23 March 2017

This is Profoundly Odd

The Westminster attacker has been identified as as Khalid Masood, age 52.

I am rather surprised at this age.

This is well beyond the age that you typically find people going violent jihadi.

I'm wondering if this was more of a generic sort of spree killing (and yes, I know how awful that concept sounds) than an act of terrorism:
A 52-year-old ex-convict from Birmingham was named on Thursday as the man who carried out the terrorist attack on Westminster in which he and four other people died, while eight others were arrested as police hunted for evidence of a wider conspiracy.

Khalid Masood, a man who had used a string of aliases, was described by police as a criminal with a 20-year record of offending, who had once been investigated for extremism but was assessed as posing a low risk.

Theresa May told MPs Masood had been previously known to MI5: “Some years ago, he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture.”

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, later added that Masood had spent time in jail, but not for terrorist offences, while the Metropolitan police said “Masood” was in all likelihood not his birth name.
While he did have a rather extensive rap sheet, it appears that his prior criminal activity ended over a decade ago:
Police revealed that Masood, born in Kent on Christmas Day 1964, had a string of criminal convictions. In a statement, the Met said: “He was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.

“His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.”
Daesh did claim that he did it for them, but did not include his name in their press release, which implies that there was no direct connection.

All in all, it's rather odd.


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