Armed police raided a property in Birmingham following the London terror attack
Armed police stormed an address in Birmingham overnight with neighbours saying attacker Masood lived in the property in Hagley Road in the Five Ways district.
A witness, who works close to the scene said: "The man from London lived here. They came and arrested three men."
Eight people were arrested by anti-terror officers in raids in London and Birmingham as the investigation into yesterday’s attack continues.
Three people were killed when the knife-wielding Masood ploughed a car through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before storming the Parliamentary estate. He was shot dead.
Enterprise car firm confirmed the Hyundai used in the attack was one of their vehicles from its Spring Hill branch in Birmingham.
Research Fellow Emma Webb says the Birmingham link to the London terror attack is unsurprising with experts long identifying the West Midlands city as a hotspot for radicalisation sparking comparisons with Brussels jihadi hotspot Molenbeek.
Birmingham has become the country’s second major terrorism hotspot
Miss Webb told Express.co.uk: “With Molenbeek, it is a comparison I would make myself due to the extend of connections there. With Molenbeek and the Paris attack.They had their support network they could return to and know it was a safe environment.
“It is possible that maybe Birmingham is not as bad, in terms of the security services foiling plots, but the idea that these areas contain dense relationships, family and friends and are particularly deprived and segregated it becomes difficult to intervene to stop this extremism.”
A report published earlier this month by the Henry Jackson Society think tank found nearly a fifth of the 269 people convicted of Islamist terrorism offence or killed as suicide bombers in the UK between 1998 and 2015 came from Birmingham.
Birmingham, which has a Muslim population of 234,000, produced 39 of those terrorists, with just five wards in Birmingham – Springfield, Sparkbrook, Hodge Hill, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green accounting for 26 terrorists.
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Hannah Stuart, Senior Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society and the report’s author, said: “Birmingham has become the country’s second major terrorism hotspot.”
Police have confirmed detectives searched three addresses in Birmingham linked to the Westminster attack investigation.
Miss Webb said: “A number of us were unsurprised that there would be some kind of connection to Birmingham.
“There were arrests in Birmingham after the Paris and Brussels attacks.”
In December last year Zakaria Boufassil, from Birmingham, was convicted of funding international terrorism by supplying money to the man-in-the-hat from the CCTV of the Brussels airport attack.
ARMED police storm Birmingham addresses Thu, March 23, 2017
Armed police have swarmed a road in Birmingham after unconfirmed reports claim the car used in the deadly Westminster attack was hired from an address on the road
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Police are carrying out a forensic search in a property at the Quayside, in the Winson Green area of Birmingham which is in connection with Westminster terror attacks
Boufassil, a Belgian national, gave Mohamed Abrini £3,000 in a Birmingham park just before the bombings in March last year.
His co-defendant Mohammed Ali Ahmed, also from Birmingham, pleaded guilty to the charge in November 2016.
Abrini was later arrested and accused of participating in terrorist acts and was linked to both the Brussels bombings and Paris attacks.
He later told investigators that during a visit to ISIS-stronghold Raqqa, in Syria, a man called Abdelhamid Abaaoud had asked him to collect the cash in the UK as a favour.
Miss Webb added: “Obviously Abrini would not be sent to Birmingham unless someone like Aboud knew to send him there and knew there were extremists there.
“It suggests Birmingham, with the Trojan Horse scandal- schools and institutions have been targeted before, it is possible that there is a long term effect of pre-existing networks.”
In recent years there has been concern of isolation between Muslims and other communities in the city with fears the separation could provide fertile ground for hate preachers.
Detectives searched three addresses in Birmingham linked to the Westminster attack investigation
Eight people were arrested by anti-terror officers in raids in London and Birmingham
Miss Webb said research suggested there was a correlation between deprivation and segregation and terror hotspots.
She said: “We found three quarters of offenders were from 50 per cent of the most deprived areas in England.”
The Research Fellow said evidence suggests extremism is bred in areas with close relationships with families and friends “playing a significant role in turning someone to terrorism”.
She added: “It is possible Birmingham has for a long time had these existing networks.”
In December 20-year-old Humza Ali, from Ward End, Birmingham, was convicted of terrorism offences after “undergoing training for battle” at a paint balling ground in Solihull with fellow ISIS sympathisers.
Moinal Abedin is widely acknowledged to be Britain’s first Al Qaeda inspired terrorist.
Experts have long identified Birmingham as a terror hotspot
Abedin from Birmingham turned his Sparkbrook home into a bomb-making factory and was jailed for 20 years in 2002.
Research Fellow Tom Wilson said: "We've seen that the West Midlands in particular has been a centre for Islamist terrorism in recent years, and has been the place of residence for one fifth of all UK terror offenders.
"Parts of Birmingham have proven fertile ground for those looking to recruit and radicalise for terrorism, with a high number of cases coming from the Hall Green and Hodge Hill areas – where three-quarters of all offenders from Birmingham lived.
"We also know from our research that terror offenders are more likely to live in areas that have higher than average levels of segregation and deprivation."
Almost 75 per cent of offences in Birmingham were committed by people from just two constituencies, Hall Green and Hodge Hill.
Mr Wilson said: "Those two constituencies alone make up 11% of the entire country's terror offenders in the period the report covers.
"Offenders are more likely to come from areas that we would describe as being more deprived than average, and also more segregated than average.
"For instance, 62 per cent of those convicted for terror offences lived in areas where 20 per cent or more of the population was Muslim.
"In other words, it's people coming from communities that are potentially isolated from wider British society."
He said the high density of individuals coming from these areas reflected the way terror networks recruited, something mirrored by 50% of offenders in the capital coming from the east of London.
London Terror Attack: Latest Pictures Thu, March 23, 2017
4 dead and 40 injured in Westminster terror attack
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Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster, London
Mr Wilson said: "It is the case often that although we talk about radicalisation online, often the way in which people become radicalised and recruited is on a face-to-face basis and is with people who they know, in friendship circles, family members, a preacher that they are familiar with.
"So networks do develop in particular areas, and it seems that in that particular part of east Birmingham that several different networks got going."
Last month West Midlands Police received a record 22,000 calls to its anti-terrorist hotline.
Scotland Yard says Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was "no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack".
He was known to police with a string of criminal convictions including possession of a knife.
Masood was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism some years ago but was a "peripheral figure".
The Met said he had not been convicted for any terrorism offences.