The intelligence services are rummaging through Khalid Masood’s background
But after Khalid Masood, 52, carried out the worst terror attack on British soil since the July 7 bombings, authorities are asking why.
The intelligence services are rummaging through Masood’s background to work out what turned him into a cold blooded killer.
On Wednesday, he left four people dead – including PC Keith Palmer, 48, US tourist Kurt Cochran, from Utah, Aysha Frade, 43, who worked in administration at independent sixth-form school DLD College London, in Westminster, and Leslie Rhodes, a 75-year-old retired window cleaner from Clapham, south London.
The terrorist’s life was ended by an armed officer in parliament.
But his childhood could not have been more different from the chaotic scenes he left in his wake this week.
Masood grew up in middle England and was an English tutor who once worked in Saudi Arabia.
In the run up to the attack, he was sociable, polite and chatty at the Brighton hotel where he spent his last night and talked to other guests about his plans to visit London. Telling them that London “Isn’t what it used to be.”
Masood had lived briefly in the Capital but grew up in the affluent suburb of Rye, east Sussex and Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
Khalid Masood, 52, carried out the worst terror attack on British soil since the July 7 bombings
He was born Adrian Russell Elms on Christmas Day 1964. His single mother Janet Elms, was a 17-year-old office worker from Croydon, South London.
His birth father’s name was not listed on his birth certificate but his mum would later wed Phillip Ajao two years later and her son would later take his stepdad’s surname.
His mum now lives in a farm house in Carmarthenshire where she rears chickens and sheep and sews. She has two other sons Paul 50, and Alex, 40.
Friends who went to school with Masood at Huntley School for boys in Tunbridge Wells knew him as Adrian Ajao
They described him as “a good footballer” a "good singer" and “not religious” at that time.
Jane Harvey was Masood's long-term partner
One pal, Kenton Till said: “He wasn't religious at all. He was a big character, very friendly and a good laugh. He might have been the only black kid at the school. He experienced a little bit of racism but not a lot because he always tried to be popular.”
But his life took a turn for the worst when he left school, began working at Woolworths and started using cannabis.
He was once thrown out of a party for being drunk and drugged up.
At 19, he got in trouble with the law and was given his first court conviction, for criminal damage in 1983.
In the years that followed, he became increasingly involved in petty crime.
These are three of the four terror attack victims PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade and Kurt Cochran
Over the next two decades the bodybuilding fanatic was jailed twice and convicted of assaults, grievous bodily harm, possession of weapons and public order offences.
In his personal life, he was involved in a nine-year relationship with Jane Harvey, 48, a businesswoman and moved into her £700,000 home in the upscale village of Northiam near Rye on east Sussex.
The couple had two daughters but when his older daughter was eight years old, he was jailed for two years for slashing a man in his face.
In the aftermath Masood and Ms Harvey separated.
The whole country is mourning the loss of life caused by Khalid Masood
He said that he attacked his victim Piers Mott because he racially abused him in a local pub.
Mott was left needing 20 stitches in his cheek.
Masood said that there was a lot of racism in the village where he lived and that locals had a ”view of black people.”
He served two years in prison and friends claim that this was when he was radicalised.
Pal Mark Ashdown, 52, told The Sun: "When he first came out he told me he'd become a Muslim in prison and I thought he was joking.
"Then I saw he was quieter and much more serious.
"I gave him some cash-in-hand work for a few months as a labourer.
"He said he needed time to pray and read the Koran – something about finding inner peace."
He added: "There were still flashes of the old Ade, but they were few and far between.
"I heard he'd split from his partner and got even more deeply into religion. But nothing could have prepared me for hearing his name on the radio."
When he got out of prison he wanted to live an Islamic life, say pals in the village, and left his past life behind him.
A local said that he left his partner and kids and moved to a run down place in Eastbourne and never came back.
Masood was on the authorities radar for a time and was trailed by MI5 over his ties to extremism. But they dismissed him as not likely to mount an attack.
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