Khalid Masood, the now infamous London terrorist that killed 4 and injured over two dozen this week, now blames the racism of his childhood for making him into a terrorist.
As people who knew the British-born jihadi come forward with stories and pictures, Masood’s story is a confusing one.
Masood was actually born and named Adrian Elms in Dartford and went to Huntleys Secondary School in Kent, where classmates told the media he was big and athletic, decently popular. He participated in school activities and sports, and had no interest in religion back then. Classmates did say he was teased for being the only black student in the school, but did not expect him to do something like this.
The Daily Mail reports:
Masood, 52, was a career criminal with a string of convictions for violent crimes and weapons offences who was jailed twice and radicalised behind bars.
The Met released his picture as part of a public appeal for information as officers try to find out if the extremist was acting alone or helped by a wider terror network in Britain.
Today photographs of Masood as a schoolboy in affluent Tunbridge Wells also emerged where he was described as a ‘bright’ student and an outstanding sportsman who had no interest in religion and ‘liked to party’.
And it was revaled he blamed racism for slashing a cafe owner across the face in 2000 after he had spent the night drinking in his local pub.
Masood, 52, was born Adrian Elms in Dartford and went to Huntleys Secondary School in Kent where he was pictured as a teenager in 1980 in the playground, and before a 24-hour charity football match.
By then he had taken the name Adrian Ajao, his father Philip’s surname, and is one of at least five identities he used in his life on his pathway to terrorism.
His classmates said today they were shocked he became an ISIS-inspired terrorist who would kill four people and injure 50 on his murderous rampage outside Parliament on Wednesday.
Friend Kenton Till, who was also in the football team photo, told MailOnline he suffered racism for being the only black boy at school and ‘always tried to be popular’ but they fell out after he smoked drugs.
He said: ‘We were good friends for about three of four years he was very bright, very academic and he was good sports – good at everything really. He was very good at football.
‘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.
‘We used to socialise together up until we left school but he turned up to a party at my house with some friends after they had been smoking puff [cannabis] and my mum threw them all out. We sort of lost touch after that’.
Stuart Knight was in the same class as Masood, who was then Adrian Ajao, at Huntleys Secondary School for Boys in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, for five years before they left in 1981.
Mr Knight, 52, said: ‘He was a very nice guy, down-to-earth, liked by everyone around him.
‘There was nothing unassuming about him, he was a very good sportsman, his mother was a Christian, he was an all-round nice guy.’
Mr Knight, of Southborough Butchers in Tunbridge Wells, said Masood had been a keen footballer and added: ‘It was a sports-orientated school so we didn’t have a choice about doing sport but he was very good.’
He continued: ‘He was very well-liked, he had a lot of friends. He was one of only two black people out of 600 children; in those days there weren’t many black people in the area.
‘I don’t know if he had girlfriends but he did party very well, he liked to have a good time.’
On hearing the news of his former classmate’s actions in London, Mr Knight added: ‘I am really shocked. I spent five years in his class at school, for him it’s totally out of character.