A terror suspect is believed to have travelled through the night from Birmingham to stake out Westminster for more than an hour and a half before mowing down cyclists outside the Houses of Parliament, it emerged on Tuesday night.
A Sudanese immigrant known to police is thought to be behind another terror attack on Westminster after ploughing his car into 15 cyclists outside Parliament.
Salih Khater, 29, veered off the road careering into pedestrians and cyclists at Parliament Square, after spending the night cruising around London.
The man, who is a UK national, had driven from his home in Birmingham before allegedly using his car as a weapon, sparking suggestions that it was an attempted “copycat” of the attack launched by Khalid Masood a year earlier which had killed six people.
Masood had lived just ten minutes from the suspect’s home in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, before travelling to London to carry out his attack. Security sources are keen to establish if there is a connection between the pair. Scotland Yard said the man was not known to counter terror police nor MI5, but sources suggested that he was known to West Midlands Police.
It was suggested that the man, who was known to have been in Westminster since 6am, may have been on a reconnaissance mission and was spooked into taking immediate action at 7.37am when an ambulance pulled up behind him with sirens blazing.
Khater . . . drove from his rundown flat in Hall Green, Birmingham, to London on Monday evening arriving just after midnight. He spent all night driving around central London, cruising around tourist hotspots such as Tottenham Court Road between 1.25am and 5.55am. He then spent 90 minutes driving around Whitehall and Westminster, leading to suspicions he may have been hunting for large crowds of tourists to target.