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‘Terrorist used his car as a weapon in Westminster’

‘Premeditated’: Cyclists injured after the car drove into them PICTURE: BBC NEWS

AN ALLEGED terrorist drove at cyclists and police outside the Houses of Parliament in a ‘premeditated and deliberate’ attack designed to cause maximum carnage, a court has heard.

Salih Khater, 30, steered his car at members of the public before swerving towards police officers and crashing into a security barrier on August 14 last year, it is claimed.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told the Old Bailey that Khater intended to ‘kill as many people as possible’.

Granted asylum: Salih Khater was ‘tortured’ in Sudan

Opening his trial, she said the attack was carried out on civilians and police officers in Parliament Square.

‘First, he drove at cyclists waiting at traffic lights. Then he drove at police officers who were guarding the side entrance to the Palace of Westminster. He caused widespread fear and chaos but miraculously, and contrary to his intentions, he did not kill anyone that day.

‘Those who were faced with a vehicle being driven at them at high velocity somehow, and largely by their quick responses, managed to avoid death or very serious injury.’

Arrest: Khater is led away by police PICTURE: SKY

Ms Morgan said Khater’s reason for the attack was unclear. But she suggested by targeting an ‘iconic’ site he had a ‘terrorist motive’.

Jurors were shown CCTV of Khater’s silver Ford Fiesta driving at cyclists before crashing into barriers as two police officers dived out of the way.

Pedestrian Paul Brown was crossing the road when Khater’s car ‘came out of nowhere’ and hit him, causing bruising and grazes, the court heard. Cyclists Krystof Tokarski and Anya Breen were knocked down at traffic lights.

Sudan-born Khater, of Birmingham, was granted asylum in Britain in 2010, after claiming he had been tortured. He denies two counts of attempted murder and two alternative charges of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm. The trial continues.