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UK Parliament Car Crash Suspect Appears in Court

2018-08-20 18:08
A man accused of attempting to murder members of the public and police officers outside the UK Parliament building in central London has appeared in court. The man, Salih Khater, 29, drove into pedestrians and cyclists on Aug. 14, injuring three people, and then crashed into security barriers, police said. The Sudanese-born British man appeared at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, Aug. 20, and faces two charges of attempted murder. In court, he wore a grey T-shirt and white trousers, and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, nationality, and address. The Met’s counter-terror chief Neil Basu said the force is treating the crash as an act of terrorism, although the suspect has not been charged with a terrorist offense. “Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command,” Basu said at the time. Police state that he is charged with attempted murder of people at the junction of Parliament Square and Abingdon Street in Westminster and the attempted murder of police officers on Abingdon Street in Westminster. He was arrested at the scene of the crash. Witness Jason Williams told Sky News at the time, “Someone driving toward parliament at speed, it wasn’t a normal … it’s not like a road traffic incident.” Barriers were put in place at the scene as officers investigated the crash. He is to appear at the Old Bailey on Aug. 31. There was no bail application. Other Terrorist Attacks Investigators have said it appears to be the second terrorist attack at the Parliament building in just under 18 months, after a British-born Muslim convert killed four people on nearby Westminster Bridge in March 2017. Less than three months later, a van rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge before three men abandoned the vehicle and attacked weekend revelers in the nearby Borough Market. Eight people were killed and 48 injured. Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.