National Security

London’s Westminster Terrorist Received Government Welfare Before Engaging In His Attack


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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Khalid Masood, the radical ISIS terrorist responsible for London’s Westminster terror attack, did not have a job and was receiving government benefits before engaging in his attack.

Masood, 52, was unemployed and living in Birmingham before he killed four people and injured approximately 40 others in Wednesday’s attack. He was also reportedly receiving government benefits, according to The Telegraph.

Born Adrian Ajao, Masood had a violent criminal history, including several knife attacks. He had not previously been convicted for terrorism-related activities, but he was investigated by MI5, the U.K.’s domestic intelligence service, for his part in a terrorist bombing plot in 2010.

Known as a partier in his youth, Masood enjoyed playing soccer while in school. He was the father of four children, two daughters from a relationship in the 1990s, and a daughter and a son with his most recent partner. Masood is also believed to have been married to a Muslim woman at some point in 2004.

Masood’s employment history is spotty, though he is known to have taught English to foreigners. He spent two stints living in Saudi Arabia, the first of which occurred in 2005. Masood claimed to have a degree in economics, according to his resume, as well as a career in sales at a British chemical company.

Terrorists receiving government welfare is a common theme discovered in many post-terror attack investigations.

Anis Amri, the terrorist who killed 12 and injured 48 at a Christmas market in Berlin in December, was under investigation for committing welfare fraud under several different identities before carrying out his attack. Several of the plotters of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, including Paris mastermind Salah Abdeslam, are also known to have collected government welfare. The Danish government reported last year that 36 ISIS members had received welfare benefits prior to traveling to Iraq and Syria.

In some cases, these radicals use welfare schemes to fund their terrorist activities. The Paris and Brussels attackers collected a total of $56,000 in welfare, but spent only $37,000 to carry out the attacks.

Masood is known to have lived under various pseudonyms, including Adrian Elms, though it is unclear if he engaged in welfare fraud.

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