Terror suspect accused of attempted murder of cyclists and police outside Parliament appears in court

A terror suspect accused of using a Ford Fiesta to ram police and cyclists outside Parliament has appeared in court charged with attempted murder.

Sudanese-born Salih Khater, 29, aimed the car at a group of pedestrians and cyclists and police officers, hitting several people, before crashing into security barriers, it is alleged.

Prosecutors are treating the incident as terrorism “due to the methodology, iconic location and the alleged targeting of civilians and police”, the Metropolitan Police said.

Khater, of Birmingham, was arrested outside Parliament at gunpoint moments after the alleged attack on Tuesday, August 14 shortly after 7.30am.

He was detained under section 41 of the Terrorism Act and appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

Appearing in the dock flanked by four security guards and wearing a grey prison t-shirt, Khater spoke only to confirm his name, address and nationality as British.

No pleas were entered during the five-minute hearing before the packed courtroom, where Khater was represented by Johanna Quinn.

Prosecutor Samuel Main said: “The defendant faces two charges of attempted murder, both arising from events on August 14, early last week.”

In the first charge, it is alleged he “at the junction of Parliament Square and Abingdon Street in Westminster, London attempted to murder persons.”

The second said he “at the Abingdon Street in Westminster, London attempted to murder police officers.”

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded Khater of Brinklow Tower, Highgate Street, into custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on August 31.

She said: “Your next appearance will be at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court, and that will be on August 31.

“I anticipate Miss Quinn will be coming to speak to you before that hearing. It will be a short hearing, presumably before a trial.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said Khater, who was granted British citizenship shortly before the incident, was charged on Saturday.

A statement added: “The charges follow an incident in which Khater drove his car into a stationary group of members of the public then at police officers, before crashing into the barriers outside the House of Parliament.

“Due to the methodology, iconic location and the alleged targeting of civilians and police officers, the CPS are treating this case as terrorism.”

Nobody was seriously hurt in the smash, which sparked a huge armed police response and the closure of most roads surrounding parliament.

 

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