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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
family speaks out

Mother of London terror attacker says she has shed 'many tears' for victims

Janet Ajao said she didn’t condone her son’s behaviour.

Palace of Westminster incident PA Wire / PA Images Westminster attacker Khalid Masood. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

THE MOTHER OF Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood has said she was “deeply shocked” by her son’s actions.

In a statement released this evening, Janet Ajao said she has “shed many tears” for all those who were the victims of her son’s actions.

She said: “Since discovering that it was my son that was responsible, I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident.

“I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster.

I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity

The statement comes as British police said they had found no link between Masood and the Islamic State group, which had claimed him as one of its “soldiers”.

“Whilst I have found no evidence of an association with IS or AQ (Al-Qaeda), there is clearly an interest in jihad,” Neil Basu, deputy assistant police commissioner, said in a statement.

Masood was shot dead after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians and fatally stabbing a policeman just inside the gates of the British parliament in a frenzied attack lasting just 82 seconds on Wednesday.

Five people were killed and dozens more injured.

‘No evidence’

Basu said Masood’s low-tech methods appeared to be “copied from other attacks and echo the rhetoric of IS leaders in terms of methodology and attacking police and civilians but at this stage I have no evidence he discussed this with others”.

He also said there was “no evidence that Masood, who was born as Adrian Elms, was radicalised in prison in 2003″ as suggested in some media reports.

Basu said he changed his name to Masood in 2005.

Masood served two stints in prison for a knife attack in 2000 and again for knife possession in 2003.

Palace of Westminster incident PA Wire / PA Images Conservative MP Tobias Ellwoodhelping emergency services attend to a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

“His last criminal offence was in 2003 and he was not a current subject of interest or part of the current domestic or international threat picture,” Basu said.

The police commander said Masood’s communications on the day of the attack were “a main line of inquiry” and he asked for anyone who had heard from him to come forward so as to establish “his state of mind”.

The British government has confirmed that Masood used the WhatsApp messaging service shortly before the attack, saying it was crucial that the security services be allowed to access the heavily-encrypted app.

Twelve people have been arrested since the attack and two men remain in custody after nine were released without charge and one woman was let out on bail.

Police investigating the attack arrested a 30-year-old man on Sunday in the central English city of Birmingham on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts.

He is one of two people who remain in police custody, the other being a 58-year-old also arrested in Birmingham.

With reporting by  © – AFP 2017

Read: Westminster attacker was 52-year-old Khalid Masood >

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