Eight arrests have been made in raids carried out by police overnight following the terror attack in Westminster which left four people dead.
Four people were killed in the incident yesterday afternoon which saw dozens of people knocked down by an assailant in a car before he got out and stabbed police man Keith Palmer to death inside the grounds of the British parliament.
British prime minister Theresa May said eight people were arrested in a series of raids overnight and this morning in six locations including properties in London and Birmingham.
Ms May described Wednesday’s incident as “an attack on free people everywhere” and said the threat level remained “severe”.
Ms May told MPs the British-born attacker was known to M15 beforehand and had previously been arrested in relation to terrorism as a “peripheral figure”.
“What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that – some years ago – he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure,” she said.
“The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture… There was no prior intelligence of his intent – or of the plot. Intensive investigations continue.”
“When operational considerations allow, he will be publicly identified.”
While the public should remain “utterly vigilant, Ms May underlined “they should not and will not be cowed by this threat”.
“We are stepping up policing to reassure the public and as a precautionary measure it will mean increasing patrols in cities across the country, with more police and more armed police on the scene.”
Ms May also paid tribute to the bravery of the policy at the scene on Wednesday.