The attacker, who drove a four-by-four Hyundai vehicle across Westminster Bridge, killing at least two people, before stabbing a police officer to death outside the Houses of Parliament earlier today, was named by Channel 4 as Abu Izzadeen.
Those reports by Channel 4, which named the London attacker as Abu Izzadeen, have been thrown into doubt after the accused’s solicitor has reportedly been in touch with media outlets, confirming it was not him.
Despite these claims, a direct quote from the solicitor is yet to be supplied.
Five people have been confirmed dead, including police officer PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed by the assailant. The suspect himself was shot dead, and at least a twenty people were injured near the Houses of Parliament in London this afternoon at 2.42pm.
The assailant and officer were being treated in Westminster Palace yard, but both have been confirmed dead.
Metropolitan Police are treating the attack as a major terrorist incident, until they know otherwise.
A junior doctor from St Thomas’ Hospital on the Thames has confirmed that a woman died after the incident on Westminster Bridge and others have suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’.
A woman with serious injuries has been pulled alive from the River Thames, and three police officers have been injured.
There is a large kitchen knife on the ground to the left of the man in the white shirt, and in front of the armed officer which looks like a standard kitchen knife that can be found very commonly in shops.
Witnesses have described the assailant as a middle-aged Asian man in his forties carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.
Official sources have said the three incidents this afternoon are linked.
Two of these patients are in a critical condition and six are in a stable condition #Westminster
— King's College NHS (@KingsCollegeNHS) March 22, 2017
The first incident was a middle-aged man driving a four-by-four Hyundai vehicle across Westminster Bridge, along the pavement, ploughing into eight to ten people who were left lying on the ground.
The second incident was the same vehicle continued onto Parliament Square before crashing into the railings of the palace of Westminster.
At that point, the man wielding a seven or eight inch knife managed to get into the palace yard before he stabbed a police officer, and then armed police officers shot him.
Junior doctor Colleen Anderson from St Thomas’ said she also treated a police officer in his 30s with a head injury, who had been taken to King’s College Hospital.
The attack has taken place on the first anniversary of attacks on Brussels in Belgium.
Britain is currently on its second-highest alert level of ‘severe’ meaning an attack by militants is highly likely, and the police reportedly responded to the attack within six minutes.
Mark Rowley said:
This is a day we’ve planned for but hoped would never happen, sadly it’s now a reality.
Scotland Yard said in a statement:
Although we remain open minded to the motive, a full counter terrorism investigation is already underway.
We received a number of different reports which included a person in the river, a car in collision with pedestrians. Officers were already in that vicinity, and additional officers were sent, including firearms officers.
Scotland yard are asking anyone with images or footage to take them to the police and to remain vigilant.
We asked anybody who has images or film linked, we can not confirm numbers of the nature of the injuries.
Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officers have been dispatched, and the fact they have been brought in highlights the seriousness of the situation.
A bomb squad has also been called to Parliament after a suspicious package was found in a vehicle near Parliament.
The discovery of the package halted a planned evacuation of Parliament.
Parliament is on lock-down and Police are going through, searching the parliament building, floor by floor, as well as setting a cordon around the area.
On Westminster bridge there is no definitive number of casualties but the same vehicle who ploughed into pedestrians, was the same one that smashed into railings at the front of Houses of Parliament.
The attack took place while the Parliament chamber was packed full of MPs for Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon.
Prime Minister Theresa May was quickly taken away from the scene by security and driven away from the scene in a silver Jaguar.
House of Commons Leader David Lidington tells MPs a "police officer has been stabbed" and the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police" pic.twitter.com/dSvn86qdGD
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 22, 2017
Sky News’s Alan Parry said:
I was just outside Westminster tube station when I heard an almighty crash and a vehicle that looked like a 4×4 had crashed into the railings (at parliament). There was smoke coming from underneath the bonnet. I saw a pedestrian or a cyclist who had clearly been hit.
The driver of the car sprinted away from the scene. That was followed by four what sounded very much like gunshots. Then all of a sudden all hell was let loose and police descended everywhere. The whole area was locked down.
It was a frightening couple of minutes.
Air ambulances and other security services have secured the area, while a large area is being searched.
At least 8 people are being tended to along the whole length of Westminster bridge after the car drove across the pavement.
Ambulances are treating people on the bridge, while there are more ambulances lined up to be used when they are needed.
Reports say shots were being fired and an explosion was heard near Westminster bridge.
Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs a police officer has been stabbed and the ‘alleged assailant was shot by armed police after a firearms following a serious incident within the parliamentary estate’.
Westminster underground has been shut down and local workers are being evacuated from the area.
Describing the attack, Journalist Kevin Schofield said:
We heard a very loud bang outside the press gallery. We heard lost of shouting, there were men running around. Then I looked to my left and someone rushed through gates at Westminster and attacked a policeman.
Another policeman came and rescued him and the man who assaulted him got up and appeared to be carrying a knife. We heard lots of gunfire. Five or six rounds.
Three of those injured by the car attack were 15 year-old students from Saint-Joseph de Concarneau secondary school in France.
We were called at approx 2:40pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident – police on scene
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
The London Eye, further down the River Thames is on lock-down and there are people who are stuck in the pods on the iconic Ferris wheel.
Prime Minister Theresa May will chair an emergency Cobra meeting tonight after the terror attack to bring together heads of counter-terrorism and multiple ministers to discuss security.
— Wcn Conflict News (@NewsWcn) March 22, 2017
Scotland Yard confirm that armed an unarmed officer deployed to keep London safe this evening.
The flag above Scotland Yard is being flown at half mast to honour its fallen officer and the other victims of today’s attack.
This article will be updated with information as we get it.