At 14:40 GMT on the 22 Mar 17 a single attacker drove a grey Hyundai over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London, killing at least two pedestrians and injuring approximately eight more. The car then crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament. The attacker, armed with a knife, ran through Carriage Gates on Parliament Square Parliament where he was confronted by the police.
One officer, PC Keith Palmer - who was not armed - was stabbed and killed. The attacker was shot dead by undercover armed officers. The police officer who died was PC Keith Palmer, 48, of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. He had 15 years' service and was a husband and a father. Aysha Frade, who worked at DLD College London, was killed after being hit by the attacker's car before it reached Parliament. She was confirmed dead by a doctor at St Thomas' Hospital. A third victim has been named as Kurt Cochran - a US tourist who was in London to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary. His wife Melissa has been seriously injured and was in hospital.
A number of people were treated in hospital, with seven remaining in a critical condition. Four people died including the attacker. Others that were injured by the vehicle were 12 Britons, 3 French Children were injured, two Romanians, four South Koreans, two Greeks and one each from Germany, Poland, Irish Republic, China, Italy and the United States with some being walking wounded.
Some of the wounds suffered by the victims were described as "catastrophic". One woman was pulled out alive from the River Thames with serious injuries by port authorities. The injured included three police officers who were walking across the bridge on their way back from a commendation ceremony. Two were described as being in a serious condition. The Westminster attacker was British-born and known to the police and intelligence services.
On the 22 Mar 17 Armed police raided a Birmingham flat in an operation linked to the 22 Mar 17 terror attack in Westminster. Armed officers stormed a second-floor flat above shops on Hagley Road in Ladywood at 2300 hrs GMT on the 22 Mar 17. Anti-terror officers confirmed six addresses in total were raided in London and Birmingham, with eight arrests made. West Midlands Police said more than one location was raided in Birmingham, but did not say how many. Officers were also searching a property in Quayside in the Winson Green area of the city. Police refused to comment on whether it was linked to the London attack.
In a statement, the force said: "Overnight our colleagues from the Metropolitan Police have searched a number of addresses across the country and have made a number of arrests in connection with the [Westminster] incident, including addresses in Birmingham. "The arrests and searches were intelligence led and there was no immediate risk to public safety."
The suspect of a deadly attack outside the UK parliament in London was British-born Khalid Masood, 52, who was known to the police authorities explaining that he had a number of criminal convictions. Masood was born in Kent to the south-east of London and had been recently living in central England. His criminal convictions were for assaults, including GBH [grievous bodily harm], possession of offensive weapons and public order offences but had not been arrested for any terrorism offences. He had come to the attention of the security service MI5 some years ago over concerns about violent extremism.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group/Da’esh claimed responsibility on the 23 Mar 17 for the attack. It said on its Amaq website the attacker "carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition" of countries fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
However, no source was able to independently confirm the claim. The last major attack to hit London was in July 2005, when a coordinated series of bomb blasts targeted its public transportation system during rush hour. The bombings killed 52 people and wounded more than 700 others. Mark Rowley, acting deputy commissioner at the Metropolitan police, said, "It is still our belief that the attacker acted alone [and] was inspired by international terrorism."
361 COMMENT and ADVICE: Sadly attacks of this nature are becoming too frequent. The British soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby who was murdered on the 22 May 13 by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale was first run down by a vehicle; The Nice attack in France where a 19 tonne cargo truck was used to kill 86 people and injure 434 on the 14 Jul 16 and the Berlin attack on the 19 Dec 16 where a truck was used to kill 12 people and injured 56 others, now this latest attack in London. In Israel, Palestinians have being using this style of attack for some time. There was also an attempt to conduct a similar attack in Antwerp, Belgium on the 23 Mar 17. Lone wolf terrorists who plan these are difficult to detect. The examples mentioned show that they are successful and those who perpetrate the crime are not known until afterwards making it difficult for the security services to detect. However, there are steps that individuals can take to ensure they can be safer. They are as follows:
1. Always be aware of your surroundings. No matter how many times you have been in a certain area or walked down a particular road always be aware of what is going on.
2. If you are texting or checking your mobile phone, step to one side, look up and around to see what is going on around you before you start to check or text.
3. Do not walk with headphones/earphones blaring music that loud that you cannot hear what is going on around you. Have the sound at a reasonable level so that you can hear above it, better still have one earphone in and the other out, if using headphones have one ear covered and the other exposed. By having both ears wired in you lose one of your important senses, hearing.
4. Walk towards traffic where you can, not with it that way even if someone mounts the pavement you have time to move out of the way. This will also give you warning of would be attackers/abductors because they are driving towards you not coming from behind you.
5. Absence of the normal and presence of the abnormal.
6. Dislocation of expectations, meaning, “It can never happen to me.”