Suspected terrorist crashes car into cyclists and barrier at British Parliament

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    London Metropolitan Police officials arrested a man who allegedly drove into a group of cyclists and crashed into the barriers outside the British Parliament in Westminster on Tuesday. The incident is being treated as a terrorist incident, authorities said.

    “Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command,” Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said during a news conference.

    Authorities are working to identify the driver and establish his motive, Basu said, adding, “He is not currently cooperating.”

    Two people, a man and a woman, were taken to the hospital, while a third person was treated at the scene for minor injuries, authorities said. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

    “I was getting off the bike and put my foot down, then there was a sound like tires screeching,” Geoffrey Woodman, a strategy consultant who witnessed the incident, told the Press Association. “This car turned round to the left and swerved into the wrong lane of traffic and into the bank where all the cyclists wait.”

    Most of the cyclists managed to jump off their bikes, but a woman was clipped by the hood of the car as it passed, he said.

    Video showed the driver being dragged out of his car by a number of police officers. The man, in his late 20s, was driving a silver Ford Fiesta when he crashed into the barriers at 7:37 a.m. local time, police said.

    No weapons have been found in the car and no other suspects have been identified, authorities said.

    Streets around Parliament Square were blocked off as police vehicles swarmed the area, video posted on social media showed. More than a dozen emergency vehicles were on the scene. Wider cordons have since been removed, while cordons around the immediate crime scene will remain for some time, police said.

    The Westminster subway station re-opened after it had been closed earlier, the official Transport for London feed said in a tweet.

    President Donald Trump weighed in, tweeting, “Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

    The threat to the U.K. remains severe, British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.

    “I would urge the public to remain vigilant — but also to come together and carry on as normal, just as they did after the sickening attacks in Manchester and London last year,” she said. “The twisted aim of the extremists is to use violence and terror to divide us. They will never succeed.”

    This appears to be the second attack on Westminster in the past 18 months. In March 2017, 52-year-old Khalid Masood, a Muslim convert with a criminal past, crashed his rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and later stabbed a police officer outside of the parliament building. Four people died in the attack, including the officer. Masood was shot and killed by police.

    Since then, 12 terror plots have been thwarted in the U.K., Andrew Parker, director general of the MI5, the U.K.’s domestic counterintelligence and security agency, said in a speech in Berlin in May.

    View the original article:

    Parliament was not in session on Tuesday. The House of Commons and House of Lords are out of session from July 24 to Sept. 4.

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