Man arrested 'on suspicion of terrorist offences' after car crash outside U.K. Parliament

Three people were injured when a car drove into security barriers outside the British Parliament on Tuesday and the driver has been arrested. 

Counterterrorism police are leading the investigation.

It's believed none of those hurt suffered serious injuries.

Police said they were treating the 7:37 a.m. local time incident as terrorism related and that the driver, who is in his late 20s, was in custody at a south London police station.

"He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "There was nobody else in the vehicle, which remains at the scene and is being searched. No weapons have been recovered at this stage." 


Earlier, police said the male driver had been arrested at the scene of the crash. 

The suspect isn't co-operating with police, London's assistant police commissioner, Neil Basu, told reporters. Basu said no other suspects had been identified and there is no "intelligence" of further danger to London.

"Our priority now is to formally establish the identity of the suspect and establish his motivation if we can."

A man has been detained on suspicion of terrorism offences 0:24

Witness Jason Williams said the car had struck a barrier on a lane used for access to the Parliament building with force. He said he thought it was deliberate.

"It's a very serious incident," he told reporters. "There was smoke coming from the vehicle."

The car that crashed outside the Houses of Parliament is surrounded by members of the emergency services in Westminster. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Images shot by a Euronews journalist showed police pointing their guns at a vehicle. Footage on social media showed a handcuffed man being led away by heavily armed police. Other footage showed a cyclist lying on the street.

"I saw the cyclists, injured cyclists. I've seen people, about 10, on the road, lying down, but I haven't seen any fatalities," Williams said.

London's Ambulance Service said it had treated two people for injuries at the scene and they had been taken to hospital. A third person with minor injuries was "assessed" at the site of the crash.


Westminster Underground station, which is close to Parliament, was closed to the public and the building cordoned off.

Parliament is in summer recess and most lawmakers are not using the building. Prime Minister Theresa May is on holiday abroad.

Police patrol on Millbank, in central London, after the car crashed. (Sam Lister/PA via AP)

In March 2017, Khalid Masood, 52, killed four people on nearby Westminster Bridge before he stabbed to death an unarmed police officer in the grounds of Parliament. He was shot dead at the scene.

Britain is on its second highest threat level of "severe," meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely.

Last week, a Muslim convert admitted plotting to kill more than 100 people by driving a truck into pedestrians on London's Oxford Street, the capital's major shopping thoroughfare.

In October last year, 11 people were injured when a car collided with pedestrians near London's Natural History Museum, raising fears of an attack, but police later said the incident was a road traffic accident. 

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