UK:London attacker visited Saudi Arabia three times, Saudi embassy confirms

The Saudi embassy in the United Kingdom has confirmed that London attack suspect Khalid Masood visited the kingdom three times, including two stints teaching English there.

Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported on Friday that the man who carried out a deadly car ramming and stabbing attack near the UK Houses of Parliament was a former English teacher working at the institution controlling Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation.

In response, the Saudi embassy issued a statement late on Friday confirming the Sun report.

“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia wishes to clarify that Khalid Masood was in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and April 2008 to April 2009, when he worked as an English teacher having first obtained a work visa,” the embassy said in a statement.

“In 2015, he obtained an Umra visa through an approved travel agent and was in the Kingdom from the 3rd-8th March,” it added.

“During his time in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Masood did not appear on the security services’ radar and does not have a criminal record in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the statement claimed.

At least four people were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack on Wednesday after the assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer near the British Parliament in London, an incident that has been declared a terrorist incident. The attacker was also shot dead by the police.

The Saudi embassy expressed its condolences to the British people, saying the kingdom “continues to stand with the United Kingdom during this difficult time and reaffirms its commitment to continue its work with the United Kingdom in any way to assist in the ongoing investigation.”

The embassy went on to say that 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,” it stated.

This is while Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism is widely preached and practiced, stands accused of sponsoring terrorist groups, such as Daesh, across the Middle East region.

Daesh and other Takfiri terror groups use the extremist ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and thus to kill them.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who allegedly carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States came from Saudi Arabia and available evidence suggests some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 to reinstate the country’s resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Saudi war has killed more than 11,400 Yemenis, and taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

In Syria, the Saudi regime has been sponsoring Takfiri terrorists fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011 in a conflict that has taken the lives of a half a million Syrians.

By Africafrique and agencies

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