Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplains Offer Comfort in London Following Terror Attack
Michael Ireland - Assist News
Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are in London following this week’s terror attack that claimed the lives of five people, with many more injured. According to news reports, the bloodshed marks the deadliest act of terrorism in London in a dozen years.
“A traumatic incident like this causes a lack of trust and confidence to feel safe, regardless of where you are. It certainly disrupts your life and your sense of safety,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT). “Our experience in responding to terrorist attacks is that you have the grief of loss, but you have on top of the grief a layer of fear that can be, in some cases, paralyzing.”
A team of UK-based chaplains is in London to bring comfort and to support the emotional and spiritual needs of those directly and indirectly affected by the attack. Additional chaplains will arrive as needed.
Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, appealed for prayer on his Facebook page: “The British people are stronger than steel when things like this happen. Let’s pray, not only for the injured and those who have lost loved ones, but also that God will give Prime Minister Theresa May and those in authority wisdom as to how to deal with these terrorist attacks.”
The effort in London marks the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team’s sixth terror-related deployment in Europe since the deadly Paris attack in November 2015. In 2016 the group prayed with and comforted mourners in Brussels, Belgium; Nice, France; Munich, Germany; and Berlin, Germany.
Who was the attacker and where was he from?
The Westminster attacker, now named as Khalid Masood, was born as Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent, and police investigating the atrocity have said that confusion remains over his numerous aliases.
Scotland Yard’s Deputy Commissioner, Mark Rowley, identified the suspected IS (Islamic State) supporter only as Adrian Russell in a press conference but the Metropolitan Police later gave his surname as Ajao.
His birth name was originally reported as Adrian Elms, with his mother named as Janet Elms. The Daily Mail reported that she married a man named Phillip Ajao in West Sussex when Masood was a small child.
Khalid Masood, 52, known as a burly body-building enthusiast, was born in Dartford, Kent, on Christmas Day 1964. His mother Janet Ajao gave birth when she was just 17 years old and brought him up as Adrian Russell Ajao.
The married father-of-three spent years moving round the country — and in the prison system — with a host of different identities, including Adrian Elms.
He was most recently based in Birmingham, in the West Midlands, and had a history of violent knife crime, converting to Islam after years of criminality.
Robert Mendick, writing for The Telegraph, said when Masood was two years old, his mother, now 69, married Philip Ajao in 1966 and they brought him up in a £300,000 house in the seaside town of Rye, East Sussex, and later in upmarket Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
A childhood classmate of Masood described him as a popular pupil who “liked to party.” He was also a keen schoolboy footballer [soccer player].
Then, two decades later, they moved to Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where they lived with Masood’s half-brothers, Alex and Paul. Paul lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire, where he runs florist and fabric companies.
Mrs Ajao now lives with Philip in the Welsh-speaking village of Trelech in rural Carmarthenshire where she sells textile goods that she sews.
Over the past five or six years, Masood, his wife, aged 39, and their young children, have been on the move. He lived for more than two years until 2013 in Luton, where Anjem Choudary, an influential preacher now in jail for terror offences, had been a regular and often mob-handed visitor.
From Luton, Masood and his family moved to Forest Gate in east London, where neighbors said he frequented a mosque in nearby Leyton. At some stage Masood’s wife had moved to a new property on the site of the Olympic Village. A property there was raided by police on Wednesday night.
In the past year, Masood and his family moved to Birmingham and lived in a block of flats [appartments] at Quayside in Winson Green. It is not clear why they moved there, but that property was also raided by anti-terror police following the attack.
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