Multiple media outlets rushed to identify Abu Izzadeen as the man behind the deadly attack in London on Wednesday only to find out that the alleged terror suspect is currently in jail, according to both a BBC News reporter and an ABC News producer.
News outlets, including the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News and The Independent both named Abu Izzadeen, a radical Muslim cleric formerly known as Trevor Brooks, as the man responsible for the attacks near Parliament, but a BBC reporter tweeted that the man is still in jail. ABC News producer Rym Momatz also confirmed through Izzadeen’s solicitor that he is indeed currently in jail.
The allegedly inaccurate story was picked up by American new organizations including the New York Post.
Izadeen was sentenced in January 2016 to two years in prison for breaching the Terrorism Act act by leaving the UK illegally, according to the BBC.
Trevor Brooks aka Abu Izzadeen's solicitor confirms to me that he is still in jail and cld not have been the attacker today at #Westminster
— Rym Momtaz ريم ممتاز (@RymMomtaz) March 22, 2017
Confirmed from multiple sources – official and community – that Trevor Brooks NOT attacker. He's still in jail despite what others report.
— Dominic Casciani (@BBCDomC) March 22, 2017
Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannpooulos posted a video on his Facebook page of months-old footage of police shown to be allegedly protecting Izzadeen. The video refers to him as a “terrorist suspect.” The post has been shared thousands of times and Yiannpooulos did not immediately issue a correction.
Channel 4, however, did post an update after falsely identifying Izzadeen as the suspect in Wednesday’s attacks:
Statement from Channel 4 News pic.twitter.com/34QLcQasLI
— Hayley Barlow (@Hayley_Barlow) March 22, 2017
Four people are confirmed dead, according to ABC News, including an officer and a man believed to be the attacker following reports of a shooting outside of British Parliament. At least 20 people are injured and the attack has been designated an act of terrorism by London officials.
A police officer was also stabbed in the vicinity, according to the BBC. House of Commons Leader David Lidington said the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police,” per the BBC, which is also relaying reports of as many as five people having been “mowed down” by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, near the Parliament building.
Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”