Man held on suspicion of terrorism over UK Parliament crash


Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Tuesday August 14, 2018. Sam Lister/PA Wire
Police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Tuesday August 14, 2018. Sam Lister/PA Wire

Britain’s counter-terrorism police chief said investigators believe a man deliberately drove a car into pedestrians before crashing into barriers outside parliament on Tuesday and the arrested suspect was not cooperating with detectives.

“Our priority now is to formally establish the identity of the suspect and establish his motivation if we can. He is not currently cooperating,” London Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method, and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident.”

The area is currently in lockdown after armed officers swarmed the scene on Tuesday morning.

Images posted to social media showed a man, wearing a black puffer jacket, surrounded by police and being led away in handcuffs from a silver-coloured Ford.

Two people were taken to hospital after being treated at the scene for injuries, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

One woman injured is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries, Mr Basu said.

No other suspects have been identified and there is “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to Londoners following the incident, he said.



Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKayArmed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Witness Ewalina Ochab told the Press Association: “I think it looked intentional – the car drove at speed and towards the barriers.”

She continued: “I was walking on the other side [of the road]. I heard some noise and someone screamed.



Police activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Tuesday August 14, 2018. Sam Lister/PA WirePolice activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Tuesday August 14, 2018. Sam Lister/PA Wire

Police activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Tuesday August 14, 2018. Sam Lister/PA Wire

“I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement.”

The car appears to have been driven through cyclists before ploughing into the security barrier.

Footage shot outside Parliament showed cyclists helping at least one biker laying on the ground as the LAS and armed officers arrived on the scene.

An eyewitness, who gave his name only as James, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “There was a cyclist clearly injured on the floor, there was a number of cyclists off their bikes. As I went past, an ambulance turned up.”

Jason Williams, 45, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the crash.

“I saw a car going at high speed towards Parliament. It hit a bollard,” he told the Press Association.

“It looked deliberate. It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang.”

Streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens were cordoned off as police, ambulances and firefighters arrived at the scene.

A number of armed police officers remain stationed at a cordon beside Parliament, while Westminster Bridge and Tube station are both closed.

The cordon was widened twice and sniffer dogs were seen scanning the area.

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

The terrorist threat against the UK is seen as unprecedented.

In addition to five attacks that occurred last year, authorities say they have stopped 13 Islamist and four extreme right-wing plots since the Westminster atrocity in March 2017.

Police and MI5 are running at least 500 live operations involving roughly 3,000 active “subjects of interest” at any one time – while there is also a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have previously featured in probes whose threat must be kept under review.

Earlier this year, the Government unveiled a refreshed counter-terror strategy.

Under the blueprint, MI5 intelligence will be shared with bodies outside the security community in an attempt to stop suspects before attack plots can crystallise, while anti-terror laws are to be strengthened to allow earlier interventions.

Press Association

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