Wednesday 13 December 2017

'I have shed many tears' - Mother of Westminster killer says she is 'deeply shocked, saddened'

The scene of the attack at Westminster last week (Left: Attacker Khalid Masood)
The scene of the attack at Westminster last week (Left: Attacker Khalid Masood)
Luck played a part: Extremist Khalid Masood is thought to have been shot by a member of the close protection team of UK defence secretary Michael Fallon, whose car only happened to have been parked in New Palace Yard because a vote was taking place at the time
Attacker: Khalid Masood. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Westminster attacker Khalid Masood receives treatment after being shot during the attack. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Police leave flowers outside parliament in London in tribute to the victims of Khalid Masood Picture: PA
Emergency services bid to save the life of Khalid Masood after his murderous terror attack was ended by an armed policeman at the Palace of Westminster, London
Police officers conduct a fingertip search at Carriage Gate near to the Houses of Parliament in London. Photo: PA
A young girl lights a candle during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square. Photo: GETTY
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The mother of Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood has said she is "deeply shocked, saddened and numbed" by the actions of her son.

Janet Ajao said she did not condone the attack or the beliefs which had led Masood to commit the "atrocity".

In a statement released through the Metropolitan Police, she said: "I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster.

"Since discovering that it was my son that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident.

Westminster attacker Khalid Masood receives treatment after being shot during the attack. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Westminster attacker Khalid Masood receives treatment after being shot during the attack. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity.

"I wish to thank my friends, family and community from the bottom of my heart for the love and support given to us."

Muslim convert Masood killed four people in an 82-second rampage in Westminster on Wednesday.

He was shot dead by armed police after fatally knifing Pc Keith Palmer in the Palace of Westminster's cobbled forecourt.

Emergency services bid to save the life of Khalid Masood after his murderous terror attack was ended by an armed policeman at the Palace of Westminster, London
Emergency services bid to save the life of Khalid Masood after his murderous terror attack was ended by an armed policeman at the Palace of Westminster, London

Scotland Yard said it had found "no evidence" Masood was linked to Islamic State or al Qaida but said he "clearly" had an interest in jihad.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and called Masood "a soldier of the Islamic State".

Attacker: Khalid Masood. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Attacker: Khalid Masood. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

But the announcement was greeted with scepticism by commentators who noted the terror group has a record of opportunistically claiming attacks.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for UK counter-terrorism policing, said: "His attack method appears to be based on low sophistication, low tech, low cost techniques copied from other attacks, and echo the rhetoric of IS (Islamic State) leaders in terms of methodology and attacking police and civilians, but at this stage I have no evidence he discussed this with others.

"There is no evidence that Masood was radicalised in prison in 2003, as has been suggested; this is pure speculation at this time.

"Whilst I have found no evidence of an association with IS or AQ (al Qaida), there is clearly an interest in jihad."

Press Association

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