Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for an attack outside Britain’s Parliament which left four people dead, the group’s Amaq news agency said.
“The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition,” the Amaq statement said.
The Police also identified the assailant as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, a British-born man, with a string of previous convictions but who was not subject to a current investigation.
The IS claim came after armed police arrested eight people in raids linked to Wednesday’s attack that left three people dead and sowed panic in the heart of London.
This is even as Prime Minister Theresa May vowed the nation would not be cowed by its deadliest attack in 12 years.
“An act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy,” May told a packed House of Commons, which stood for a minute’s silence in remembrance of the victims of the strike on the very symbol of British democracy.
“We are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”
Few hours after she spoke, Belgian police arrested a man as he tried to drive into a crowd at high speed in a shopping area in the port city of Antwerp.
That was the third incident in a week in Europe after London and a weekend attack at Paris’s Orly airport, and came a day after the first anniversary of the Brussels suicide bombings that killed 32 people and were also claimed by IS.
Islamic State, which has controlled parts of Iraq and Syria in recent years, has lost territory this year to local forces in those countries supported by a U.S.-led military coalition.