ISIS claims role in British Parliament attack; 8 held

London
23 Mar 2017

Eight people were arrested in raids across London and Birmingham today after a terror attack on the UK Parliament in the heart of Westminster killed four people, including the ISIS attacker who was inspired by "Islamist ideology" and known to British secret services.

"We are not afraid...An act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as normal," Prime Minister Theresa May told the packed House of Commons which reopened today with a minute's silence a day after the attack. "What I can confirm is that the man was British born and that some years ago he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure," May told sombre-looking lawmakers. Three people were killed and 40 injured when the attacker mowed down pedestrians on a bridge and stabbed to death a police officer outside parliament complex before being shot dead by Scotland Yard officers yesterday.

"It is still believed that this attacker acted alone, and the police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public. His identity is known to the police and MI5, and when operational considerations allow, he will be publicly identified. Our working assumption is that the attacker was inspired by Islamist ideology," May said. Meanwhile, the ISIS on its propaganda news agency 'Amaq' claimed responsibility, saying a "Soldier of the Caliphate" carried out the attack on the British Parliament. "The operation was carried out in response to calls to target coalition countries," it said in a statement. The Prime Minister confirmed that eight people have been arrested during raids across London and Birmingham following the attack on the Palace of Westminster in London, which houses Britain's Parliament and the iconic Big Ben.

In her message to the police, British Queen Elizabeth II said: "My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday's awful violence." May said the threat level to the UK has been set at 'severe' meaning an attack is highly likely for some time. This is the second highest threat level. The highest level 'critical' means there is specific intelligence that an attack is imminent. Meanwhile, the British Parliament today reopened with a minute's silence, a day after the terror attack.