Westminster anti-terror arrest: Suspect is named


Woman in serious but stable condition after being shot in raid in London, as four people taken into custody by anti-terrorism police

Firearms officers arrest a man near Downing Street in London (Reuters)
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Last update: 
Friday 28 April 2017 16:00 UTC

A man who was arrested with a bag of knives near Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, in London, has been identified.

Multiple UK media sources named him on Friday as Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali.

It is thought that Ali is a UK national who was born overseas and who attended school in Tottenham, north London.

The 27-year-old was arrested on terrorism charges In Westminster after being surrounded by firearms officers who pinned him to the ground.

The area around parliament has been on a state of heightened alert since a deadly attack on 22 March perpetrated by Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam.

Masood drove into pedestrians, killing four, and stabbed a police officer to death at the gates of parliament before being shot dead by an armed officer.

Masood sent a final message via WhatsApp in which he said he was carrying out the attack in revenge for western military action in Muslim countries in the Middle East, The Independent website reported on Friday.

The message, retrieved by security services, had been sent to someone who police had determined was unconnected with the attack, minutes beforehand, The Independent said.

Woman shot in police raid

On Thursday evening, a woman in her 20s was shot and four people arrested during police anti-terrorism raids. Police said the operations were not related to the incident in Whitehall hours earlier.

The woman was being held under police guard in a "serious but stable" condition following an operation in Willesden, north London.

Police said she was a subject of an ongoing investigation by counter-terrorism officers who are searching several addresses in the capital.

The Metropolitan Police said a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were captured at the house, and a 20-year-old man was arrested nearby.

A 43-year-old woman was arrested in Kent, outside of London, shortly after the Willesden raid. All four were being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts.

Video posted online of the Willesden raid appeared to show heavily armed police clad in black storming a house as loud bangs rang out.

One witness described seeing "loads of police with balaclavas, streets cordoned off, ambulances".

Police said all four had been "arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts".

"The address and persons connected with it had been under observation by counter-terrorism officers."