THREE OFFICERS FROM the Metropolitan Police were injured during what is being described as a “terrorist incident” near Buckingham Palace last night.
Just after 8.30pm, a blue Toyota Prius deliberately drove at a police van and stopped in front of it in a restricted area on Constitution Hill.
The unarmed officers got out of the van and approached the car. As they challenged the sole occupant, he reached for what was later discovered to be a four-foot sword, which was in the front passenger seat.
The Met Police said the officers acted quickly and sustained minor injuries before the man was incapacitated with CS spray.
They said the man repeatedly shouted Allahu Akbar during the struggle.
The man, who is aged 26 and from the Luton area, was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault on police. He remains in custody today at a central London police station while a number of searches are being carried out in Luton.
Police confirmed the incident is being treated as terrorism at this time, but said they are keeping an open mind.
Commander Dean Haydon said: “I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of these officers who quickly brought this incident under control. Their vigilance, courage and the swiftness of their response demonstrates how our officers are protecting the public at this time.
We believe the man was acting alone and we are not looking for other suspects at this stage. While we cannot speculate on what the man was intending to do – this will be determined during the course of the investigation – it is only right that we investigate this as a terrorist incident at this time.
Haydon added the incident was a “timely reminder” of the threat of terrorism in the UK.