A former homeland security advisor to President George Bush claimed the UK’s forces were superior to that of their European counterparts.
Counter-terror officers immediately responded making a series of arrests during raids after five people were killed, including an unarmed police officer and the suspect, during a shocking attack on Britain’s capital.
The Met Police confirmed eight people were arrested across Birmingham and London as part of the anti-terror operation in the wake of the attack.
They later revealed the identity of the attacker as Khalid Masood, who was shot dead after his twisted rampage outside the Houses of Parliament.
British anti-terror forces have been hailed as Europe's best after the London terror attack
The pros in Europe are the British – they do this better than anybody
The 52-year-old – a violent, bodybuilding, career criminal born in the UK – had recently been living in the Birmingham area but was born in Kent.
Praising the swift work of the counter-terror officers, Frances Townsend, who advised President Bush on homeland security and counter-terrorism between 2003-08, said British units were “pros”.
Speaking on CBS’ This Morning, she said: “There is no-one the US intelligence community shares more transparently with than our British counterparts.
“I feel confident that American intelligence agencies are acting today as if it happened here [US].
“The greater sort of challenge is within Europe and the sharing of information. We see post-Brussels and Paris greater efforts to be made to have European intelligence agencies do a better job of sharing.
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“I will tell you; the pros in Europe are the British – they do this better than anybody.”
Announcing the identity of the attacker, Scotland Yard claimed “there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack”.
A statement read: “The man police believe to be responsible for the terrorist attack in Westminster yesterday, Wednesday March 22, has now been formally identified as Khalid Masood.
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
“Masood aged 52 (25.12.1964), was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands. Masood was also known by a number of aliases.
“Masood was not subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.
“However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.
“His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.”