London Parliament Attacker Traveled to Saudi Arabia Three Times, was ‘Not on Security Services’ Radar’

The man who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament building was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Saudi embassy in the UK said in a statement released Friday.

Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009. The embassy said that he had a work visa. It said he returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent.

“During his time in Saudi Arabia, Masood did not appear on the security services’ radar and does not have a criminal record in the Kingdom. The attack in London this week has again demonstrated the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism. At such a time, our ongoing security cooperation is most crucial to the defeat of terrorism and the saving of innocent lives,” the embassy stressed.

The Saudi Embassy in the United Kingdom stressed in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns Wednesday’s terrorist act in London, as it does all forms of terrorism.

Masood, who at 52 is older than many extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record dating to 1983 and had been convicted twice of violent attacks involving knives. Hundreds of British police have been working to determine his motives and possible accomplices, and investigators are also trying to determine who Masood associated with in Saudi Arabia and whether his time there set him on his future path.

Aya Batrawy in the Associated Press  comments that the answer is not simple.  “Some suggest it may have been the 52-year-old’s lengthy stints in prison in the UK that had the greatest impact on him. Investigators are also trying to determine who Masood associated with in Saudi Arabia and whether his time there set him on his future path.”