Westminster attacker obsessed over Trump and May, inquest told
Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood obsessed over “racist and rude” Donald Trump, and called Theresa May “sick” and “a liar” as he plotted his murderous attack, an inquest has heard.
Masood, 52, was shot dead by police following a stabbing attack on Pc Palmer, 48 – and after ploughing into Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, on Westminster Bridge in a rented 4×4, causing fatal injuries.
An inquest into their deaths heard he told his children he was “going to die fighting for God” in the weeks leading up to the atrocity.
Six days before the attack, Masood collected the rented Hyundai Tucson he would use in his rampage before driving from Birmingham to Wales to visit his mother, Janet Ajao.
His final words to her were: “They will say I’m a terrorist. I’m not.”
The Old Bailey heard Masood converted to Islam during the first of two prison spells and believed his faith was reinforced by “miracles in his life”, including an acquittal for attempted murder and his daughter surviving a car crash.
But a former girlfriend, speaking to investigators after last year’s March 22 attack, said he was “vile”.
She said: “He was controlling, violent, obsessive, intelligent and narcissistic. I’m amazed he’s religious. I honestly believe this is a front, an excuse to hurt people.
“He would love the attention and the fear he has created.”
Earlier the court heard how his mother feared he would kill someone while he was still a teenager as he visited pubs and clubs looking for fights in the affluent Kent town of Tunbridge Wells.
Born Adrian Elms, Masood descended into a life of crime – first getting into trouble with police aged 14, and was known to be involved in drug dealing and frequently carried a knife.
He was jailed in July 2000 for a flick-knife attack, and in 2003 spent six months behind bars after plunging a carving knife through the nose of Daniel Smith – who had suggested Masood was an undercover policeman.
Mr Smith was left with “horrific” injuries after the blade went through the palate of his mouth, through the tongue and into his jaw with such force the last inch of the blade broke off.
Masood claimed self-defence and was acquitted of attempted murder, wounding with intent and having a bladed weapon.
In the run up to the attack, CCTV footage captured Masood buying knives and hiring the car in Birmingham before visiting his mother and heading to London to conduct reconnaissance.
The inquest heard Masood made searches for the Prime Minister on his laptop, protected by the password “Islam1”, and made comments to his children about her and Donald Trump.
“He complained about racism and rudeness from the president and described Theresa May as a liar and said she was sick,” said Gareth Patterson QC, representing families of Masood’s victims.
On the morning of the attack, following a last supper from a Brighton fish and chip restaurant, Masood made further searches for Prime Minister’s Questions, which was taking place that afternoon.
Masood was shot three times by a plain-clothes police officer as he headed towards Parliament’s Members’ Entrance.
Mr Patterson suggested that if he had been targeting the Prime Minister, he would not have been the only terrorist to do so, coming before similar foiled plots last year.