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PM May: Attacker was known to MI5

PM May: Attacker was known to MI5UK Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed the Westminster attacker was British-born and known to the police and intelligence services, according to BBC on Thursday.

In a statement to the Commons, Theresa May said he had been investigated some years ago over violent extremism but had been a "peripheral figure".

"He was not part of the current intelligence picture," she said.

Eight arrests - at least four of which happened in Birmingham - followed Wednesday's attack that left four dead.

Those that died are PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade who worked at a London college, a man in his 50s and the attacker.

Seven of the injured are still in hospital in a critical condition. A further 29 had been treated in hospital.

In the attack on Wednesday afternoon, a man drove a car along a pavement on Westminster Bridge knocking down pedestrians, creating panic and leaving dozens injured. He then ran towards Parliament where he stabbed PC Palmer who was unarmed. Armed police then shot dead the attacker in the grounds.

The PM paid tribute to PC Palmer saying: "He was every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten."

She also said one of three police officers injured as they returned from an event to recognise their bravery was in a stable condition.

She told MPs, many of whom had been caught up in the commotion: "We will never waver in the face of terrorism."

In a statement made earlier outside Scotland Yard, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley said seven arrests had been made during raids in London and Birmingham - an eighth was announced several hours later.

The Queen has sent a message to the Met's Acting Commissioner Craig Mackey:

"My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday's awful violence," the Queen said.

"I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others," she added.

The Islamic State group said through its Aamaq News Agency that the attacker was a soldier of the Islamic State who "carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition" of countries fighting IS in Syria and Iraq.

British officials did not release the attacker's identity or confirm a link with the Islamic State group, though May did say it would be wrong to describe the attack as "Islamic" extremism.
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