Suspect believed to be Salih Khater, 29, who is of Sudanese origin and from Birmingham

A man has been held on suspicion of terrorism offences after a auto was driven into pedestrians and cyclists before gate-crashing outside parliament in Westminster, as Downing Street uncovered dominions were working on hundreds of live counter-terrorism investigations.

The suspect, a 29 -year-old British national, was arrested at the scene after armed police officers swooped on a silver Ford Fiesta that had gate-crashed into insurance obstructions on St Margaret Street at about 7.40 am on Tuesday.

The Guardian understands his identify is Salih Khater, who lives in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham and is of Sudanese origin.

Scotland Yard said the man was not known to the security services and was not cooperating with analyse detectives, but owing to the crash appearing to be deliberate and the location it was being treated as a suspected terrorist attack.

The car travelled to London from Birmingham on Monday night and expended the time between around 1.25 am and 5.55 am in the Soho area, before moving to Westminster and Whitehall at about 6am where it remained before the incident an hour and 40 minutes later, police said.

Two places in Birmingham and one in Nottingham were searched on Tuesday. Roger Godsiff, the MP for Birmingham Hall Green, said:” Today’s assault at Westminster was carried out by an individual who is believed to have been living in my constituency in Birmingham .”

Nottinghamshire police said they were supporting counter-terrorism officers as they researched a residential property in the Radford area of the city. The address is thought to be a flat on Peveril Street.

Neighbours told the Press Association that the house, said that he shared occupants, is home to six Sudanese parties. Ibrahim Ahmed, 24, who lives in the same terrace row, said:” It’s Sudanese people who live there .”

The Nottingham Post was pointed out that the car involved in the accidents was registered to an address in Nottingham. The current proprietor of motor vehicles bought it on 20 June this year.

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Two men as well as one wife were injured in the gate-crash. One was treated at the stage and two were taken to hospital and eventually discharged.

Theresa May said the threat level to the UK remained at severe, meaning an attack was considered highly likely. The prime minister’s spokesman said the security services and counter-terrorism police were carrying out 676 live investigations at the end of June, up from more than 500 in March.

He said 13 Islamist planneds and four patches by far-right radicals had been foiled in the past 18 months.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, urged people to” prevent an open subconsciou” about “whats happened”.” There are understandably a lot of questions about the incident … The instruct I have received from counter-terrorism police and the security services is that work is ongoing and they are doing everything they can to find out more ,” he said.

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Police recover the silver Ford Fiesta. Photograph: Yui Mok/ PA

Kirsty Moseley, 31, one of a very close witness to the attack, told the Guardian the move did not shout or say anything as the car collided with as numerous as 15 cyclists, and he appeared “focused”.

CCTV footage pictured the car swerve across a central territory near Parliament Square and then accelerate down St Margaret Street before crashing into impediments. Pedestrians were find leaping out of its path.

The backgrounds had resembles of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017, which prompted the increase of steel and concrete security barriers around the Houses of Parliament. Khalid Masood ploughed a vehicle into mobs on the bridge, killing four beings, before injure and killings an unarmed PC, Keith Palmer.

Another witness to Tuesday’s crash, Ewalina Ochab, said:” The auto drove at accelerate and towards the barriers. I was sauntering on the other side[ of the road ]. I discover some interference and someone screamed .”

She said the car did not appear to have a front registration plate.” I turned around and I recognized a silver-tongued automobile driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the sidewalk. The being driving did not go out of the vehicle .”

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Houses of Parliament: armed police swoop on crashed car- video

Streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens were cordoned off and the length of Whitehall was closed to traffic after the incident. Westminster tube station was closed for a period before reopening.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Neil Basu, the head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, said:” Given that this appears to be a deliberate attack, the methodology used and this being an iconic place, we are treating it as a terrorist occurrence .”

May, who is on holiday in Italy, was informed of the incident at 8am and was given regular modernizes by officials. In the following statement released after Downing Street, she praised the” formidable heroism” and professionalism of the emergency services who” extended towards a hazardous place in order to protect the public “.

She said:” The threat to the United Kingdom from terrorism remains severe. I would insist the public to remain vigilant but also to come together and carry on as normal, just as they did after the sickening attacks in Manchester and London last year. The twisted purport of the extremists is to use violence and terror to divide us. They will never succeed .”

May’s spokesman said the current terror threat was ” one of the starkest that we’ve faced. The quality of the terrorist threat is changing, and so must our response. Between 2010 and 2017 there were 2,029 terror arrests in United kingdom of great britain; 412 were attained in 2017. That is the highest since records began .”

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Westminster car gate-crash: handcuffed soul taken away by police- video

Security officials regarded a Cobra meeting on Tuesday, chaired by the deputy national insurance adviser, Madeleine Alessandri, and attended by Basu and representatives from the mayor of London’s office.

Downing Street said it was clear the security measures currently in place in different areas of the Palace of Westminster had worked effectively and significant numbers of police had been on the incident immediately.

No projects have been induced for May to return from her move holiday in Italy. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, is the most senior minister currently in the UK.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said:” My thinkings are with those hurt and injured outside parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist occurrence. Our thanks go to our emergency services who have replied immediately. Their bravery retains us safe daytime in, period out .”

The US president, Donald Trump, tweeted:” Another terrorist attack in London … These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and forte !”

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