LONDON: Police have found no evidence that the man who killed four people in London last week was associated with the Islamic State group or al-Qaida, a senior British counterterrorism officer said Monday.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police said Westminster attacker Khalid Masood clearly had “an interest in jihad,” but police have no indication he discussed his attack plans with others.
Basu, who also serves as Britain’s senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, said Wednesday’s attack — in which Masood ran down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman guarding Parliament — “appears to be based on low-sophistication, low-tech, low-cost techniques copied from other attacks.”
Masood was shot dead by police after his deadly rampage, which police have revealed lasted just 82 seconds.
Police believe Masood — a 52-year-old Briton with convictions for violence who had spent several years in Saudi Arabia — acted alone, but are trying to determine whether others helped inspire or direct his actions.
Detectives on Monday continued to question a 30-year-old man arrested Sunday and a 58-year-old man arrested shortly after Wednesday’s attack.
Masood was born Adrian Elms, but changed his name in 2005, suggesting a conversion to Islam.
His mother, Janet Ajao, said Monday she was “deeply shocked, saddened and numbed” by his murderous actions.
Meanwhile, the family of the American man killed in the attack expressed gratitude Monday for the kindness of strangers as they insisted some good would come from the tragedy.
Kurt W. Cochran’s family offered profuse thanks to first responders, British and American authorities and people who had sent notes, prayers and donations.