Cyclists abandoned their bikes after the collision with one being treated for injuries in the middle of the road as terror came to London’s streets again
Armed cops arrested the man, aged in his late 20s, after three people were left injured following the suspected terror attack at 7.40am.
The Westminster terror suspect who ploughed into at least 15 cyclists and pedestrians appears to have travelled to London from his Midlands home in a Ford Fiesta bought just two months ago.
The 29-year-old suspect, is refusing to speak to police. His identity has not been revealed and it is believed he was not known to Scotland Yard or MI5 before the shocking vehicular rush hour attack. However, security sources have suggested he may be known to police back home in the Midlands and his car was first registered in Nottingham.
The vehicle police say he ‘deliberately’ used as a weapon was was written off by insurers in the Autumn of last year but put back on the road and sold again eight weeks ago.
Today the terror suspect looked dazed as he was dragged from the smoking silver Ford Fiesta by around a dozen armed officers who had their rifles trained on him.
The horrifying moment the driver sped through crowds at up to 50mph before ploughing into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament was caught on CCTV.
A ‘loud bang’ followed by screams echoed around Parliament Square at 7.30am this morning and footage shows the car swerve the wrong way down the road and ‘intentionally’ veer through crowds before smashing into a security barrier.
The car uesd in the early morning attack was stopped in its tracks by a new security barrier designed to stop even attacks executed with a lorry
Two uniformed police officers manning the checkpoint designed to withstand a high speed lorry attack are shown diving away and detectives are investigating if they were the true targets of the suspected terror attack.
Three people were injured and one female cyclist is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries in hospital, for a broken hip.
One witness, Geoffrey Woodman, 27, from Battersea, described hearing a ‘loud screech’: ‘It [the Ford Fiesta] cut out in front of us through the red light on the wrong side of the road. It swerved left and hit the lady two bikes to my left. Its windscreen hit her quite hard. One slight turn of the wheel and it would have taken me out. It was chaos’.
Forensic officers inspect the car that crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament today and continued until it was was stopped in its tracks by a new security barrier designed to stop an attack executed with a lorry
Scotland Yard said the crash is being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’ and counter-terror chief Neil Basu said the suspect was not known to police or MI5.
The suspected terrorist arrested at gunpoint after ploughing a car into pedestrians near parliament is refusing to talk to police as detectives try to identify him, the Met’s terror chief said today.
Police chief, Neil Basu, says terror suspect won’t speak to investigators
A woman remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition after the suspected attacker drove a silver Ford Fiesta into cyclists before crashing into security barrier.
Police are treating the incident as a ‘deliberate’ terrorist incident.
It is not yet known whether the suspected attacker was on the radar of security services.
Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Mr Basu said: ‘At 7.37am a silver Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision at the front of the Houses of Parliament.
‘That vehicle collided cyclists and pedestrians before it hit the barrier and came to a stop.
‘Two people have been taken to hospital, one man has already been discharged and a woman has serious but non life threatening injuries.
‘Another man was also treated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment.’
Mr Basu said the suspect was the only person in the vehicle and was ‘arrested at the scene by armed officers’ and taken to a police station in south London.
Mr Basu added: ‘This appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this iconic site, we’re treating it as a terrorist incident.
‘Officers are searching the vehicle but no other weapons have been found at this time.’
He said no other suspects were identified or reported, adding: ‘There’s no intelligence at this time of further danger to Londoners or the rest of the U.K.’
He said: ‘The priority is to formally establish the ID and his motives. He is not currently cooperating.’
Witness Jason Williams told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the incident was ‘very, very scary’, adding that he was feeling ‘very anxious’.
He said: ‘Basically I’ve seen a man driving a vehicle, and he’s gone into one of the bollards. There was a loud bang.
‘Straight away I thought ‘Oh no, this is another terrorist attack’. So I’ve just started to run and the police were saying ‘get out, get out of the area’.
‘It looked deliberate. It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang.
‘I was very surprised (the police didn’t go in straight away). They seemed to be standing back. They were obviously a bit wary, like what’s going to happen next?
‘I don’t know if it was a tip-off, a warning, that this was a bomb. There seems to be maybe about 200 police here now, and it’s all happened very quickly in the space of half an hour.
‘I have seen people on the ground, lying on the road. I don’t know if they have actually been hit by the vehicle or not. I saw at least 10 people lying down. I had to run for my life.’
Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, was driving passengers past the front of Westminster when he saw the crash.
He said: ‘All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle … I just stopped the bus.
‘The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came. They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier’.
Scotland Yard put out this statement this morning confirming an incident, a couple of hours later, they pointed out that they were keeping ‘open mind’ by counter-terror police took over the case
Authorities have closed off Westminster Bridge [photo] and all major roads leading to Parliament Square in the aftermath of the crash
Security measures around Westminster and on central London bridges were beefed up in the wake of terror attacks last year.
Within days of the atrocity at London Bridge and Borough Market in June 2017, barriers were put in place on bridges including Westminster, Waterloo and Lambeth in a bid to stop terrorists mowing down pedestrians.
Tactics for armed officers were also changed, with marksmen allowed to shoot at a vehicle being used in such an attack.
Previously, firearms officers had the option of shooting at a moving car, van or lorry, but this was discouraged as it was felt it could increase the risk to the public.
But the approach was revised so that firing at a car, van or lorry when it is on the move is an accepted tactic for such incidents.
There are also more armed patrols on the streets at any one time, with the number of firearms officers and vehicles having gradually increased since 2016.
A £143 million plan to boost armed policing was announced in the months after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, in which 130 people died and hundreds more were injured.
Security arrangements around Parliament are likely to come under fresh scrutiny at the forthcoming inquests into the deaths of five people including police officer Keith Palmer who were killed in the Westminster Bridge attack last year.
Khalid Masood ploughed a hired SUV into pedestrians on the bridge before getting out and fatally stabbing Mr Palmer, who was guarding the Palace of Westminster but was unarmed.
Around a month later, former Taliban bomb maker Khalid Ali was arrested in Parliament Square with three knives ready to attack MPs and police.
He was later jailed for at least 40 years for making the explosive devices and 25 years for the knife plot..