Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Widow of Westminster killer requests privacy for family as she condemns attack

The widow of Westminster attacker Khalid Masood has said she is "saddened and shocked" by the atrocity and "condemns" his actions.

Rohey Hydara spoke out after Masood's mother, Janet Ajao, said she had "shed many tears" for her son's victims.

In a statement released through the Metropolitan Police, Ms Hydara said: "I am saddened and shocked by what Khalid has done.

"I totally condemn his actions.

"I express my condolences to the families of the victims that have died, and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured.

"I would like to request privacy for our family, especially the children, at this difficult time."

Masood killed four people in an 82-second rampage in Westminster last Wednesday.

The 52-year-old was shot dead by armed police after fatally knifing Pc Keith Palmer, 48, in the Palace of Westminster's cobbled forecourt.

Separate inquests into the deaths of the killer and his victims will begin this week.

IS called Masood "a soldier of the Islamic State" following the attack, but the announcement was greeted with scepticism from commentators.

Many noted the terror group has a record of opportunistically claiming attacks.

Scotland Yard has said there is "no evidence" the Muslim convert was linked to Islamic State or al Qaida but he "clearly" had an interest in jihad.

Masood's mother said she was "deeply shocked, saddened and numbed", in a statement released on Monday.

She said: "I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster.

"Since discovering that it was my son that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident.

"I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity."

Scotland Yard has urged anyone who was in contact with Masood on the day of the attack to come forward.

Police said his communications on March 22 are a main line of inquiry, amid reports his phone connected with encrypted messaging service WhatsApp just before the attack.

Two men arrested in connection with the investigation remain in custody after police requested warrants for further detention.

Officers have until 6.50am on Thursday to question a 58-year-old who was arrested at an address in Birmingham on the day of the attack.

A 30-year-old man who was arrested in Birmingham on Sunday can be detained until 11.35am on Sunday.

On Monday the family of an American tourist who was killed in the attack said they bear no ill-will over the incident.

Kurt and Melissa Cochran, from Utah, were on the final day of a trip to London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when they were mown down on Westminster Bridge by Masood's car.

Mr Cochran, 54, was killed and his 46-year-old wife was taken to hospital with a broken leg and rib and a cut head.

The others who died after Masood drove into pedestrians on the bridge were Aysha Frade, who is believed to have been a 44-year-old married mother-of-two, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75.

Twelve people are still being treated at hospitals across London.

The inquests for the victims will open at Westminster's Coroner Court on Wednesday and Masood's inquest will open at the same court on Thursday.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph