Westminster terror crash suspect named as Salih Khater

Police recover the car driven by a 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, who was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police recover the car driven by a 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, who was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
0
Have your say

A man detained after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack has been further arrested for attempted murder, Scotland Yard said.

The 29-year-old British national of Sudanese origin, originally arrested on a terrorism charge after allegedly ploughing into cyclists and a security barrier, is called Salih Khater, a source confirmed.

Satisfied they know the identity of the man who was arrested, the Metropolitan Police said the priority of the investigation team continues to be to understand the motivation.

The force said officers have concluded searches at two addresses in Birmingham and one in Nottingham, and continue to search a third in Birmingham.

Residents who knew Khater have described him as a quiet man who frequently visited the Bunna Internet Cafe on Stratford Road in Birmingham.

One customer, who would only give his name as Adam, said he had been served coffee by Khater and that he was a polite and apparently humble man.

“I am still in shock. I’ve known him for about a year and he is a very, very good man,” he said.

“I can’t see him doing anything stupid. He was polite, humble and he kept himself to himself. The whole community is upset. I can’t see it not being an accident – I couldn’t see him hurting a fly, never mind a human being.”

Ahmed Abdi, originally from Somalia, said Khater was regularly at the cafe, and was a “very quiet” man who “never spoke” and drove a small, old white car.

The 43-year-old, who recognised his image on the news, said he knew the man as Salih and had known him for around a year and a half.

A police search is thought to have taken place about a mile from the cafe, at a tower block in the Highgate area, where a plainclothes officer prevented reporters from entering the 10th floor landing.

Khater was previously an accountancy student at Coventry University, a spokesman said, confirming that he attended between September last year and May.

He added that Khater failed the first year of his course and his enrolment was terminated.

The Facebook page for a man called Salih Khater says he lives in Birmingham, works as a shop manager, and has studied at Sudan University of Science and Technology.

It has subsequently been disabled and is no longer publicly available on the social network.

The silver Ford Fiesta used in the attack was driven from Birmingham to London late on Monday and spent almost five hours in the Tottenham Court Road area.

It was then driven around the Westminster area for more than 90 minutes before it crashed into a security barrier just before 7:40am on Tuesday.