Seven people have been arrested in police raids across Britain after a bloodthirsty motorist “inspired by international terrorism” fatally mowed down pedestrians in central London before stabbing a police officer to death outside the House of Parliament on Wednesday, officials said.
The attacker, who has yet to be identified, was shot to death by police after carrying out the gruesome spate of violence, which left three innocent people dead and dozens wounded. Police had previously reported that four bystanders were killed in the afternoon carnage.
Mark Rowley, Britain’s most senior counterterrorism official, told reporters Thursday morning that police had conducted raids in London, Birmingham and other parts of the country and arrested seven individuals at six different addresses as part of an ongoing investigation.
“It is still our belief…that this attacker acted alone and was inspired by international terrorism,” Rowley said, adding that there’s no intelligence that would indicate further threats to the public.
London constable Keith Palmer was stabbed to death by the assailant after he slammed his car into a gate to the House of Parliament. The 48-year-old cop was a father, who friends remembered as a “lovely man.”
Rowley said that the other two victims were of “mixed nationalities” and declined to release their identities, noting that relatives have yet to be notified. The fourth victim was the attacker.
Another 29 people were being treated at London hospitals, seven of whom were in critical condition early Thursday, officials said.
The area around the Parliament remained cordoned off Thursday morning, but politicians were still expected to show up for sessions.
“We must not allow terrorists to sow fear in our city,” Rowley told reporters.
The brutal terror attack is the worst in England since the 2005 subway bombings and came a year to the day after the Brussels airport and metro station bombings that killed 32 people. That attack was claimed by ISIS.