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UK Parliament shooting: Police say attacker was Muslim convert with violent past

The UK Police Have Named The Man Who Launched An Attack On The Parliament. The Attacker Has Been Identified As 52-year-old Former Convict Adrian Russell Ajao Who Acquired The Name Khalid Masood After Converting To Islam.

PTI | Updated on: 24 Mar 2017, 09:09:30 PM
Police officials cordon off the site of a terrorist attack near the UK Parliament. (Getty Images)


The UK Police have named the man who launched an attack on the Parliament. The attacker has been identified as 52-year-old former convict Adrian Russell Ajao who acquired the name Khalid Masood after converting to Islam.

Scotland Yard acting deputy commissioner and counter-terrorism chief Mark Rowley revealed on Friday that the "fast-paced" counter-terrorism operation to establish Masood's "motivation, preparation and his associates" has been titled 'Operation Classific'.

"The Counter Terrorism Command investigation - Operation Classific - continues, involving hundreds of officers from across the counter terrorism network. We named the dead terrorist as Khalid Masood, We stated he had a number of aliases, we now know his birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao," he said.

Read | UK Parliament terror attack: Death toll rises to 5

In his appeal to the public, he added: "We remain keen to hear from anyone who knew Khalid Masood well; understands who his associates were; and can provide with information about places he has recently visited.

"There might well be people out there who did have concerns about Masood but weren't sure or didn't feel comfortable for whatever reason in passing information to us. The appeal came as a picture emerges of an English schoolboy, born to a white mother and black father, with a history of violent knife crime," he said.

In July 2000, he slashed a man across the face after an argument that the court at the time was told "racial overtones".

Hove Crown Court also heard during the trial that the attack had left Masood and his young family "ostracised" in the village of Northiam in Sussex, south-east England.

Judge Charles Kemp had sentenced him to a total of two years in prison. Some reports suggest that it is likely he was radicalised during his spell in jail.

Read | London terror attack was inspired by Islamist terrorism and known to British security services: Theresa May

The night before Masood went on to ram his hired car at high speed into the side of the House of Commons railings before stabbing to death a police officer guarding the Parliament gates, he stayed at the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton.

"He was a friendly, normal guest. It has been very stressful to see what happened," said the owner of the hotel. Masood was born on Christmas Day in 1964 in Kent, south-east England, and was brought up by a single mother in the seaside town of Rye, East Sussex, before a religious conversion in later years.

After Masood was shot dead during the attack, Islamic State (ISIS) hailed him as one of its "soldiers" but the exact nature of his ISIS connection remains unclear.

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First Published : 24 Mar 2017, 08:58:00 PM