London attack: Khalid Masood mother ‘shocked and saddened’

Two images of Khalid Masood

The mother of Westminster attacker Khalid Masood has said she is “shocked, saddened and numbed” by his actions.

Janet Ajao said she had “shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident”.

Masood killed three people when he drove a car into pedestrians last Wednesday. He then fatally stabbed a police officer before being shot dead.

Meanwhile, police say no evidence has been found of links between Masood and so-called Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Mrs Ajao, from Trelech in Carmarthenshire, said: “I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity.

“I wish to thank my friends, family and community from the bottom of my heart for the love and support given to us.”

Masood, 52, who was born as Adrian Elms but later took his stepfather’s name Ajao, carried out his attack within 82 seconds.

It has emerged that police believe he drove up to 76mph as he crossed Westminster Bridge.

The Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack.

But Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, told BBC Panorama that, while Masood “clearly had an interest in Jihad”, police had so far found no evidence of an association with the group or al-Qaeda, or that he had discussed his plan with others.

He said: “His methods appear to be based on low sophistication, low tech, low-cost techniques copied from other attacks, and echo the rhetoric of IS leaders in terms of methodology and attacking police and civilians, but I have no evidence or information at this time that he discussed this with others.”

Media captionLondon attack survivor recounts being hit

Panorama Special

A programme on the Westminster terror attack, piecing together what happened during the incident, will air tonight on BBC One at 19:30 BST.

You can watch the show back on iPlayer.


Mr Basu also said there was also no evidence Masood was radicalised in prison in 2003 – describing this as “speculation”.

He said Masood was not considered to be a threat by the security services or counter-terror police and was not part of investigations connected with Luton – where he had once lived – or the long-banned al-Muhajiroun network.

He added: “I know when, where and how Masood committed his atrocities, but now I need to know why. Most importantly so do the victims and families.”

Image copyright
PA/Facebook

Image caption

PC Keith Palmer, Kurt Cochran and Aysha Frade all died in the attack (left to right)

Masood’s victims were PC Keith Palmer – who was stabbed outside Parliament – Aysha Frade, who was in her 40s and worked at a London sixth-form college, US tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London.

Thirteen people are understood to remain in hospital.

It understood the car Masood used was seen driving in the area around the bridge at some point before the attack.

It may have been on the day or before that, although it remains unclear what the purpose of this was.

It is also understood Masood’s phone connected with messaging app WhatsApp minutes before the attack, which police say started at 14:40 GMT.

Image caption

An image of Khalid Masood’s Whatsapp status shows he was “last seen” at 14:37 on Wednesday 22 March

The revelations have prompted a debate about the responsibilities of messaging services.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said encrypted messages must be accessible to intelligence services fighting terrorism, stressing there must be “no place for terrorists to hide”.

She is holding talks with other EU ministers in Brussels to discuss ways of preventing further attacks and will meet technology firms later this week..


82-second attack

  • 14:40:08 – the car that Masood was driving over Westminster Bridge first mounted the pavement on the northbound side
  • 14:40:38 – after continuing towards Bridge Street along both the footpath and road, Masood crashes into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster
  • 14:40:59 – the first 999 call was made to the Met Police reporting the incident
  • 14:41:30 – Masood left the vehicle and was shot by a police firearms officer inside the Palace of Westminster

Earlier, the family of the US tourist killed in the attack said he bore no ill will to anyone and had spent his life “focusing on the positive”.

Kurt Cochran’s family said they had “felt the love of so many people” since his death.

Mr Cochran had been with his wife, Melissa, on the final day of a holiday in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary – their first trip abroad. She suffered a broken leg and rib and a cut head.

Image copyright
Evening Standard

Meanwhile, Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, who was hailed a “hero” for giving first aid to PC Keith Palmer, said he was “heartbroken” he could not do more to save the policeman’s life.

Mr Ellwood, a Conservative MP and former Army officer, performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on PC Palmer in New Palace Yard, Westminster.

He tweeted that he had been “deeply humbled and overwhelmed” by the messages of support he had received since the attack.


Read what we know about the Westminster attack

Officers investigating the attacks are holding two people from Birmingham on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. Nine people have so far been released without charge, while a 32-year-old woman arrested in Manchester remains on police bail until late March.

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London attack: Khalid Masood mother ‘shocked and saddened’

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