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On 14 August 2018, three people were injured when a silver Ford Fiesta hit them near the Palace of Westminster.[1] An ambulance immediately behind the Ford stopped and gave assistance to the injured. The car then went on to crash into the separation barrier of the pavement situated between St Margaret Street / Abingdon Street and Old Palace Yard.[2][3] The London Metropolitan Police responded within seconds and arrested the driver, Salih Khater, without further incident. Khater was subsequently charged with two counts of attempted murder. The case is being treated by prosecutors as terrorism.[4]

2018 Westminster car crash
The Palace of Westminster - geograph.org.uk - 1408776.jpg
2
1
Ford Fiesta vehicle collides with cyclists at Parliament Square
2
Vehicle collides with security barrier outside Old Palace Yard
Date14 August 2018
Time07:37 (BST, GMT/UTC +1)
LocationNear Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′57″N 0°07′32″W / 51.499206°N 0.1255038°W / 51.499206; -0.1255038
Non-fatal injuries3
Arrests1
SuspectsSalih Khater

Contents

EventsEdit

The incident occurred at 07:37 BST on 14 August 2018. A silver Ford Fiesta was captured on CCTV negotiating Parliament Square, before making a sharp left turn and going the wrong way along the empty northbound lane of St. Margaret Street and then crossing a pedestrian island onto the southbound lane, hitting cyclists and pedestrians in the process. The car then progressed into Abingdon Street and branched left into an access road for Old Palace Yard where it crashed into a closed barrier and came to a stop near the House of Lords. The incident lasted 15 seconds. Three people sustained injuries, with one having serious, but not life-threatening injuries.[5]

The Metropolitan Police stated that the incident appeared to be a deliberate act.[2] The Counterterrorism Chief of the Metropolitan Police reported that police did not believe the individual to be known to the Security Service (MI5) or to the counterterrorism policing unit.[6] A witness told reporters that the car had accelerated after hitting the cyclists rather than slowing down.[6]

A UK Government official described a 47-second video of road users including a white van apparently tailing the suspect prior to the incident as "classic security behaviour", indicating that the suspect may have been being tailed.[7]

The Independent reported friends of the arrested man saying that the crash may have been accidental.[8]

InvestigationEdit

Salih Khater, a 29-year-old male British citizen from Birmingham who entered the UK in 2010[9] as a refugee from Sudan,[10][11][12] was detained by police at the scene on suspicion of terror offences.[13] He is known to police in his local area but not as a national security threat.[14] The Assistant Commissioner leading the investigation said that Khater initially refused to cooperate with the police.[2] The police searched three addresses in the Midlands on the evening of the incident, two in Birmingham and a residence in Nottingham.[15] On 15 August 2018, police announced that Khater was being held on suspicion of attempted murder as well as an 'act of terrorism'.[16] On 18 August, Khater was charged with one count of attempted murder of members of the public and one count of attempted murder of police officers.[17] On 20 August, at Westminster Magistrates' Court, he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 31 August.[18]

Mr Khater was due to stand trial on 4 February 2019, but in January 2019, Mr Justice Sweeney pushed the date back to 24 June 2019. The defendant entered not guilty pleas to all charges, but did not provide any further comments. Mr Khater was remanded in custody.[19]

ReactionsEdit

Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted, "My thoughts are with those injured in the incident in Westminster and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response."[20] London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed similar sentiments, adding that "all Londoners, like me, utterly condemn all acts of terrorism on our city. The response of Londoners today shows that we will never be cowed, intimidated or divided by any terrorist attack."[21] Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, "My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside Parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist incident. Our thanks go to our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery keeps us safe day in, day out."[22]

Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said that Parliament Square could be pedestrianised, stating that vehicle attacks had become the terrorist's "weapon of choice" in Europe and the western world.[23]

United States President Donald Trump tweeted that "these animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength".[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "UPDATED: Man arrested following incident in Westminster". Metropolitan Police. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences". BBC News. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  3. ^ Boyle, Danny; Horton, Helena; Yorke, Harry; Sawer, Patrick (14 August 2018). "Westminster terror attack: Driver arrested after car ploughs into Parliament barrier 'not known to MI5' - latest". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Westminster car crash: Suspect appears in court". BBC. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018. Three people were injured in the incident on 14 August, which is being treated by prosecutors as terrorism.
  5. ^ Hartley-Parkinson, Richard (14 August 2018). "Video of Westminster terror attack shows police officer diving out of way of car". Metro. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b de Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko (14 August 2018). "London Driver Held in Terrorism Inquiry After Hitting Barrier Near Parliament". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  7. ^ Bird, Steve; Sawer, Patrick; Nicholls, Dominic; Swinford, Steven (14 August 2018). "Mystery over white van in the Westminster 'terror attack': was the suspect being followed?" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  8. ^ "Police granted extra time to question Westminster terror suspect, as friends insist crash was accident". The Independent.
  9. ^ "Westminster crash: Who is Salih Khater?". BBC News. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Westminster car crash: What we know so far". BBC News. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Sudanese man named as Parliament terror attack suspect". standard.co.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  12. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (15 August 2018). "Westminster attack suspect 'was stressed' over father's death, friend says". The Independent. Birmingham. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  13. ^ Boyle, Danny; Horton, Helena; Yorke, Harry; Sawer, Patrick (14 August 2018). "Westminster terror attack: Driver arrested after car ploughs into Parliament barrier - latest". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Westminster crash: Salih Khater named as suspect". BBC News. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Westminster crash: Raids after suspected terror attack". BBC News. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  16. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (15 August 2018). "Salih Khater: Westminster attack suspect arrested on suspicion of 'act of terrorism' and attempted murder, police say". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Westminster car crash: Man charged with attempted murder". BBC News. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Westminster car crash: Suspect appears in court". BBC News. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  19. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (28 September 2018). "Westminster crash: Salih Khater denies trying to kill pedestrians and police officers in 'terror attack". The Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Theresa May on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Sadiq Khan on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Westminster could become 'pedestrianised security zone' to prevent vehicle terror attacks". Evening Standard. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  24. ^ Emanuel, Louis (14 August 2018). "Donald Trump says 'these animals are crazy' as president responds to Westminster terror attack". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 14 August 2018.

External linksEdit