On Wednesday of last week, one man drove his car through a crowd of terrified pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London before fatally stabbing a police officer at the gates to Britain’s Parliament. The attacker was quickly shot and killed by responding police officers. Four people were left dead and more than 40 people were wounded, some seriously. From beginning to end the incident only lasted 82 seconds.
The attack has been under investigation, with details being released by authorities throughout last week, and again yesterday. Last week it was announced that the attacker was 52-year-old Khalid Masood, a British citizen who did have a past criminal record, but who had not been the subject of any current investigations. And none of his previous offenses were related to terrorism.
The day after the attack, ISIS claimed Masood carried out the attack in their name, but they have a history of claiming credit for attacks that have no connection to them. While it does seem that Masood was Muslim, the authorities announced yesterday that they have determined that Masood had no ties to ISIS. They also have found no evidence that he was working with any collaborators. Nine people who were arrested last week have been released after investigators could not find any evidence that they were working with Masood. He had made three visits to Saudi Arabia over the last several years, but the Saudi Embassy stated that he traveled there to work as an English teacher.
Neil Basu, the deputy assistant commissioner of London Police, told the BBC that there was no evidence that Masood discussed his plans with anyone prior to committing the attack. Basu admitted, “I know when, where and how Masood committed his atrocities, but now I need to know why.”
There will likely be a lot more revealed in the coming weeks as investigators further dig into Masood’s past. It appears that there is a lot more to learn about the motivation behind this attack.