Another grateful Muslim refugee.
Chilling CCTV shows Sudan-born migrant plotting his route around London before launching a copycat terrorist attack to ‘try to kill as many people as possible’ after his passport application was turned down – as he is jailed for life
- Salih Khater held a grudge against the government and emailed Jeremy Corbyn
- Addressing him ‘Dear leader’, claimed he was being followed by British spies
- The student sat at traffic lights before swerving into cyclists and two officers
- Prosecutors claimed terror motive but no evidence he was a radicalised Muslim
- Khater was frustrated that application for a British passport had been delayed
- CCTV images show Khater driving around London before launching the attack
By Rory Tingle For Mailonline, 14 October 2019
CCTV images show a Sudan-born migrant driving around London before he tried to ‘kill as many people as possible’ when he ploughed into cyclists and police officers outside the Houses of Parliament.
Salih Khater was today jailed for life today for carrying out a copycat terror attack on August 14 last year.
The 30-year-old drove his Ford Fiesta into a pedestrian and riders who had stopped at a red light in Parliament Square.
He then careered into a security lane and crashed into barriers as two police officers jumped out of the way.
Chilling CCTV images released today show Khater driving around London in the silver Ford Fiesta on the morning of his attack.
Khater claimed he came to the capital to find the Sudanese embassy to get a visa but ‘got lost’ around Westminster and panicked.
The attack was caught on CCTV footage which was played in court. The Old Bailey heard Khater, of Birmingham, wanted to cause maximum carnage and it was ‘miraculous’ that no-one was killed.
CCTV issued by the Met of Salih Khater, 30, driving his silver Ford Fiesta outside the entrance to Downing Street. He later drove the car into cyclists and police officers outside the Houses of Parliament on August 14 2018
Alison Morgan QC had told jurors Khater’s attack was ‘premeditated and deliberate’ and had a terrorist motive, although the details were unclear.
A jury rejected his explanation for the crash and found him guilty of two charges of attempted murder in July.
In mitigation, Peter Carter QC told the court Khater remained an ‘enigma’ and he had still not offered an explanation for what he did.
He told the judge: ‘Had there been any evidence of any link between this man and a terrorist organisation or terrorist individual or had there been any connection that he had expressed any interest in or showed any desire to pursue any link to terrorism it would have been before your ladyship.
‘There is not. The lack of evidence is not a proper basis for drawing a conclusion there is evidence of a terrorist connection.’
Khater driving the Ford Fiesta through London on the morning of his attack. The judge found he had deliberately copied other terrorists as she jailed him today for life with a minimum term of 15 years
Salih Khater driving the silver Ford Fiesta car in Bloomsbury, London, before he deliberately drove at cyclists outside the Houses of Parliament
The 30-year-old was pictured on CCTV driving off as he was caught in the Fiesta around London on the morning of the attack
Khater drove at cyclists before approaching the Palace of Westminster barriers, where two policemen were standing
The officers try to dive out of the way as the vehicle comes hurtling towards them, in what appeared to be another terror attack
Mrs Justice McGowan found Khater had deliberately copied other terrorists as she jailed him on Monday for life with a minimum term of 15 years.
She said: ‘Your undoubted intention was to kill as many people as possible and by doing so spread fear and terror.’
Khater driving down a busy London street on August 14 last year. Mrs Justice McGowan said: ‘You are dangerous in that you present a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public in the future’
The Sudan-born migrant seen driving across Westminster Bridge in the silver Ford Fiesta on the morning of his attack
Salih Khater being arrested outside the Houses of Parliament where he crashed into barriers
‘Dear leader’: Khater’s bizarre email to Jeremy Corbyn complaining he was being ‘followed by spies’
In the email to Jeremy Corbyn, dated May 24, 2018, Khater wrote: ‘Dear leader, recently I have been subject to many event which made really confused and very worried about who to talk too.
‘As I have start to break my silence, I want to start by saying now, I think they are the intelligence service, and I will be going to the police station to make an official complaint on Monday. Kind of regards, Salih Khater.’
The reply, from ‘Ben’ in Membership services at the Labour Party, said: ‘Thank you for your recent email to Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Leader of the Opposition. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us about this matter and we are sorry to hear about your personal issue.
‘Please be assured that the comments of your correspondence have been noted and passed to the relevant members of Jeremy’s team. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.’
She added: ‘You replicated the acts of others who undoubtedly have acted with terrorist motives. You deliberately copied those others.’
‘It was an attack on strangers and police officers at the seat of democracy in this country.
‘You are dangerous in that you present a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public in the future.
‘Even acting alone, you acted for a terrorist purpose. All the evidence is consistent with that conclusion.’
The court had heard how Khater was born in Sudan and was granted asylum in Britain in 2010, after claiming he had been tortured in his home country.
In the months before the attack, the defendant showed signs of ‘paranoia’ about British authorities, it was claimed.
He had failed his accountancy exams at the University of Coventry and his work as a security guard had dried up.
On May 24 last year, he emailed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to express concern about an ‘event’ involving the intelligence services, the court heard.
The day before the attack, Khater had travelled to Peterborough and unsuccessfully applied for a fast-track UK passport, the court heard.
Khater crashed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament where he was later arrested
The airbags in the Ford Fiesta as it crashed into the barriers outside Parliament on August 14 last year
He then set off from Birmingham to London just before 10pm, arriving after midnight.
CCTV captured Khater arriving in Parliament Square just before 1am and driving around Westminster, checking the layout for the attack five or six hours later.
He then parked up and rested for four-and-a-half hours in Windmill Street in Soho before returning to Parliament Square.
He went on to do four laps of the square before launching the rush-hour attack.
Crushed bikes on the road outside the Houses of Parliament after they were rammed by Khater
Police approach Khater’s car by the gates of the Palace of Westminster (left) before opening his door to get him out (right)
Khater is stopped by police outside Parliament before being hauled out of his car and arrested
Pedestrian Paul Brown was crossing the road when Khater’s car ‘came out of nowhere’ and hit him, causing bruising and grazes.
Krystof Tokarski and Anya Breen were cycling to work and were waiting at traffic lights when Khater revved his engine and knocked them down.
Mr Tokarski suffered grazes and a broken little finger while Ms Breen was thrown over the bonnet, fracturing her collar bone.
Ms Breen said: ‘I saw it [the car] coming round the roundabout, I saw it turn towards the wrong way down the road, effectively on our side of the road.
Jenny Hopkins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘It was only quick reactions and good luck that stopped Salih Khater killing anyone.’ He is seen in a mug shot
‘It was being driven, it seemed to me, really consistently – at the same speed,’ Ms Breen said.
‘I don’t remember the impact, I remember up until it was quite close and then the next thing I remember is I was on the ground.
‘I remember just thinking, ‘This is happening,’ and it was a process of, ‘Surely its going to stop? Surely its going to turn the other way?’
‘I couldn’t move, I was very tense. I was just staring up, I could only see what was above me.’
Witness Nicola Toner said she saw Ms Breen being knocked from her white Decathlon bike onto the car bonnet before hitting the ground.
She said: ‘The girl appeared to be in a lot of pain, she was screaming and couldn’t get up. When the girl was struck be the car she was about a meter-and-a-half from me.
‘At the time I burst into tears and I was properly in shock.’
Other people were trapped under their bikes, with some screaming in pain.
The defendant made a sharp turn into a slip road, going 32mph, forcing Pc Darren Shotton and PC Simon Short to dive out of the way.
As armed police removed Khater from the car, the defendant confirmed he was acting alone but failed to explain himself.
Khater leaving the Passport Office in Peterborough where he applied for a fast-track UK passport the day before he carried out the attack on August 13, 2018
The attacker (circled) driving around the area before the attack in an apparent recce for targets
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: ‘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.’
Commander Smith added: ‘I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding professionalism and bravery of all the officers who responded to this incident.