London Attacker Made an Unusual Test Run

Attack lasted just 82 seconds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2017 5:25 AM CDT
Updated Mar 31, 2017 6:43 AM CDT
London Attacker Carried Out Trial Run
This photo released by the Metropolitan Police shows Khalid Masood.   (Metropolitan Police via AP, File)

Khalid Masood, the man behind Britain's worst terrorist attack in more than a decade, prepared in advance for last week's London rampage but not in the way a trained terrorist would be expected to, security officials say. According to GPS data from his vehicle, the 52-year-old performed a test run on the Saturday before the attack, driving over Westminster Bridge toward Parliament as he did on the following Wednesday. This shows the attack wasn't carried out on the spur of the moment, though a trained attacker would have carried out the trial run "on the same day of the week, or at least a weekday, to ensure the security measures and traffic were similar," officials tell the Wall Street Journal.

ISIS claimed Masood was a "soldier," though police believe he acted alone, possibly after having become radicalized online. In an attack that killed four people in the space of 82 seconds, Masood drove into pedestrians on the bridge before fatally stabbing a police officer. At an inquest Thursday, a coroner said he died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the Guardian reports. A manager at the hotel where Masood stayed the night before the attack tells the BBC that she found it very disturbing that somebody who seemed likable was a "very dark person who was about to cause a lot of damage to people's lives." "He was very well presented, he was dressed modernly, he was very pleasant to me," she says. (Read more Khalid Masood stories.)

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