LONDON: A man detained on suspicion of carrying out a terrorist attack outside Britain’s parliament has been identified as Salih Khater, a British citizen of Sudanese origin. Khater, 29, is said to have travelled to the UK in 2010 as a refugee escaping the civil war in Sudan. He later attained citizenship. Khater was living in Birmingham, the same place that Khalid Masood, who carried out a terror attack on the Westminster Bridge last year, hailed from.
The Metropolitan police confirmed on Wednesday that Khater had been arrested not only on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism but also for attempted murder.
Khater was born into a farming family and schooled in a rural part of Sudan. He went on to study electrical engineering at the Sudan University of Science and Technology in Khartoum.
Until April, Khater had been living in a scruffy flat above an internet cafe and a barber shop in Sparkbrook area of Birmingham and described himself on as a “shop manager”. The internet cafe and flat have since been searched by police. Neighbours and friends there described him as a loner and a very quiet man who spent vast periods of time inside the internet cafe and in its shisha lounge, which is run by Briton Mohammed Ismail.
Khater then moved to a tower block in the Highgate area of Birmingham in April, close to Birmingham’s Central Mosque. Police are searching his flat. Police have also been seen at an address in where six Sundanese men live and where the that Khater was driving was registered.
On Facebook, Khater posted updates in Arabic and English and spoke of his love of basketball and football as well as Celine Dion, and . His favourite quote is “love is only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend”. Khater is accused of deliberately driving a Ford Fiesta into pedestrians and cyclists, injuring three people, before ramming a security barrier outside parliament on Tuesday morning.
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