British authorities have identified the man responsible for Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London as 52-year-old Khalid Masood.
Originally from Kent, he had been living in Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city, where neighbors said Thursday they had last seen him several months ago.
According to Marjoli Gajecka, 26, “I immediately recognized him when I saw the photo of him lying on an ambulance stretcher,” as she frequently visited her mother’s house next to Masood’s apartment.
She was referring to a photo that had circulated on social media and purportedly showed the attacker. Masood was fatally shot by police after a vehicle and knife rampage near Parliament in London that left three people dead and at least 29 wounded.
“They were just an ordinary family. I would never have assumed that he was in any way related to terrorist activity,” she said.
According to Gajecka, Masood lived in Birmingham with a wife and at least two children — one girl and one boy. He was sometimes seen in his garden, playing with his children, Gajecka and other former neighbors said.
Authorities neither confirmed the address of his apartment nor details about the rental car on Thursday.
In a statement, police said that Masood was also known by other aliases.
According to Scotland Yard, Masood “was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker was once investigated for possible extremist links but was “not part of the current intelligence picture,” before his name was officially released.
Theresa May did not name the attacker but she offered new details about past scrutiny by authorities, who said the London attack was “inspired by international terrorism.”
In its statement,Scotland Yard confirmed that Masood was known to police because of previous convictions for assaults, public order offenses and possession of offensive weapons. He was last convicted in 2003, for possession of a knife.