Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s deadly terror attack in Westminster. Isis described the man involved – a British-born jihadist who has been named by police as Khalid Masood – as a ‘soldier of Islamic State’. The terror group released a short statement, saying:
‘The attacker yesterday in front of the British Parliament in London was a solider of the Islamic State, executing the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations’.
The statement from Isis was published by the Amaq News Agency, a propaganda outlet with links to the organisation. Despite claiming responsibility for the attack, however, Isis released no further details about the man involved. Police said that Masood, 52, was a career criminal with a number of previous convictions, including for GBH and criminal damage. He had no previous convictions for terror offences, police said. Charlie Winter, an analyst of Islamic State’s social media, said the group’s statement suggested the attack had been ‘inspired’ rather than ‘directed’ by the organisation.
Isis said it was behind the attack some eighteen hours after the incident unfolded yesterday afternoon. This morning, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, told MPs that the man responsible had previously been on MI5’s radar ‘in relation to concerns about violent extremism’, but ‘was not part of the current intelligence picture’.