A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to commit a terrorist attack which left many, including two police officers, with serious injuries.
30 year-old Salih Khater was sentenced on October 14, under section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008, at the Old Bailey, London and will serve a minimum of 15 years.
Investigations into Khater’s phone found that he had been researching the Croydon UKAB courier service, on Broadway, and other locations in Croydon and Westminster on the day before the attack took place, including 10 Downing Street.
On August 14 2018, Birmingham born Khater drove into oncoming traffic on Abingdon Street, hitting cyclists and pedestrians before targeting two police officers stationed at the barrier to the Palace of Westminster.
Following his actions, armed police arrested Khater at the scene. The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) launched an investigation into the attack, which reviewed CCTV footage and found that his actions that day were deliberate and his attack was calculated.
Khater arrived in London, from Birmingham, just after midnight on the morning of the attack and travelled to Tottenham Court Road, where he waited until 6:10 am before driving to Westminster.
He then drive around Parliament Square and number of times to trace his attack route before parking until 7:37 am, when he then made his final rounds before steering into oncoming traffic outside the Houses of Parliament. A jogger and six cyclists suffered injuries, including a broken collarbone and bruising.
Shortly after, Khater accelerated towards the two police officers stationed at the Palace of Westminster barriers, but they managed to dodge the car.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding professionalism and bravery of all the officers who responded to this incident. Armed officers were on the scene within seconds and would not have known what other dangers Khater may have posed. The response of those officers and indeed, all emergency service responders to this incident was truly remarkable.
“My thoughts too are with all the victims of this terrible attack. Many were left with physical and psychological injuries, which are still impacting on their lives today. I only hope that today’s outcome can give them some small comfort.”
Through enquiries made and work with the UK’s National Counter Terrorism policing network and East and West Midlands Counter Terrorism policing units, police concluded that there were no further suspects and no standing threat to the public.
Smith added: “I am pleased at today’s sentence and that an extremely dangerous individual will be behind bars for a considerable time. This was a man who used his car as a weapon to attempt to kill as many people as possible spreading fear and terror. It was our view that this attack was carried out with a terrorist purpose and the sentence confirms this.
“I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding professionalism and bravery of all the officers who responded to this incident. Armed officers were on the scene within seconds and would not have known what other dangers Khater may have posed. The response of those officers and indeed, all emergency service responders to this incident was truly remarkable.”