Britain on alert as attacker named as British-born man

“To the men and women who propagate this hate and evil, you will not defeat us.


Mr Speaker, let this be the message from this House and this nation today. Our values will prevail.”

That was British prime minister Theresa May addressing parliament after the attack in the heart of London that has left the country on high alert.

The man suspected of carrying out the attack has been named as 52 year-old Khalid Masood.

Born in Kent, he had previous convictions for assaults, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences but nothing linked with terrorism.

Theresa May has confirmed he had previously been investigated for links to what she calls “violent extremism,” but says he was a “peripheral figure.”

She says he had not been part of the current intelligence picture.

A candlelit vigil has been held in central London’s Trafalgar Square, where Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the victims.

“We come together as Londoners tonight to remember those who’ve lost their lives and all those affected by the horrific attack yesterday, but also to send a clear message, ‘Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.'”

Among the victims was police officer Keith Palmer, who has been described as a hero for his actions.

Aysha Frade and Kurt Cochran, a tourist from the United States, have also been named as victims.

A fourth person, a 75 year-old man, died in hospital from his injuries after his life support was withdrawn.

A German national who lives and works in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, Patricia Neis-Beer, was among those injured.

The mother of two has undergone surgery for a crushed foot.

At the United Nations, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has thanked world leaders for their condolences.

“There are victims in London from 11 nations, which goes to show that an attack on London is an attack on the world. And I can tell you from my talks here in the United States with the US government and with partners from around the world that the world is united to defeat the people who launched this attack and to defeat their bankrupt and odious ideology.”

Authorities say Britain’s terrorism alert level will not be raised to “critical,” instead remaining at “severe,” the second-highest level.

But the attack has prompted calls for security to be increased at government buildings.

Police Federation chairman Steve White says there will need to be a debate about whether more officers are armed.

“Policing in the United Kingdom is largely unarmed, and I think police officers and the public understand and probably want that. But, of course, the Police Service has got to be flexible. It’s got to be able to respond to the threat, the ever changing threats. And what we saw yesterday, despite the protection that there was there, there were still vulnerabilities.”