The crashing of a car into the Houses of Parliament, which prompted a major counterterrorist operation, may not have been an act of terrorism, The Independent has learned.
While the motive of the driver remains unclear, investigators are coming to the view that it is likely to be related to his personal circumstances.
The police have been granted an extension of time, until next Monday, to hold 29-year-old Salih Khater, and more information about what happened may emerge in that time. But senior Whitehall sources say there is no evidence yet that he had been radicalised into Islamist extremism.
Investigations into Sudanese-born Mr Khater’s activities and associates are continuing, and officials point out that while proof of terrorist links may emerge, that is currently looking unlikely. A number of people, however, were injured during the incident and he may face serious charges including that of attempted murder.
Mr Khater’s home in Birmingham is near an address where Khalid Masood, who carried out a car and knife attack in Westminster last year, had lived at one point. But no links have emerged between the two men so far and investigators dismiss suggestions that a “svengali” may have influenced both.