Salih Khater crashed vehicle in Westminster outside the Houses of Parliament
The terrorist who drove a car through a crowd of pedestrians outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday has been identified as a Sudanese migrant.
Government officials confirm that 29-year-old Salih Khater is being questioned in south London investigators.
Khater obtained British nationality after traveling to the UK as a refugee from Sudan.
A Facebook page for Khater says he lives in Birmingham, and police believe he may have traveled to London with the sole intention of carrying out the deadly terror attack.
BBC reports: Police have been searching three addresses in Birmingham and Nottingham as part of their investigation.
Three people were injured after the vehicle hit cyclists and pedestrians during Tuesday morning’s rush hour.
The silver Ford Fiesta then crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament just before 07:40 BST.
The suspect is not believed to have been known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police but is understood to have been known to local police.
He did not co-operate with officers after his arrest, Scotland Yard said.
Two people were taken to hospital after the crash and later discharged while a third was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Searches took place at two addresses in Birmingham and a residential property in the Radford and Arboretum area of Nottingham on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Khater is believed to have lived above an internet cafe in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham until four months ago when he moved to the city’s Highgate area.
What happened on Tuesday?
A number of witnesses said the car, which was traveling westbound in Parliament Square, appeared to deliberately hit members of the public as it swerved into the opposite lane.
Footage released by the BBC showed the moment of the crash. A police officer can be seen jumping over a barrier to get out of the way.
A passenger in the first car behind the cyclists said they had been “thrown everywhere” after being hit at what she estimated to be 25mph.
The car was driven to London from Birmingham the night before, arriving just after midnight on Tuesday.
It then spent nearly five hours in the Tottenham Court Road area before being driven around Westminster for more than 90 minutes before the crash.
The driver was arrested at the scene by armed officers on suspicion of preparing for a terrorist act.
He was detained under the Terrorism Act and taken to a south London police station.
Police say their priority is to understand the circumstances of, and motivation for, the crash.
No-one else was in the car when it crashed and no weapons were found in it.
Police are treating it as a terrorist incident “given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method, and this being an iconic site,” Scotland Yard’s head of counter-terrorism Neil Basu said.
What happens next?
Britain’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, said Westminster could be pedestrianized to stop vehicle attacks, calling them terrorists’ “weapon of choice.”
She said it was “a matter that will be discussed no doubt between parliamentary authorities, us, the intelligence agencies and indeed the local authorities and the mayor.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was also in favor of more security measures being introduced in Parliament Square and around London.
“I’m an advocate of part-pedestrianizing part of Parliament Square,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“Not only would it make Parliament Square more attractive, but there are clever technical ways to make Parliament and pedestrians and visitors safer as well.
“There are now very attractive small bollards in place which stop vehicles hitting pedestrians or buildings.
“We’ve had temporary solutions over the last 18 months, post-Westminster [the attack in March 2017], but I think we need a permanent solution to the fact that we now know terrorists will target pedestrians, will target buildings.”