Photo Credit: Adrian Pingstone / Wikimedia
Westminster Bridge in London

The 52-year-old radical Islamist terrorist named by British authorities as Khalid Masoon on Thursday ended the lives of an unarmed police officer, a UK teacher and an American tourist in London with his wife when he attacked the heart of British democracy.

A Muslim convert, body builder and former English teacher, Masood was shot and killed by UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon’s security guard while stabbing police officers in the Old Palace Yard, according to a report by The Sun.


Masood also wounded at least 40 others. Victims were transported to St Thomas’ Hospital, the closest medical center to the Palace of Westminster, just facing the building and located across the Thames, as well as to King’s College Hospital and Royal London Hospital.

The killer was born Dec. 25, 1964 in Kent and used a number of different aliases, Sky News reported. British detectives said in a statement by London Metropolitan Police that he was believed to have lived most recently in the West Midlands, a “peripheral figure” who was not at the forefront of any terrorist movement under intelligence eyes.

He was, however, known to MI5, Prime Minister Theresa May told the Parliament Thursday morning, saying that “some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism.” However, the security agency considered him not to be significant. “The case is historic,” she added.

“He is not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or the plot,” police said. “Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack. However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH (grievous bodily harm), possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses.

“His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He has not been convicted for any terrorism offenses.”

Earlier in the day, the Islamic State (ISIS/Da’esh) terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement tweeted by its Amaq News Agency: “A soldier for the Islamic State carried out the operation in answer to calls to target the people of coalition states.”

However, there was no confirmation Islamic State had any direct connection to the attack, and British authorities drew no line between Masood and ISIS, despite its similarity to vehicle ramming attacks on Bastille Day in southern France, and at a Christmas market in Germany.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.