An ongoing inquiry into the March 22, 2017, terror attack near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster has revealed that the UK’s MI5 spy service knew about attacker Khalid Masood and his connections to terrorists since 2004. However, an investigation of him had been dropped.
UK authorities now defend their decision to stop the investigation as “appropriate” despite his continued association with a banned organization.
The terror attack killed five and injured nearly 50 more. Masood ran over pedestrians, and then stabbed a police officer to death who was guarding the gates to Parliament’s entrance. Masood was shot and killed by police at the scene.
Just moments prior to the attack, Masood sent out a document entitled “Jihad” on WhatsApp that featured a picture on the cover of him standing in front of the Kaaba in Mecca.
The Daily Mail reports:
Masood’s phone number appeared in the contact list of one of the central figures in Operation Crevice, a plot to blow up the Ministry of Sound nightclub and Bluewater shopping centre in Kent using half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, in April 2004.
He continued to pop up as a link to a man associated with the Crevice plotters before appearing in another investigation six years later, as a potential facilitator for extremists travelling to Pakistan through Saudi Arabia.
But an MI5 witness told the hearing, from behind a green curtain, that the security service had taken the correct decision in closing their investigation into him in 2010 and did so two years later.
The MI5 officer, known only as Witness L, told the inquest that a person ‘subsequently identified’ as Khalid Masood had appeared in the contacts list for Waheed Mahmood, the man considered the spiritual leader of the fertiliser bombers…
In 2009 a second operation, named as Operation E was looking at a group of individuals, who MI5 believed were seeking to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan, an area which was heavily being used for terrorist training by al-Qaeda.
The individuals were exploring the possibility that they might travel via Saudi Arabia and an individual in there called Khalid Masood could assist them.
Despite the fact that Masood was closely associated with Anjem Choudary’s banned organization, MI5 closed its investigation into him in 2012.
Unmentioned in today’s reports is Masood’s close friend Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, who died when his suicide bomb prematurely exploded as he was attempting to conduct an attack in Stockholm, Sweden, in December 2010.
As I reported shortly after the Westminster attack, Al-Abdaly and Masood were both officials for the Luton Islamic Center. Masood was listed as the official contact for the mosque, while Al-Abdaly served as one of its preachers.
Al-Abdaly left behind a will saying he was conducting his suicide attack in support of the Islamic State of Iraq, a precursor group to ISIS. Masood and Al-Abdaly were described as “close friends”:
"When [Khalid Masood] was living in Luton, he became close friends with Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab .."https://t.co/8VohxUmqK2
— cinaed (@cinaed77) April 1, 2017
Several members of the 2004 plot where Masood first came to the attention of MI5 were also members of the the Luton Islamic Center:
Khalid Masood attended same mosque as terrorists who planned to blow up Bluewater https://t.co/hEkdfnxeX3
— Telegraph Breaking News (@TelegraphNews) September 20, 2018
The mosque is known as one of the UK’s most hardline, featuring a wide range of extremist teaching:
Mosque urged Muslims to “make ready.. steeds of war…for gaining victory over the Jews and…the enemies of Islam.” https://t.co/AkD7OAOeCO
— Andrew Gilligan (@mragilligan) April 9, 2017
The same sermon attacks "the Jews [and] the Christians" for their "greed, jealousy [and] fornication" https://t.co/FgM2rKX6P4
— Andrew Gilligan (@mragilligan) April 9, 2017
The ongoing Westminster attack inquest has revealed that Masood’s mother feared “that her son would kill as a teenager.”
Masood converted to Islam while in prison in 2013.
A pathologist testified before the inquest that the four fatalities from Masood running over pedestrians resulted in injuries that would have proved fatal regardless of quicker response time by emergency services. Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, and American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, were all struck by Masood’s vehicle.
PC Keith Palmer was killed by stab wounds received while confronting Masood after he had crashed and exited the vehicle.
The Westminster “known wolf” attack followed just days after an attack on police officers at the Paris Orly airport by Ziyed Ben Belgacem:
Paris Orly airport attacker was on terror watch list, same man as suspect involved in earlier shooting – officials https://t.co/T4386p2hAo
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 18, 2017
Belgacem was also previously known to French authorities — another “known wolf” terror attack.
Below, find Poole’s extensive coverage of the “known wolf” scandal here at PJ Media:
Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities
May 23, 2017: Manchester Bomber Is Yet Another “Known Wolf”
June 4, 2017: At Least one London Bridge Terrorist Was a “Known Wolf”
Sept. 17, 2017: London Underground Bombing Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terror Attacks?
Sept. 20, 2017: London Tube Bomber Was Part of ‘Deradicalization’ Program