car but survived. He has now been discharged from hospital.

"There was just lot of yelling and commotion," he said. "Then this car came out of nowhere and knocked me and my mates over. The scenes after that I don't really want to describe. They were pretty horrific."

—Pat Smith

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Met police have made another arrest in connection to the attack

We have now made a total of eight arrests as part of the ongoing Counter Terrorism operation #WestminsterAttack

In total eight people have now been arrested, following raids on six properties across the country. The Met has confirmed that these arrests are connected to the attack on Westminster yesterday afternoon.

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Minute's silence held for those killed in Westminster attack

BuzzFeed News

The streets around parliament remained closed on Thursday morning. But inside the building life was already back to a strange sort of normal.

Hundreds of MPs, peers, staff, and journalists were allowed through police cordons around Westminster to attend parliament. They turned up early for what has been billed as a normal working day, designed to show that the attack would not disrupt British democracy. Security checks were enforced but were no tougher than usual and inside parliament's canteens hundreds of breakfasts were being served.

At 9.33am a minute's silence was held, with a packed House of Commons standing together to remember those who lost their lives on Wednesday. They stood, heads bowed, and observed a minute's silence in honour of the lives lost in the attack less than 24 hours earlier.

At 9.35am, the doors were opened and members of the press were admitted to the viewing galleries. Speaker John Bercow called the house to order.

Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, rose to take ministerial questions as scheduled. He began with a short, defiant statement, insisting that Britain wouldn't be cowed by terrorists. "Such acts of savagery against the innocent can never be justified," Fox said.

But he quickly moved on to business. Bob Blackman, a Conservative MP, rose to ask the first question. On the verge of tears, he paid tribute to the police who put their lives on the line to defend parliament every day. It was short, sombre. Then he asked the minister a question about Israeli pharmaceutical exports.

A group of MPs shuffled out of the house. There was work to be done.

But, while MPs attempted to get on with their days in a show of defiance, it was impossible to avoid the events.

The main route linking the two main parliamentary buildings passes along the edge of New Palace Yard, the cobbled square where police officer Keith Palmer was killed by an attacker. Thousands of staff have no choice but to walk along this route several times a day, making it impossible to avoid the sight of a crime scene investigation. An ambulance remained on the scene, next to a tent covering the site where Palmer fell. At the carriage gates, where the attacker allegedly broke through, around a dozen police officers were conducting a fingertip search of the ground.

And beyond that Parliament Square and Whitehall, usually packed with tourists, protesters, and office workers, was silent.

—Jim Waterson and Alex Spence

Holyrood's MSPs and Met police officers also stood in silence

Party leaders gather for a minute silence at Holyrood

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Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old teacher and mother of two, was one of those killed in Wednesday's attack on Westminster, her place of work confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Thursday morning.

She was reportedly on her way to pick up her children from school when she was struck by the car that drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

Frade taught Spanish at DLD College London, which is just over the river from the houses of parliament.

The college confirmed to BuzzFeed News she had died in yesterday's attack.

"We are all deeply shocked and saddened at the news that one of the victims yesterday was a member of our staff, Aysha Frade. All our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with her family. We will be offering every support we can to them as they try to come to terms with their devastating loss," Rachel Borland, principal at DLD College London, told BuzzFeed News.

"Aysha worked as a member of our administration team at the college. She was highly regarded and loved by our students and by her colleagues. She will be deeply missed by all of us."

According to Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia, Frade was originally from Betanzos in Galicia, northern Spain.

Read more here.

—Sara Spary and Matthew Champion

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Met police revise death toll to four, including attacker

Four people, including the attacker, died in the attack on Westminster yesterday, the Metropolitan police confirmed to BuzzFeed News this morning following Commissioner Mark Rowley's earlier statement.

Previous statements from New Scotland Yard had said that five people – including the attacker – had been killed in the assault outside the British parliament.

Met police confirms death toll from Westminster attack is 4, including the attacker. 7 arrested in raids overnight

—Francis Whittaker and Rose Buchanan

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Defence secretary Michael Fallon, speaking to the BBC's Today programme, said the "working assumption" was that the attack on Westminster was linked to "Islamic terrorism".

Fallon said the Metropolitan police were making "urgent" investigations into the alleged attacker and his known associates – although he declined to state whether there was any indication he acted alone.

"The working assumption is that this is related to Islamic terrorism in some form, but they [the police] don't yet have a full enough picture of this man and his known associates. That work is still going on," he said.

"This kind of attack, this lone-wolf attack, using things from daily life, a vehicle, a knife, are much more difficult to forestall, and we are also dealing with a terrorist enemy that is not making demands or holding people hostage but simply wants to kill as many people as possible.

"This is a new element to international terrorism but our forces are working extremely hard. I have every confidence that they will track down his known associates."

The defence secretary declined to comment on any security changes, but confirmed he would chair a review when it came.

He praised the efforts of police and security forces in the aftermath of the attack. "Although there is intense security around the Palace of Westminster, London is going to work this morning," Fallon said. "Parliament itself will resume at the normal time."

"London is getting back to work. London has seen this before and is taking it on the chin," he said. "I do want to reassure you that the police and the security services are doing everything possible to make sure that people can go about their daily life as safely as possible."

"London is getting back to normal... they're not going to let [terrorism] triumph" – UK Defence Secretary Fallon…

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Mark Rowley, the national lead for counterterrorism policing and the acting deputy commissioner, confirmed that seven arrests had been made, following raids on six properties across the country.

He confirmed that four people were killed by the attacker, including two members of the public: a woman in her mid-forties and a man in his fifties.

Among the dead were a "mix of nationalities", Rowley said, declining to name any of those killed other than 48-year-old police officer Keith Palmer.

Rowley said 29 individuals were being treated in five hospitals across London. Seven are in a critical condition.

Probed on the identity of the alleged attacker, Rowley declined to comment on the individual's nationality and said he would not be naming the suspect – and urged the media to respect that decision.

"It is still our belief that this attacker acted alone, and was inspired by international terrorism," Rowley said.

Meanwhile, he said London will see an increased police presence, as at least 60 officers continue working on a "large and complicated crime scene" outside Westminster.

"We must not allow terrorism to sow discord and fear in our city," he said.

—Rose Buchanan

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The police have made "several" arrests after a raid on a property in Birmingham, the BBC, ITV, and Sky News have reported. The BBC subsequently said it had been told police confirmed the raids were linked to the attack outside Westminster on Wednesday afternoon.

Press inquiries to West Midlands police were redirected to the Metropolitan police, who declined to comment on the reports when contacted by BuzzFeed News, citing "operational reasons".

Last night, the surrounding area of a property on Hagley Road in southwest Birmingham was closed for roughly two hours. "There is an ongoing police operation, no further details are being given at this stage," West Midlands police told The Guardian.

Separately, it was reported the car – described by witnesses as a Hyundai 4x4 – used to plough through pedestrians in the cycle line on Westminster Bridge was believed to have been rented from near the raided property in Solihull. The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner told the Today programme that there were "indications" that the car began its journey in Birmingham.

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The death toll in Wednesday's Westminster attack rose to five people, including the attacker and a police officer, who was identified as a 15-year veteran.

The officer, 48-year-old Keith Palmer, was a member of the parliamentary and diplomatic command, said Mark Rowley, the acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police. Palmer's killer was fatally shot by another police officer.

Palmer was a husband and a father, Rowley added.