Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after car crashes into pedestrians outside the Houses of Parliament
A man has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences after a car crashed into a number of cyclists and pedestrians before striking security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in London, law enforcement officials have announced.
Armed police rushed to the scene just moments after a silver Ford Fiesta collided with the bollards at around 7.40AM Tuesday morning. The suspect, who is believed to be in his late twenties, is purportedly unknown to intelligence services, and is reportedly being uncooperative with officers.
Head of counter terrorism at Scotland Yard, Neil Basu, said;
"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."
He further claimed that there was "no intelligence at this time of further danger" to the UK or London.
The suspect, who was the only person in the vehicle, has not yet been formally identified and is being held at a south London police station, while the vehicle is purportedly currently being searched.
No weapons were recovered from the scene of the incident.
Three people were treated for their injuries - two of whom were taken to hospital - according to the London ambulance services. St Thomas' hospital has confirmed that it was treating one patient whose injuries were not considered life-threatening.
A witness, Ewalina Ochab, has said "The car drove at speed and towards the barriers. I was walking on the other side [of the road]. I heard some noise and someone screamed," while Melanie Spindler, a tourist from Germany who was in the area with her husband and two children, added "We tried to go to Westminster pier for a trip down the Thames. We arrived just now and realised the area was closed. This [reported terror incidents] is the reality now. We are not concerned at this stage."
"The car did not appear to have a front registration plate when it crashed," she continued. "I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement. The person driving did not go out of the vehicle."
A number of eyewitnesses have corroborated that the silver Ford Fiesta, which was travelling westbound, appeared to deliberately hit pedestrians as it swerved into the opposite lane.
The incident echoes the Westminster Bridge attack of March 2017, wherein Khalid Masood ploughed a vehicle into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing and fatally wounding unarmed police officer, Keith Palmer.
This attack prompted the extension of steel and concrete barriers surrounding the Houses of Parliament.
The government has announced that it will be holding a meeting of its emergency Cobra committee at 2PM on Tuesday.