- Metropolitan Police
LONDON – The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London has confirmed the Westminster attacker had visited the country three times and taught English there.
A statement released late Friday says Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009.
The embassy confirmed he had a work visa and says he returned for six days in March 2015.
The statement adds that he wasn’t tracked by Saudi security services and didn’t have a criminal record there.
The Guardian reports that going to Saudi Arabia to teach English is a common path for converts to extremism, citing security sources.
On Wednesday, Masood drove an SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman. The attack killed four people in total and injured 50 more, two of whom are still in a critical condition. Masood was shot dead at the scene.
Before taking the name Masood, he was known as Adrian Elms. His birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao.
Masood was known for having a violent temper and had a string of criminal convictions from 1983 to 2003, including for grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons, and public-order offences. He had also previously been investigated by M15 over concerns relating to violent extremism.
Metropolitan Police are currently investigating whether Masood acted alone or whether he was directed, supported, or otherwise encouraged to carry out his act of terror by others.
So far, 11 people from across cities in the UK – including London, Birmingham, and Manchester – have been arrested in connection with the attack. Of those arrested, seven have been released without charge, two have been released on bail, and two men remain in custody.