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Here's The Misinformation Spreading About The London Attack

Many are posting false or unconfirmed information, including a fake image of the suspect.

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An attack on the British parliament in Westminster on Wednesday left at least four dead and 20 wounded. As of 7:30pm London time, the identity of the attacker had not been released.

Niklas Halle'n / AFP / Getty Images

The Metropolitan police said they are treating the incident as a “terrorist attack".

As is often the case, misinformation began circulating quickly after the attack.

1. Britain's Channel 4 reported that a man named Abu Izzadeen is the suspect in the attack, but he was jailed a year ago. Sources confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Izzadeen is still in prison. The network has since retracted its claim.

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2. Russian media outlets have been spreading a false picture of the suspect during a live broadcast and on Facebook.

Russia TV

“This is him a few seconds before he attacked a policeman and a few seconds before he was shot,” the host said during the segment. They said the information was coming from colleagues in London.

“He has a normal kitchen knife, which you can buy in any store,” one of the hosts said while describing the attacker.

“We’ve already noted the characteristic headgear,” he said, referring to the man’s hat. “This type of headgear is worn in Afghanistan and in Pakistan and in another country in that region.”

3. One tweet of a screenshot from Al Jazeera's live Facebook coverage said "the Muslim world" is laughing at the London attack.

🔴 #Westminster : Sur @AlJazeera, le monde musulman est hilare #westminsterattack #westminsterbridge #london… https://t.co/xAd1xTTn4p

It's difficult to know whether the screenshot is real, but it is possible to see all the reactions a video got on Facebook. Al Jazeera's video shows a very small minority of viewers "laughed" at the video.

Facebook / Al Jazeera English

Because it's possible to keep clicking the reaction button to flood the screen with emojis, there's no way of knowing whether one person reacted or 80. There's also no way of knowing where viewers clicking the emoji are from.

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4. An interview with Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, in which he said terrorist attacks are "part and parcel" of life in big cities, has been taken out of context.

Mayor of London @SadiqKhan says these things are normal, so let's not worry about it #Westminster

The interview was tweeted by Donald Trump Jr. and many of his supporters. Some are framing the article as if the comments were made after the Westminster attack.

You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan https://t.co/uSm2pwRTjO

The interview was published in September 2016. In it, Khan said large cities “have got to be prepared for these sorts of things”, adding: "It is my job to try to make sure that we are as safe as we can be.”

5. In what has become a recurring hoax, comedian Sam Hyde has once again been falsely called the suspect.

here's another. Every time there is an incident, you'll see tweets with comedian Sam Hyde's picture. This is a hoax… https://t.co/S7hv4AeyEb

6. There are also fake victims, like in every major attack. This is fairly common among Mexican internet users, like in this hoax featuring journalist Tamara de Anda.

This is Tamara de Anda, a Mexican journalist, she is alive and well on FB live right now #westminster #parliament… https://t.co/HKpLEQ8bkT

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

Jules Darmanin est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.

Contact Jules Darmanin at Jules.Darmanin@buzzfeed.com.

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