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 discovered powers were working on hundreds of live counter-terrorism investigations.

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

The Guardian understands his name is Salih Khater, who live 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 probing 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 accidents an hour and 40 minutes earlier, police said.

Two residences in Birmingham and one in Nottingham were researched on Tuesday. Roger Godsiff, the MP for Birmingham Hall Green, said:” Today’s attack at Westminster was be put into practice by an individual who is believed to have been living in my constituency in Birmingham .”

Nottinghamshire police said they were supporting counter-terrorism patrolmen as they searched 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 reported that the car involved in the incident was registered to an address in Nottingham. The current proprietor of the vehicle bought it on 20 June this year.

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Two men and one woman were injured in the crash. One was treated at the vistum and two were taken to hospital and eventually discharged.

Theresa May said the threat level to the UK remained at severe, intend 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 patches and four patches by far-right fanatics had been foiled in the past 18 months.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, urged people to” continue 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 evidences to the attack, told the Guardian the move did not shout or said so as the car collided with as many as 15 cyclists, and he showed “focused”.

CCTV footage demo the car swerve across a central reservation near Parliament Square and then accelerate down St Margaret Street before gate-crashing into impediments. Pedestrians were looked leaping out of its path.

The incidents had echoes of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017, which caused the expansion of sword and concrete security roadblocks around the Houses of Parliament. Khalid Masood ploughed a auto into audiences on the connection, killing four parties, before stabbing and killings an unarmed PC, Keith Palmer.

Another witness to Tuesday’s crash, Ewalina Ochab, said:” The gondola drove at quicken and towards the barriers. I was strolling on the other side[ of the road ]. I see some interference and someone bellowed .”

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

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Houses of Parliament: armed police swoop on crashed vehicle- 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, appropriate methods and this being an iconic website, we are treating it as a terrorist incident .”

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

She said:” The threat to the United Kingdom from terrorism remains severe. I would urge the public to remain vigilant but too to come together and carry on as ordinary, just as they did after the nauseating onslaughts in Manchester and London last year. The twisted purpose of the extremists is to use violence and terror to divide us. They will never replace .”

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 “therere” 2,029 terror seizes in Great Britain; 412 were cleared in 2017. That is the highest since records began .”

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Westminster car crash: handcuffed being taken away by police- video

Security officials comprised a Cobra meeting on Tuesday, chaired by the deputy national defence 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 around the Palace of Westminster had worked effectively and significant numbers of police had been participating in the stage immediately.

No schedules ought to have stimulated for May to return from her stroll vacation in Italy. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, is the most senior minister currently in the UK.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said:” My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist occurrence. Our thanks going to see our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery remains us safe day in, daylight out .”

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

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