clock menu more-arrow no yes

London Parliament attack: what we know so far

Emergency services staff provide medical attention close to those injured in the terror attack outside the British parliament Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British authorities have identified the suspected perpetrator of Wednesday’s bloody attack outside the parliament complex in central London that left five dead, including one police officer and the assailant, and at least 30 wounded, some grievously.

Law enforcement personnel said Khalid Masood, 52, carried out the assault, the deadliest terror attack in London in more than a decade. Masood, whose birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao, was born in Kent, England.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but police have said they believe Masood was acting alone. He was already known to MI5, the British intelligence agency, although apparently was not high on their list of concerns.

The identities of some of the victims became clearer on Thursday as well. The dead police officer was identified as Keith Palmer, 48. The other fatalities were 43-year-old Aysha Frade, a Spanish teacher and mother of two, and American Kurt Cochran, who had been in London to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary. CNN reported that his wife Melissa was among those wounded in the attack.

Here is a guide to what we know about the incident.

What we know

  • Early on Wednesday, a car careened out of traffic on Westminster Bridge, a bridge over the River Thames adjacent to Parliament, plowing through pedestrians and eventually crashing. At least 10 people were treated for injuries on Westminister Bridge itself, according to the London Ambulance Service.
  • Shortly afterward, a lone attacker armed with two knives entered the grounds of Parliament.
  • The assailant was confronted by police on the grounds before he could gain entry to the Parliament building. The assailant managed to stab one police officer before being shot, according to CBS News. The officer later died.
  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley has confirmed that four people, including the attacker, died in the initial attack on Wednesday. At least 30 people were injured. One of the injured, a 75-year-old man, died in the hospital Thursday.
  • Rowley named the police officer who died as Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old husband and father. Among the injured are at least three French teenage schoolchildren.
  • No members of Parliament were among the wounded. After the breach, Prime Minister Theresa May was taken away to safety, and the building was put on lockdown.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.