Islamic State Says Suspect One Of Its 'Soldiers'


LONDON (CBSNewYork/AP) — British police have identified the person responsible for the terror attack near Parliament in London, while thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square for a memorial for the victims Thursday night.

Meanwhile, another victim of the attack died Thursday.

Police said in a statement Thursday that the assailant – Khalid Masood, 52 – was born in southeastern England and was most recently living in the West Midlands, in central England.

PHOTOS: Attack Outside Parliament

According to police, Masood, who had a number of aliases, wasn’t the subject of any current investigation and that “there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.”

But as CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, Prime Minster Theresa May said Masood was once investigated for religious extremism.

He had been arrested previously for assault, possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses. His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism Chief Mark Rowley said earlier Thursday that police raided six addresses and arrested seven people in connection with Wednesday’s attack.

He said investigators believed the suspect “was inspired by international terrorism.”

Five people, including the attacker, were killed in the attack.

Rowley earlier revised the initial death toll down to four — including the attacker, a police officer guarding Parliament and two civilians. But a 75-year-old man also succumbed to injuries when he was taken off life support Thursday, bringing the total back to five.

He said that 29 people required hospitalization and seven of them are in critical condition.

“Greater clarity is now developing regarding the casualty figures as we have now collated information from the public and five hospitals,” Rowley said.

One of the men injured in the attack spoke from his hospital bed Thursday, saying, “I had literately no time to get out of the way… I was scared for my life.”

The ISIS-linked Aamaq news agency said Thursday that the person who carried out the attack “was a soldier of the Islamic State.” It added that the person “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition.”

May said police believe the suspect acted alone and there is no reason to believe “imminent further attacks” are planned.

She also delivered a defiant message Thursday to lawmakers in the House of Commons, saying, “we are not afraid.”

“Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as normal,” she said.

Forensic investigators continued to examine the crime scene throughout the day Thursday — steps away from Britain’s Parliament where the deadly rampage was carried out.

“The location of this attack was no accident,” May said. “The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city.”

A video captured by a tourist shows some of the injured lying along the popular Westminster Bridge after authorities said the suspect intentionally ran them over with a car.

Police said he then slammed the vehicle into the gates of Parliament before getting out of the car and fatally stabbing 48-year-old police officer Keith Palmer. The chaos finally ended when another police officer shot and killed the suspect.

One of the victims who was killed has been identified as Kurt W. Cochran, a Utah man who was in London celebrating his anniversary with his wife. She’s still in the hospital.

Also killed was a 43-year-old teacher.

May said among the injured are 12 Britons, three French, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, one American and two Greeks. Seven of the injured victims were in critical condition.

“You may know today there are victims in London from 11 nations, which goes to show that an attack on London, is an attack on the world,” said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Car rental company Enterprise said in a statement Thursday that the car “used in the tragic attack in London yesterday afternoon was one of ours” and was rented in Birmingham.

The company said an employee identified the vehicle after seeing the license plate in an online image. The company checked and immediately contacted authorities. It said it is cooperating fully.

“Our thoughts are very much with the victims of this terrible tragedy,” the company said.

Meanwhile, after being on lockdown Wednesday, Parliament was back in session on Thursday.

“We are not afraid, and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism,” May said.

The incident is the latest in a series of recent terror attacks in Europe where lone wolves have used vehicles as their weapon of choice.

As officials investigate, May said citizens must not give in to fear.

“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” she said.

Travelers are being advised to avoid the Parliament area as the investigation unfolds.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)