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Inquest to begin into death of Westminster attacker Khalid Masood

Masood was shot dead by an armed officer after carrying out the terror attack.

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Westminster attacker Khalid Masood (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Westminster attacker Khalid Masood (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Westminster attacker Khalid Masood (Metropolitan Police/PA)

An inquest is due to begin later today into the death of Westminster attacker Khalid Masood.

Masood, 52, from Kent, embarked on a 82-second rampage on March 22 last year, killing four members of the public and Pc Keith Palmer.

The inquests into those deaths concluded on Wednesday with Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC saying there were shortcomings in security at the Palace of Westminster which meant armed officers did not know they were supposed to guard the open gate where Pc Palmer was on duty.

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The five victims of the Westminster attack (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The five victims of the Westminster attack (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Press Association Images

The five victims of the Westminster attack (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Speaking after the conclusions at the Old Bailey, his widow Michelle Palmer said: “He was left at a vulnerable location with no protection to die.”

Mr Lucraft will begin a full inquest into the death of Masood, who was eventually shot dead by a plain clothes close protection officer, in Court One of the Old Bailey on Thursday.

In the inquests into the victims, the coroner outlined Masood’s background in the run-up to the attack, including his convictions for violence and links to extremists after he converted to Islam.

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Khalid Masood visited a car hire company in Birmingham ahead of the attack in London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Khalid Masood visited a car hire company in Birmingham ahead of the attack in London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Press Association Images

Khalid Masood visited a car hire company in Birmingham ahead of the attack in London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The court had heard he first appeared on MI5’s radar in 2004 when he was connected with a suspect in the fertiliser bomb plot.

He was dropped as a subject of interest in December 2010 but continued on MI5’s radar with “intermittent” contact with suspects until 2016.

In the days before the attack, Masood bought knives, hired a high-powered Hyundai Tuscon and carried out reconnaissance in Westminster.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

He visited his mother and told her: “They are going to say I’m a terrorist but I’m not.”

On the afternoon of March 22 last year, he drove across Westminster Bridge and knocked over and killed American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, mother-of-two Aysha Frade, 44, and Romanian designer Andreea Cristea, 31.

Twenty-nine other pedestrians were seriously injured as Masood mounted the pavement before crashing into railings at the Palace of Westminster.

He got out of the car and lumbered towards the gates of the Palace of Westminster where Pc Palmer came forward to challenge him.

It is clear to me that Pc Palmer acted bravely, he did not shrink from performing his duty of protecting those in the Palace of Westminster

Mr Lucraft said: “It was an extremely brave thing for him to do.

“He was fulfilling his job to protect the palace and those within it.”

“It is clear to me that Pc Palmer acted bravely, he did not shrink from performing his duty of protecting those in the Palace of Westminster.”

Following the conclusions, counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu apologised on behalf of Scotland Yard and said the lost chance to save a “brave and courageous officer” was unacceptable.

The inquest, which is due to hear from Counter Terrorism Command officers, paramedics, and a parliamentary assistant who witnessed Masood being confronted, is due to last two weeks.

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