A man arrested in Whitehall yesterday on suspicion of terror offences has been named as 27-year-old Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali.
He was arrested ‘carrying a rucksack of knives’ – close to No.10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament – after police were tipped off by his family, it was claimed last night.
Detectives are continuing to question him today – as searches are carried out at two undisclosed addresses in London.
The man was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism just yards from the scene of last month’s Westminster attack.
Eye-witnesses reported seeing a struggle between Ali and police after armed officers descended on Whitehall shortly before 2.30pm.
A Western security source told Reuters that the man, from London, was known to counter-terrorism officers and MI5 before his arrest.
Three knives and a rucksack were seen on the ground following the arrest.
Parliament staff were told by security sources that the man’s family tipped off police, Sky News’ Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig reported last night.
Ali was seen smirking as he was led away by armed police with a bandage wrapped around his hand.
He is being held at a south London police station.
The scene of the arrest is just yards from last month’s terror attack where Khalid Masood mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death.