Khalid Masood identified as potential extremist in 2010: Report

March 27, 2017 9:30 pm

Khalid Masood had
previously been investigated by the intelligence services but merely as
a ‘peripheral’ figure. (Composite by Met police)

The British-born man who
killed four people and injured more than 50 others in an attack outside
the British Parliament in London last week was known as a potential
extremist to intelligence agencies in 2010, a report says.   

Khalid
Masood first came to the attention of Britain’s domestic intelligence
agency, MI5, six years ago after returning to the country from Saudi
Arabia where he had been teaching English, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The
Saudi Embassy in the on Friday confirmed Masood had
visited Saudi Arabia three times, including two stints teaching English
there. Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism is widely preached and practiced,
stands accused of sponsoring terrorist groups such as Daesh.
But
some time before the deadly attack in London on Wednesday, Masood
fell off the radar of intelligence officials, the report said.
Earlier,
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the attacker had previously
been investigated by the intelligence agencies but only as a
“peripheral” figure.
The 52-year-old taught English in Saudi
Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to
April 2009 before returning to Luton, Bedfordshire, to teach English.
According to The Sunday Times,
Britain’s extremist al-Muhajiroun group, led by imprisoned cleric Anjem
Choudary, was active in Luton, and that Masood was loosely connected to
people under investigation by British agencies.
But it is not
clear how closely he had been monitored by MI5 and why that surveillance
had been halted some time before the attack.

Police
officers stop to look at floral tributes to the victims of the March 22
terror attack, near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central
London, on March 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP) It comes as the British police made yet another arrest on Sunday night as part of their investigation into the terror attack.
A
spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said, “A new arrest has been made
as part of the investigation being carried out by the Met’s
counter-terrorism command into the Westminster attack,” which was
claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.
The Metropolitan Police said
on Sunday a 30-year-old man was apprehended in the central English city
of Birmingham “on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.”
A statement published by the Amaq Agency, which is seen as the terror group’s official press service, has said the assailant was a “soldier” of Daesh.

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