Armed police have tackled a suspected terrorist ‘with a rucksack full of knives’ near Parliament Square, on Thursday – five weeks after the Westminster terror attack killed five people.
A bundle of gruesome-looking knives were seen on the floor next to the man, as the roads surrounding Whitehall were sealed off this afternoon.
Officers confirmed they have arrested the man, who is in his 20s, and he was taken away in a police van over half an hour after the incident unfolded.
This is the face of the suspected terrorist tackled to the floor in Whitehall, where knives were seen strewn across the floor
The man was tackled on a traffic island before being held against the wall of the Treasury. The bearded suspect – dressed all in black – appeared to have a bandage on his right hand
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘A man has been arrested in Whitehall this afternoon, at approximately 14:22, following a stop and search as part of an ongoing operation.
‘The man, aged in his late twenties, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. Knives have been recovered from him.
‘He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a south London police station.
‘Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat.’
A builder working on the road across from the scene said the incident was over very quickly.
He said he saw the police officers wrestling the suspect, who he described as black, to the ground. The man did not shout and was calm, the witness said.
Eyewitness Luke William said: ‘Armed police in Westminster holding a man with a backpack with what appears to be knives falling out on the floor. Stay safe.’
Journalist Helen Chandler-Wilde, 22, was near Westminster Abbey when the commotion unfolded just a few yards away.
She said: ‘There are loads of police, about 10 of them, as well as six police cars, and a forensic officer.
‘We ran down from just behind Westminster Abbey to see what was going on, we’re about 20 yards from the entrance to the Treasury. The traffic is still flowing, it’s just a small bit of the road which is closed.’
An employee at HMRC said the main entrance to their building at 100 Parliament Street has been closed.
The scene is yards from where Khalid Masood launched a terror attack in March which killed five, including Pc Keith Palmer.
The officer was stabbed to death as he carried out his duties on the cobbled forecourt of the Palace of Westminster. (mailonline.com)