ISIS says London attacker was one of its ‘soldiers’

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Photo: AP

London — Police investigating the deadliest terror attack in central London in 12 years have arrested seven people and searched six addresses, Britain’s most senior counter-terror police officer said Thursday.

Inquiries are continuing in London, Birmingham and other parts of the country, Mark Rowley said.

Four people died.

ISIS says attacker,  52-year-old Khalid  Masood, was one of its ‘soldiers.’

The victims were a police officer protecting Parliament, a woman in her mid-40s and a man in his mid-50s, Rwly said.

The woman killed has been identified as Aysha Frade, a 43-year old Spanish teacher, the mayor of the Spanish town of Betanzos, Ramon Garcia Vasquez, told CNN.

Aysha’s family and relatives live in the town.

The attacker, who rammed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attempting to storm the Houses of Parliament, was shot dead at the scene.

The area, the heart of the British government since the 16th century, was teeming with Londoners and visitors.

Twenty-nine people were treated in hospital, seven of whom are still in a critical condition, Rowley said.

There were also a number of “walking wounded,” he said. Many of the injured were tourists, including a school party from France.

Latest developments:

• The Paris prosecutor opens an investigation into the London attack after three French nationals were injured.
• The House of Commons reopens after lawmakers hold a moment’s silence to remember the victims of the attack.
• Addresses are searched in Birmingham and elsewhere and a number of arrests are made.
Hundreds of detectives worked through the night, Rowley said, with their investigation focused on the attacker’s motivation, preparation and associates.
“It is still our belief — which continues to be borne out by our investigation — that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism,” he said. “To be explicit, at this stage, we have no specific information about further threats to the public.”

A UK official told CNN the working theory was that the attack was ISIS “inspired or copycat”, but the authorities were “still investigating.” He added, “Values and community cohesion are now most important — this is kind of a test case.”

A candlelit vigil will be held Thursday evening in Trafalgar Square, not far from Westminster, to show solidarity and remember the victims, the office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement.

“London is the greatest city in the world. We will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together, in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will,” it said.