Tragedy struck in London on March 22 as Khalid Masood, 52, killed four civilians and wounded fifty others. The attack, which lasted for 82 seconds before policemen shot Masood to death, began on the Westminster Bridge and ended with Masood in front of the House of Parliament. He was brought down by officer Keith Palmer, who died due to wounds he received from Masood stabbing him. The other victims, Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran, and Leslie Rhodes, lost their lives when Masood rammed them with his car on the Westminster Bridge, in an attack that was similar to those that occurred in Nice, France, and Berlin, Germany, in 2016.
Despite the claim by the Islamic State that it was behind Masood’s attack, no evidence has come to light to support this claim. Masood did send a message through WhatsApp moments before the attack, but the company refuses to reveal the contents of the message. Since the attack, there have been close to ten people detained in Birmingham and London, with most of them being released without any further police action.
Masood was born as Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent, England, on December 25, 1964. Masood was a married man, and a father to three children. He had had his fair share of run-ins with the law, including charges for assault and, most recently, possession of a knife in 2003. Prior to his death, he resided near Birmingham, England. Other residents of that city have had ties to radical Islam in the past. Rashid Rauf, a representative of Al Qaeda who was killed during an airstrike in Pakistan in 2008, lived in the English city. In 2016, there was also an obstructed bomb attack planned in Birmingham, which has since been linked to the Islamic State.