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London terror suspect smirks after armed cops arrest him with a rucksack full of knives in Westminster

A TERROR suspect smirks as he is seized with a rucksack full of knives by gun cops in Westminster.

The bearded man was wrestled to the ground near Downing Street yesterday — a month after the attack on Parliament.

The bearded man was apprehended by cops near Downing Street
Getty Images

He was held on suspicion of terrorism. A witness said: “He was very calm.”

A joint surveillance operation by Scotland Yard and MI5 led to the 27-year-old being arrested at gunpoint as he walked towards Downing Street.

He was followed every step of the way while he made his way by public transport from an address in South East London to Westminster — where last month five people were killed in a terror attack.

He was followed every step of the way while he made his way by public transport to Westrminster
PA:Press Association
He was believed to have arrived on the Tube and Met Police SCO19 firearms officers were called in
EPA
He was wrestled to the ground and held on suspicion of terrorism
PA:Press Association
This is the moment cops arrested a 'knifeman' on Parliament Street weeks after the Westminster terror attack
The suspect is apprehended and his rucksack left on the floor
Cops arrested a man, 27, this afternoon and placed Westminster on lockdown
Armed officers surround the suspect after he was forced to the ground

A source said: “It was an extremely tense situation. Nobody could afford to let him out of sight.”

The operation was launched after the man was said to have been reported to authorities by a member of his family several weeks ago, over concerns about his behaviour.

The crop-haired and bearded suspect was believed to have arrived in Westminster on the Tube and Met Police SCO19 firearms officers were called in.

They swooped at a pedestrian central reservation as he crossed Whitehall at 2.22pm.

The suspect was arrested close to where Khalid Masood carried out his Westminster attack
Witnesses said the man had already pulled one out a knife before he was wrestled to the ground
Alamy
Forensics officers recover the blades
Getty Images
The suspect reportedly reached into a rucksack before someone shouted 'armed police' and officers seized him
Reuters
Forensics carefully place the rucksack in an evidence bag as they recover items discarded at the scene
Forensics carefully place the rucksack in an evidence bag as they recover items discarded at the scene

He was found to have the blades — including a carving knife — in his rucksack.

Witnesses said the man had already pulled one out before he was wrestled to the ground.

Construction worker Zbez Pozdze, 26, said: “He was walking with a knife in his hand, and that’s when the police caught him”.

Chris Kacyk, 40, said he saw the suspect — in a dark tracksuit — reach into a rucksack before someone shouted “armed police” and officers seized him.

Chris said: “He seemed very calm and collected. He didn’t say anything.

“They shoved him up against the wall and were patting him down.

“I saw his bag on the floor. Police were searching through it and pulled out knives. One was massive, the blade was about 30cm.” Another ­witness, who works in Parliament, said: “The bloke got to the traffic island, suddenly several plain clothes officers tackled him. Then lots of uniformed coppers turned up.”

Forensics officer takes photo while gathering evidence as police quiz terror suspect
Forensics officer takes photo while gathering evidence as police quiz terror suspect
Cops leads the suspect into a police van before he was taken to station to be questioned
Reuters
The 27-year-old was reportedly known to police
Anti-terror officers had the suspect under surveillance as part of an ongoing operation

Ian Grant, of Poplar, East London, said “They all came from nowhere like a swarm of bees.”

It is feared the suspect may have been planning to stab a police officer — regarded as top targets by ISIS and supporters in the West.

Anti-terror officers had the suspect under surveillance as part of an ongoing operation.

Their investigation was given further impetus by the attacks carried out by 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death.

Forensic teams work at the scene of the arrest in Whitehall following the arrest of a 27-year-old man
Forensic teams get to work on the scene
A man has been arrested at the scene for possession of knives
The suspect was monitored on street CCTV and on the Tube from the Met’s Central 3000 control centre

Yesterday’s suspect was arrested 100 yards from the entrance to Parliament, where the hero cop died. A source said: “Uppermost in everybody’s minds since March 22 has been the prospect of another attack in Westminster. This, we fear, might have been it.”

As well as being closely observed by undercover officers, the suspect was monitored on street CCTV and on the Tube from the Met’s Central 3000 control centre in South London.

Theresa May — who was not at No10 — was briefed on the operation and paid tribute to the police and MI5.

The investigation was given further impetus by the attacks carried out by 52-year-old Khalid Masood
EPA
Masood stabbed hero cop Keith Palmer to death
AP:Associated Press

The PM said: “I think it shows that our police and our intelligence and security services are on the alert as they always are, looking to keep us safe and secure.”

The suspect’s identity, nationality and background were not being disclosed as inquiries continued.

He was held on suspicion of planning a terror attack and was last night being questioned at a South London police station.

Brits 'in atrocities'

BRIT jihadis are carrying out regular atrocities in Iraq and Syria, a top US commander claims.

The “foreigners” form the last line of defence as they are more likely to have no qualms about attacking civilians, Col John Dorrian said.

He reckoned fleeing IS leaders were increasingly using the tactic as they lose more territory around the key cities of Mosul and Raqqa.

Col Dorrian said: “Foreign fighters have no reluctance to use scorched earth tactics.

“A lot are very hardcore and they came here to die — they are fighting to the death.”


  • TERROR fears were raised in Scotland last night after sinister packages containing a mystery white powder were sent to cops and SNP chiefs at five addresses.

Additional reporting: TOM NEWTON DUNN, HARRY COLE and CHRIS POLLARD


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