Anti-terrorism police have said they believe the man who killed four people outside parliament last week acted alone. Police have since raided several addresses and arrested 11 people, with only two remaining in custody.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Neil Basu (above) said on Saturday there was no intelligence to suggest further attacks were planned.
“We still believe that Masood acted alone on the day,” Basu said in a statement.
“Nevertheless we are determined to understand if Masood was a lone actor inspired by terrorist propaganda or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.”
Police are reportedly investigating media reports that Masood checked his encrypted messaging service WhatsApp – or even sent a message – just before the attack, which hinted at others being involved.
‘We may never know’
“We must all accept there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him,” Basu added.
British-born Islamic convert Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead after killing four people including a policemen on Wednesday after ramming his car into pedestrians.
The self-styled “Islamic State” group (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack and police inquiries since have concentrated on whether Masood was acting with accomplices.
Two people remain in custody for questioning, neither of whom have reportedly been charged or identified.
Nine others who had been arrested in connection with the investigation have been released. Of them, two men, one aged 58, and the other 27 – both arrested in Birmingham – are being held under the Terrorism Act. Two women have been released on bail, a 32-year-old arrested in Manchester and a 39-year-old from London.
Masood had been considered by intelligence officers to be a known criminal who posed little serious threat.
He had shown up on the periphery of previous terrorism investigations that brought him to the attention of Britain’s MI5 spy agency.
Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, a Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said.
Details about how he became radicalized aren’t clear.
Having reconstructed the attack, the police said it had begun at 14:40:08 when Masood’s hire car mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge, weaving along the footpath and road until 14:40:38 when he crashed into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster.
He left the car at 14:40:51 and was shot by a police firearms officer, part of the close protection team of the defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, in the palace courtyard at 14:41:30.
At 14:40:59, the first call to emergency services was made to report the incident.