Man convicted of attempted murder after driving into people outside UK parliament

Prosecutors said it was reasonable to assume Salih Khater had a terrorism motive

epa07722327 An undated handout photo made available by the British London Metropolitan Police showing Salih Khater aged 30 of of Highgate Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, Britain. The MPS reported that Salih Khater, was found guilty at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court in central London on 17 July 2019 of two counts of attempted murder relating to the members of the public and the police officers respectively. Khater drove his car into pedestrians and cyclists, and at two police officers, before crashing into a barrier at the Palace of Westminster, central London. He is due to be sentenced at the same court, on the week commencing 07 October 2019, where the Judge will also consider whether the offences were committed with a terrorist connection - as defined by section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008.  EPA/LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE / HANDOUT BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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A 30-year-old man has been found guilty of attempted murder after he drove his car into cyclists and police outside the UK parliament in what prosecutors said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

Salih Khater ploughed his Ford Fiesta into 14 cyclists who were at a crossing outside the Houses of Parliament in central London in August 2018.

He then veered across the road into a security lane and crashed into the barriers, narrowly avoiding two police officers who managed to jump out of the way of the car.

Khater struck two joggers and several cyclists who were treated in hospital for their injuries.

Khater, of Highgate Street, Birmingham, had claimed he had gone to London to get a visa from the Sudanese embassy but “got lost” around Westminster. He had claimed he crashed by accident.

But London’s Old Bailey court heard that Khater had arrived in London in the early hours of the day of the attack to carry out a reconnaissance of the area.

Jenny Hopkins from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said - whatever Khater’s motives were - it was clear it was not an accident but “a deliberate attempt to kill and maim as many people as possible”.

It was reasonable to assume Khater had a terrorism motive because of the site of the incident and previous attacks, prosecutors from the CPS counter terrorism division said.

In a previous terror attack in March 2017, Khalid Masood killed four people by driving his car into them on nearby Westminster Bridge before getting out and stabbing to death a police officer.

Khater will be sentenced at a later date.