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Security experts have uncovered the last message sent by Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood.
The message was sent via WhatsApp at 2.37pm on 22 March, just minutes before he began the attack. In it Masood reportedly wrote that he was 'waging jihad' in revenge against Western military action in Muslim countries in the Middle East, the Independent reports.
52-year-old Masood killed five people and injured 50 more when he ploughed his car into innocent bystanders on Westminster Bridge, and stabbed PC Keith Palmer.
Masood was eventually shot dead, bringing an end to the rampage. After his death, police revealed he was previously known to security services and had been investigated over extremism in the past. He had a history of violent crimes going back 20 years, including assault, GBH and possession of offensive weapons.
The unnamed recipient of the WhatsApp message has been 'extensively' interviewed by police but was later released after MI5 and cops concluded that they were not part of the plot, nor had any knowledge of what was going to happen that day. Eleven others were brought in for questions following the attack, but have all since been freed and cleared.
According to reports in the Daily Mail, it was known Masood had been active on WhatsApp two minutes before the attack, but due to the end-to-end encryption service on the app, authorities had struggled to get in. However, spies managed to get in to see his messages using 'human and technical intelligence'.
For security reasons, no further information on how the messages were uncovered has been revealed, however it was reported the technology is now available for future use.
Finding out Masood's last communications was an important part of the investigation from the start.
Scotland Yard's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "If you heard from him on 22 March, please come forward now. The information you have may prove important to establishing his state of mind."
Home Secretary Amber Rudd complained of the encryption used
at the time of the killings, saying: "It's
completely unacceptable. There should be no place for terrorists to hide. We
need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of
others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate
with each other."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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