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tv   Westminster Terror Attack - Panorama  BBC News  March 31, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST

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to impeach her. now it is time for panorama. five days ago, terror came here, to the heart of london, killing and maiming indiscriminately. there is a breaking news story over at westminster palace. we are getting reports of an incident outside the palace of westminster. breaking news, there are reports of gunshots being heard outside the houses of parliament. at 2:39pm last wednesday afternoon, khalid masood was seeminglyjust another london motorist. seconds later, he was a killer, driving his rented car onto the pavement, ploughing into pedestrians on one of london's busiest bridges. atourguide, adrian istoria, saw it all. there was screaming,
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like you never thought you would hear that, or never prepared to see something like that. those kind of expressions, like, jesus, help us, those expressions. everything covered with screaming and crying. he has mown down about three people on westminster bridge. american tourists kurt and melissa cochran were the first to be hit. they were in london celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. a second later, a cctv camera filmed masood continuing to career along the pavement at speed. did you see the car hit anybody? yes, idid.
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the impact of masood's car hurled 29—year—old andreea cristea into the river thames. the romanian architect was later rescued, but suffered serious head injuries. the car ploughed on, through the people on the bridge. i saw my first friend in front, he leaped out of the way. then i saw this black shape coming towards me. i thought, that's a car. i felt sharp pain on my head. 18—year—old politics student owen lambert had just left the house of commons after a tour and was sightseeing on the bridge with friends. i was spun around, then i was on the floor, on top of my friend. i saw blood on his neck. i said to him, "you're bleeding." he gestured to me, he looked at me. he said...
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well, he didn't say anything, he looked at me, i put my hand to my head and realised it wasn't his blood, it was mine. when he reaches the security barriers at the end of the bridge, masood is forced back onto the road. driving round those security barriers, masood then aims his car at a more pedestrians by these railings round parliament and then smashes into them. in this moment, you go numb. i thought, when is this going to stop now? it's becoming clear to those around that something is badly wrong. at these traffic lights, carl knight is listening to music on his headphones on the top of a number 159 bus when he hears a bang. it sounded like a really loud backfire of a car. that's the best way i can describe it. i was like, what the hell? that is when i turned around to see this car, and the front end of it was
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completely crushed in. then i saw two bodies on the floor. mon dieu! my god! carl then saw khalid masood get out of the smashed a car. he opens the door, he then stands up, dazed, a little bit unsteady on his feet, looking around. carl knight was still watching from the top of the number 159 bus. he says masood, after crashing his hire car, and armed with two knives, then moved towards a woman with a child against the railings here. she screamed at the knifeman not to hurt them. you know what, you can tell a mother's love for a child in that moment. she just wrapped herself around this child as if to protect it. masood then started moving around
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this corner, towards the eastern entrance to the palace of westminster. at that point, he then began gathering pace. he went from a jog to a charge. there was a person that he pushed out of the way. he could have used the knife, but he didn't. he pushed. carl's view was briefly obscured. but daily mailjournalist quentin letts saw what happened next from his office window overlooking the yard in front of big ben. we saw members of the public, pedestrians in the street, running in apparent terror, screaming, away from some source of violence. and then a second later, i saw the source of violence, it was a thickset man in dark clothes. he was running towards a police officer there in a high—vis jacket. you could see him stabbing the police officer. he done it about five times.
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that police officer was pc keith palmer. that lasted all of one and a half seconds, i would say. it was very quick. it was a violent, deranged movement. the police officer got up off of his knees and ran to the other side, as if he was going around the roundabout, that way. the attacker followed. other police appeared, including two plainclothed figures. they issued a challenge of some sort. i couldn't hear what it was, but i could hear that they shouted at the man. he ignored them and kept walking, or running towards them. then you heard two shots and then another shoty afterwards. it was like pop, pop... pop. masood was fatally wounded, shot, it's believed, by two members of a
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ministerial security unit. it had been just 82 seconds from his car first mounting the pavement on westminster bridge to him being shot. near to masood lay pc palmer, an officer with 15 years experience. you don't expect gunshots in westminster. i looked up to see what had happened and realised there were two people on the floor and there were a handful of policemen around them. former army captain and afghanistan veteran mike crofts, in parliament for a meeting, now emerged from behind a car where he was taking cover. he rushed over to help pc palmer. i tried to assess his wounds as best as possible. i'm not a doctor. i looked back towards the palace of westminster and screamed for a medic. mike wasjoined shortly after by police, security guards
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and bournemouth mp tobias ellwood, himself a former army officer. he brought with him a good sense of calm. immediately we started to work on pc palmer together to try to help him. you were trying to resuscitate him? yes. medics also worked to save masood. nothing could be done for either of the men. unfortunately, pc palmer died, despite our best efforts. he sacrificed himself for everyone else. less than an hour before the attacks, pc palmer had been posing for tourist pictures. moments later, he was defending parliament from a terror attack. he really was heroic in moving towards him, being a barrier between himself and parliament. there were a large number of people exiting parliament at that time. it frightens me to think what would have happened if the attacker had
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got into the crowd. over on the bridge, the scene was one of horror. owen lambert was lucky. he had a minor head injury and bruised leg. i looked down the bridge towards where the car had come from. there were people lying down, people in the road, cars had stopped. there was lots of debris everywhere, blood, lots of blood. about 50 people had been hit by masood's car. some had catastrophic injuries. kurt cochran, the american tourist, died. his wife, melissa, survived. aysha frade, a mother on her way to pick up two children from school, was killed. 75—year—old leslie rhodes was the oldest to die. in the house of commons, mps were completely unaware of the terror unfolding outside.
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that soon changed as parliament went into lockdown. order. i am now going to suspend the sitting of the house. this house is now suspended, but please wait here. prime minister theresa may was in the voting lobby. mp andrew bridgen was just feet away when he saw plainclothed police officers approach her. i heard hersay, "oh," he put his arm around her and very rapidly guided her out of the back of the chamber and away. the prime minister was taken to her armoured car in the speaker's courtyard. everybody was looking out the windows. you could see two plainclothes bodyguards with automatic weapons, standing either side of the archway in speakers courtyard, covering while the prime minister got into her car. so how did a polite schoolboy
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who loved sport and music turn into a killer? khalid masood was born in dartford in kent on christmas day, 1964. the name on his birth certificate, adrian russell elms. as a teenager, he called himself adrian ajoa as well, taking his stepfather‘s name. by the early ‘90s, masood was living a seemingly middle—class life in the home counties with his then partner, jane harvey. the couple worked alongside each other in a rental property owned by the eastwood family. i didn't have a long conversation with him because t was apparent that the meeting that she was the leading person within the business and that he was more there to support her
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in the physical side of lifting and moving objects around. i met him 15 years ago. it seemed to me he was quite tall and physically quite well built. almost quite normal, in a way. he didn't seem aggressive or anything, until he obviously knifed our local landlord. one minute he's cool, the next minute he is violent, you know? he was likejekyll and bloody hyde. incredible fella. fred lawrence was with adie, as he called him, when, aged 36, masood slashed a landlord's face with a knife in a pub car park in east sussex. this adie, he drew his knife out, he went for him, cut his face and my son grabbed him. my son is a big bugger, luckily, to be honest with you, think you would have done him. i saw him, and he had the knife.
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i was walking towards him and thought, "god, he's in a completely different frame of mind." it was a completely different person, it was an animal. the landlord needed 20 stitches and masood got nearly three years in prison. jay loved him to bits and stuck up for him so many times, she kind of always tried to cover up for him. she wanted to help him. but the couple, who had two daughters, split up after masood was jailed for the knife attack. in 2003, he was in prison again, this time for stabbing another man in the face outside this care home in eastbourne. how many of us know other people around us? we deal with them, we work with them, we may be socialise with them. do we know them that well? fred remembers masood as a troubled
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man, who was haunted by the colour of his skin. he said to me, "i don't like myself." he said, "i don't like my skin." he said, "i feel that i'm not right, i'm not in the right body." i would say he was troubled in himself. i think the sort of alienation we're seeing with him when we're looking around the questions of race does very much fit with people from his generation. we can see a whole generation of older individuals involved in the jihadist milieu in the uk that very much felt that racism first—hand. speaker: the prime minister. the whole country will want to know who was responsible for this atrocity. mr speaker, it is still believed that this attack acted alone and the police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public. his identity is known
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to the police and mi5. he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. he was a peripheral figure. the so—called islamic state claimed masood was one of their soldiers but they didn't claim to be behind the westminster attack. he is not a soldier, i would more describe him as somebody who has been exploited and a man who is clearly a lone actor, who has come up from the basement so to speak to commit a murderous and cowardly attack. adrian elms became khalid masood aged a0. 12 years later he attacked london. he seems to be someone who adopted these ideas later in life. his age of 52 puts him at the elder end of the spectrum but it is not unheard of. we don't know when masood converted to islam or when he became radicalised.
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one former close friend told us he believes it started in masood's late 30s, in prison. it was after 9/11, and al-qaeda extremists were being rounded up. so we know there are senior al-qaeda operatives who have been convicted before who target vulnerable people in prisons. and either offer them protection or, often they will take advantage, some times of mental health issues, there are can be a range of factors involved in radicalisation. hannah stewart's research suggests religious converted are more likely to pose a danger. converts are dispraportinately involved in bio—terrorism
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so there are many more converts among the offenders we saw over the last 20 years than among the muslim population in the uk at large. after he was released from prison, masood went to saudi arabia, several times, teaching english. but there's no evidence he was rdicalised there. saudi arabia isn't a place one would think of for this, i think we have seen most individuals from the british radical milieu tend to radicalise here. when he returned to the uk, masood moved around, living in east london, crawley, birmingham, and luton. all places which have been linked to terror plots. masood settled in luton with a new partner and one of the daughters from his press conference relationship. he reportedly converted her to islam. i think luton is a place which has unfortunately developed
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a fair profile nationally as a place where there are problems with radicalisation, so it has a long history of these radical community, congregating in that area. at that time, luton was home to a convicted extremist who made this video, scouting parliament as a terror target. masood lived round the corner from the extremist and we have been told he had social contact with other people from the area. from luton, there were moves to east london, and then birmingham. masood, his partner and their children moved into the winson green area, last year. neighbours found him friendly, but reserved. he was a normal person, normal father, or husband, family man. what i've seen he was very calm. what i notice he was like,
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he liked to take care of his garden. khalid masood lived here in this quiet residential street for round eight months, until a couple of months ago, the man who neighbours said had a london accent, left abruptly with his family. they didn't say goodbye, or where they were going. i had just seen a van parked in front of his garage, and just the garage open and take out thing, not big furniture, just some things, some stuff and then he disappeared, just in the night. 269 people were convicted of islamic terror offences in britain or killed themselves as suicide bombers between 1998 and 2015. 39 of them were from birmingham. masood's connection to birmingham is interesting.
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my research showed that primacy of london and birmingham as the offender's last known place of residence, birmingham in particular, the number of offenders coming from there has increased rapidly. two men from birmingham, arrested following masood's attack are still being held on suspicion of terror offences. one of the city's mps was in parliament when it was locked down. i felt very uneasy that my city again has links to this sort of attack, and i was really very disappointed, personally that this had happened, because this is not the reputation i want for my city. birmingham's had a problem with radicalisation and we need to address that. good afternoon birmingham.
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good afternoon, birmingham. two days ago, birmingham's muslim community gathered to show their condemnation of the attack. a muslim prayerfor our nation, oh lord, unite our nation round the principles ofjustice, peace, love and faith. you don't want to go to work in the morning when these things happen, because it is happening again, we will be associated with it. it is that dread when you hear of an atrocity, let it be anybody but a muslim. there is that feeling of you will have to to explain, you will have to distance yourself, because whether you like it or not you are associated with it. in birmingham, they're is confused as everyone else as to why masood did it. he wasn't one of them. his profile as an offender fits some of the patterns be see, he is travelling round, he doesn't want his one location to be fixated and therefore lots of people who supposedly know him don't know him,
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because they say he seemed a nice friendly guy but they weren't able to talk to him. that is a typical offender profile in how terrorists move round. thank you the organisers for today. though his neighbours knew masood had upped sticks and gone, had he left birmingham? he used an address on the city's hagley road when he rented the car he drove to london. six days before he attacked westminster, khalid masood rented a carfrom this firm in birmingham. it was a grey hyundai 4x4. a big and heavy car. enterprise say they identified the vehicle when they saw pictures of the attack and recognised the license plate. and they immediately
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contacted the authorities. the night before the attack, masood stayed in brighton, just 64 miles from westminster. he was very friendly, smiling, and really nothing suspicious about the person, he was a normal guest who wanted to stay at the hotel. on wednesday march 22nd, masood headed for london. one main line of police inquiry we have learned is his activities on social media in the days leading up to and on the day of the attack. who was he communicating with? we know that some of the platforms they use in social media are so heavily ecrypted it is difficult to understand who is reading what. and what we need to do is make sure that the companies, the it companies that own those
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platforms are responsible. whether or not masood had accomplices, would—be extremists can find inspiration and advice online. the islamic state is now encouraging the use of knives and vehicles, in low—tech terror attacks. what we have seen from across europe, from france, from belgium, people can, with very little low—tech capability, arm themselves with knives, get into a large vehicle or a car, and if they have that murderous intent, they can commit these types of offences. now, that is a real shift, that is a real challenge for all of us. previously you had to target public transport and do these big dramatic things, now groups have realised this sort of a basic attack is just as effective, and will get just as much attention. so how should the police respond? pc palmer was pa rliament‘s
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first line of defence, but he was unarmed. should he have been armed? there is bound to be questions over whether anything would have been different if there were more armed police officers there, if pc palmer had a gun. we will never know the answer to that, but what i think is important, is that there is many tactical options in terms of dealing with violent threat. one is firearms. the idea that suddenly arming a police officer will protect them from a sudden violent attack by a person who appears otherwise when they first approach, to be acting innocently, i think that may be a little bit fanciful. so i am not sure that arming police officers on the gate is necessarily going to be what the police think is the right solution. we have to go with the threats that we are currently dealing with, and i think mps have to take the advice of the professionals in the police service, in terms of what we can do.
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this idea the traditional view of the british bobby, wearing that helmet and walking on the streets and that kind of stuff. we don't live in that world any more. security at the palace of westminster is now being reviewed. but is it ever possible to counter these sos of attacks? i think we have been astonishingly fortunate in the last few years, because our security services have been very agile at stopping plots, but i think we have to accept that you can't prevent a lone actor who decides one morning that the time has come for him to go out and kill other human beings to make some sort of statement. 13 people are still in hospital, following last week's attack. whatever motivated masood, he caused devastation with just a hire car and two knives. such a simple thing, someone driving a car,
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across a bridge, with a couple of knives in his car. then, he caused so much damage, and no—one can defend against that. no—one. my thoughts are with the families who have lost people, and their friends and their colleagues, it is deeply sad and been driven by a man who has become extremely angry and isolated within society. i don't want to blame anyone. i want us to make sure we are thankful for what we have, for the people that are still alive, and the people who are currently recovering. we should sort of try and unify through that, through love and compassion, rather than through our hatred and anger about what happened. while the public pay their respects outside parliament, the police are appealing for any information about the attacker. without that, they say, they might never know why
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khalid masood brought terror to london. hello. yesterday temperatures reached 22. today we have rain again affecting western parts, as this front pushes through, it will bring slightly cooler air, not quite as warm. here's the forecast through the day, the wettest weather through northern and western areas, little if any northern and western areas, little ifany rain northern and western areas, little if any rain on this front as it works across south—east england so it might stay dry for a number of places. once the front is through we will see some trying through the afternoon across most of england and wales, brightening up for a time as well in northern but the rain really set in for much of the day in scotland. overnight we will see a number of showers working in a cross particularly northern ireland, wales, south—west england, one or two elsewhere. staying while ford many with temperatures around 8—12 and the weekend comes in a package of two halves, saturday, sunshine and slow moving heavy showers,
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especially in south—western parts. chilly overnight but then dry on sunday. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lebo diseko. our top stories: russia tried to hijack the us election through propaganda on steroids, says a democratic senator investigating alleged kremlin political meddling. russia's president, vladimir putin, ordered a deliberate campaign, carefully constructed to undermine our election. reports that the president's former national security adviser will testify over russian involvement, if he is given immunity from prosecution.
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behind bars — the former president of south korea is arrested over a corruption scandal that cost park geun—hye her job. and blast off for spacex, as the company makes history by sending a used rocket back into space.

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