London: Two of the 11 people arrested after the brazen terror attack on British parliament are still in custody for questioning with police trying to establish whether the attacker acted alone or had associates.
The Metropolitan Police said two men, aged 27 and 58, both from Birmingham where attacker Khalid Masood was living, are still in custody for questioning under the Terrorism Act.
Of the 11 people held after the attack, a 32-year-old woman arrested in Manchester, and a 39-year-old woman arrested in east London, were released on bail until late March while seven had been set free with no further action.
Police are investigating whether Masood, who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament, used the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp moments before driving across Westminster Bridge on high speed mowing down pedestrians on Wednesday.
A message was reportedly sent from Masood’s phone two minutes before the attack.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian government has confirmed that Masood was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there. He taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, a Saudi Embassy statement said.
Masood again returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent, the embassy said.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns Wednesday’s terrorist act in London, as it does all forms of terrorism. The attack in London this week has again demonstrated the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism,” the Saudi Arabian embassy said.
Masood drove his rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday before crashing his car into railings and then running into the grounds of Parliament.
Armed with a knife, he stabbed a police constable, before being shot dead by police.
In the attack, five people were killed while 50 injured with 31 requiring hospital treatment. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police have been working to determine his motives and possible accomplices.
Masood was born as Adrian Russell Ajao in Dartford before converting to Islam. He is said to have used a number of aliases, including Adrian Elms, and was known to UK police and intelligences services.
His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003, also involving a knife attack.
Scotland Yard has deployed bomb proof armoured vehicles on the streets of London following the attack. The force’s anti-terror chief Mark Rowley said: “The police service will sustain an enhanced armed and unarmed presence over the next few days.”