ISIS Claims Responsibility For London Terror Attack As We Find Out New Details About The Attacker

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​UPDATE 5:39 P.M. EST: AP confirms the fifth fatality was a 75-year-old man injured in the attack. As reported, he died succumbing to his wounds.

UPDATE 12:33 P.M. EST: This morning, former President Barack Obama offered his condolences via Twitter stating, “My heart goes out to the victims and their families in London. No act of terror can shake the strength and resilience of our British ally.”

This comes shortly after an American victim in the attack was named. Utah resident Kurt Cochran was in London to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary. His wife Melissa survived, but was seriously injured.

In a statement, Mrs. Cochran’s family shared:

“Kurt was a good man and a loving husband to our sister and daughter, Melissa. We express our gratitude to the emergency and medical personnel who have cared for them and ask for your prayers on behalf of Melissa and our family. Kurt will be greatly missed.”

Aysha Frade, the mother of two young daughters who worked at DLD College London, also died in the horrific event alongside police officer Keith Palmer, 48.

UPDATE 11:35 A.M. EST: Police have confirmed UK Parliament attacker was 52-year-old Brit Khalid Masood — who had criminal convictions.

The dust is settling on the terror attacks at the British Parliament on Wednesday that left five people dead.

While there are still many questions to be answered, more details are coming out on the attacker’s identity, who he was affiliated with, and what officials already knew.

Video: James Corden Gives Message To Victims Of London Attack

On Thursday morning, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through their affiliated news agency, Amaq, which reported a “soldier of the Islamic State” carried out the Westminster attack.

The AP tweeted:

The statement alleged the man was following a call made by the extremist group to launch attacks on civilians and security forces in countries allied to the U.S. led coalition bombing its territories in Syria and Iraq.

However, experts were quick to note the language used by the group doesn’t necessarily mean ISIS is claiming it had connections to the attacker.

CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank says such language has been previously used by the group for attacks it believes to have helped inspire. He also pointed out that ISIS has given no evidence to show they directly orchestrated the attack.

Related: Terror In London — Celebs React

On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Theresa May gave more details on the attacker, but only raised more questions after revealing he was already investigated by MI5 intelligence officers.

The PM gave a carefully worded statement at the House of Commons that the attacker was British born, and was investigated by MI5 over extremism fears — but was discounted as a “peripheral figure” on the edge of some other operation.

May didn’t say whether the killer was investigated for a criminal offense, or even arrested, but stressed he was not part of the “current intelligence picture,” meaning he was not currently on security services’ radar at all.

After her statement, the PM backpedaled on her calling the attack “Islamic terrorism,” but instead suggested it was carried out by an ideology that was a “perversion.”

When asked if she felt that term was appropriate, May told MP Michael Tomlinson:

“I absolutely agree, and it is wrong to describe this as ├óΓé¼╦£Islamic terrorism.’ It is ├óΓé¼╦£Islamist terrorism’, it is a perversion of a great faith.”

This tragic attack even resulted in an outcry from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who told May countries worldwide need to band together and “stand up” to this threat.

In a telegram to the Prime Minister, he wrote:

“Terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly cunning and cynical. It is obvious that all members of the international community should join forces to stand up against the terrorist threat.”

Sadly, there’s nothing that brings powerful forces together like a common enemy.

[Image via Instagram/CNN/Twitter.]

Mar 23, 2017 10:34am PDT

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