BEIRUT — The Islamic State terror group said through its Aamaq news agency on Thursday that the person who carried out the deadly “attack in front of the British parliament in London was a soldier of the Islamic State.”
It added that the person “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition.”
The attacker has since been identified as Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton with criminal convictions.
IS has called on its supporters to carry out attacks against citizens of the U.S.-led coalition that has been targeting the group since 2014.
IS, who have been responsible for numerous bloody attacks around the globe, have also previously claimed certain attacks in a show of opportunism. Britain’s government has not identified the suspect.
The world’s largest body of Islamic nations and the Saudi king have condemned the attack in London, saying they reject such acts of terrorism.
Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, who heads the Saudi-headquartered organization, said acts of terrorism contradict the fundamentals of Islam.
The OIC is comprised of 57 Muslim-majority countries from around the world.
Meanwhile the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, described the attack as “a terrible crime that is incompatible with all values and principles of humanity.”
The Saudi Press Agency reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sent a cable of condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May in which he says the kingdom “strongly condemns this terrorist act.” London is a popular destination for thousands of Saudi and Arab Gulf tourists.