A terrorist attack took place outside the Palace of Westminster in London around 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22. Five people died and 50 were injured in the attack make it the city’s deadliest terror in 12 years.
Khalid Masood, identified as the single assailant of the attack, drove his Hyundai rental car on the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge, killing three pedestrians. Then he approached the Palace of Westminster with two large knives and stabbed an unarmed police officer PC Keith Palmer at Carriage Gate as Keith was attempting to protect the Parliaments from the terror. Masood was then shot by police. Both Palmer and killer Masood passed away despite attempts to save them. The victims of the attack are from 12 different countries, including three French, four South Koreans, 12 Britons, two Romanians, and one each from America, Poland, Ireland, China, Germany, and Italy.
The Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility within less than 24 hours from the violence. Masood’s attack was a consequence of his religious extremism. He was born in Dartford, Kent on Christmas Day in 1964. Masood had a criminal record dating back to 1983 with several convictions including criminal damage or possession of an offensive weapon. There is no certain proof that Masood converted to Islam. However, some say he converted in 2004 when he married a Muslim woman in Crawley, West Sussex and then spent two years in Saudi Arabia. Many consider this behavior to match with the journey of converters to Islam: they try to live in the Islamic world to fully adopt Muslim faiths and way of life. Masood returned to the UK in 2010 and lived in Luton and then east London till the attack.
Police have arrested several suspects and are investigating if Masood had any assistance in planning the attack. The violence prompted the UK to raise the terror alert to “severe” and poses questions about democracy and security to the country’s capital.