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London terrorist attack: Police search for clues in Birmingham

Police search for clues in Birmingham. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION London, United Kingdom Mar 24, 2017, 04.04 AM (IST)

Police searched a number of residential properties in Birmingham on Thursday, a day after British-born Khalid Masood killed four people in central London in the worst attack on the capital since 2005.

Since the attack in London, police have raided a number of addresses across the city, arresting five men and two women on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Birmingham has been one of the hotbeds for British Islamists. According to a study by the Henry Jackson think tank earlier this month, 39 of 269 people convicted in Britain of terrorism offences from 1998 to 2015 came from the city.

There are over 213,000 Muslims in Birmingham, making up over a fifth of the population, according to the 2011 census, and there has been growing concern about divisions in the diverse city.

The car Masood used in Wednesday's attack had been hired from rental firm Enterprise's Spring Hill branch in Birmingham, suggesting he still had connections to the area.

In Luton, a former neighbour said she had minimal interactions with Masood and voiced regret for not being more vigilant towards Masood.


London's response

London mayor Sadiq Khan reassured citizens and visitors to London, saying "our city remains one of the safest in the world...we stand together against those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life".

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Whenever a terror attack occurs there is a range of reactions. The pro-Brexit, anti-immigrant former leader of UKIP Nigel Farrage took the opportunity to fear monger:

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Not everybody's reaction was cynical or opportunistic. 

Perhaps embodying the famous dry humour of the British, The Daily Mash found London-resident 32-year-old Tom Booker, who is far more terrified of other things in London:

"I already have nightmares on a rotating basis about my barely-affordable rent, work-related exhaustion, meeting a partner who isn't weird, growing older in a lonely city and a lingering stomach ache that I reckon is an ulcer.

"If terrorists think they can make me more scared than I already am, good luck with that. As far as nagging daily anxieties go, I'm afraid they'll have to take a number and join the back of the queue."

 

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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