The 26-year-old male suspect from Luton, 30 miles north of London, was armed with a four-foot sword and assaulted two police officers outside Buckingham Palace on Friday (August 25). He was heard repeatedly shouting ''Allahu Akbar'', or 'God is Greatest' in Arabic, said Dean Haydon, the head of Counter-Terrorism command at Scotland Yard.
The man, now being held by the counter-terrorism police, deliberately drove at a police van and stopped in front of it in an area close to Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth's London residence, said Haydon. Unarmed officers challenged the driver, the only person in the car who reached for the sword from the front-passenger foot-well.
Haydon said that three police officers sustained minor injuries during the confrontation, which was declared a "terrorist incident".