Police refuse to name Westminster terror attack suspect, but say he was 'inspired by international terrorism'

Westminster terrorPAWestminster attack suspect.

This is the man that carried out the terror attack in the heart of London on Wednesday.

He was shot dead by police after killing an officer with a knife in an attempted attack on the Houses of Parliament. Moments earlier he ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster bridge in a 4×4 vehicle. 

Sky News said police have identified the assailant but are yet to name him. In an update at 10.25 p.m. GMT, Met Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley declined to name the suspect, but said the “working assumption” is he was “inspired by international terrorism.”

Hundreds of offices are working on the “fast-paced” investigation, he said, and are now examining the suspect’s motivation, preparation, and associates.

Channel 4 names the wrong man

The attacker was briefly identified by Channel 4 News as a prominent British-born Islamist extremist, but the broadcaster later reversed its report after other journalists disputed it on Twitter.

BBC Pakistan correspondent Secunder Kermani said a “reliable source” told him that the man Channel 4 named is in jail. ABC journalist Rym Momtaz echoed this account, claiming to have spoken to the individual’s solicitor on Wednesday. 

Channel 4 News later admitted the error made in its 7 p.m. bulletin. Editor Ben de Pear said award-winning reporter Simon Israel named the wrong man, but he did not apologise for the mistake. A repeat of Channel 4 News on Channel 4+1 at 8 p.m. was taken off air for around 40 minutes so the mistake did not air twice.

A Press Association photographer took images of the suspect receiving medical assistance outside the Palace of Westminster. Sprawled metres away from the police officer he killed, he died from his gunshot wounds. 

Moments earlier, a police officer could be seen standing over the attacker with his firearm. He appeared to be standing on the knife used in the attack.

This story is developing …

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