| LONDON, March 23
LONDON, March 23 British counter-terrorism
police were investigating the background of an attacker who
killed four people and injured about 40 before being shot to
death by police just outside the British parliament in London.
Police have described the attack on Wednesday as a
"marauding terrorist incident" and said they were working on the
assumption that it was "Islamist-related". Police believe they
know the identity of the attacker but have not named him.
Armed police raided a house in Birmingham overnight. The
local police force, West Midlands Police, referred questions
about the raid to London's Metropolitan Police, which is in
charge of the investigation into the attack on parliament.
Police made several arrests during the raid, which was
connected to the investigation, Sky News television channel
reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources. The Met
Police declined to comment on whether there was a link.
Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, Mark
Rowley, was due to make a statement at 0730 GMT.
The attack on Wednesday started when the assailant sped
across Westminster Bridge in a car, ramming pedestrians along
the way. He then ran towards parliament and stabbed a policeman
before he was shot.
The dead were the assailant, the policeman he stabbed and
three people who were hit by the car. Others were in hospital
with very serious injuries.
Three French high-school students aged 15 or 16, who were on
a school trip to London with fellow students from Brittany, were
among the injured.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was expected to
arrive in London to visit them at hospital, French media
Westminster Bridge remained cordoned off with a strong
police presence. The nearby Westminster underground train
station, normally a busy hub in the morning rush hour, was not
accessible from street level as it was within the cordon.
Parliament was due to convene later in what Prime Minister
Theresa May said late on Wednesday was a sign that the attack
would not disrupt British democracy or normal life in the
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)