(Repeats story from Friday)
* Islamic State has published no details of London attack
* Group's daily broadcast makes no mention of killings
* Online presence falls as it loses ground in Syria and Iraq
By Dominic Evans and Omar Fahmy
CAIRO, March 27 The "Islamic State soldier" who
killed four people in an attack on the British parliament may
have been inspired by calls to arms against the West but the
militant group has given no evidence yet that he acted on
British-born Muslim convert Khalid Masood mowed down
pedestrians in his car and stabbed a policeman to death in a
high-profile killing which echoed other deadly attacks in Europe
claimed by the ultra-hardline Islamists.
Almost 24 hours after the killings the group issued a brief
statement calling Masood one of its soldiers. But it offered no
details to suggest that Islamic State's leadership - losing
ground to enemies in Syria and Iraq - knew of his plans in
That in itself does not rule out coordination between Masood
and militants in the shrinking, self-styled caliphate. Islamic
State frequently delays releasing video footage or other
material showing the planning and implementation of operations.
But the nature of Wednesday's killings, carried out by a
single assailant armed only with a hire car and a knife, matched
a pattern of recent attacks which require no training, military
expertise or outside guidance.
Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani called on
sympathisers across the world to carry out exactly those kind of
attacks in an appeal issued when the group was at the peak of
its power in late 2014.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European ...
smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or
run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place,
or choke him, or poison him," said Adnani, who was killed in a
U.S. air strike in Syria last August.
ISLAMIC STATE "SIGNATURE"
British counter-terrorism police say they are still trying
to establish whether Masood, a criminal with militant links,
acted alone, with support or under instruction of others.
He had shown up on the periphery of previous terrorism
investigations that brought him to the attention of Britain's
MI5 spy agency, but the 52-year-old was not under investigation
at the time of the attack.
Khaled Okasha, an Egyptian security analyst and former
police officer, said Masood appeared to be the latest in a
series of attackers he described as "sympathetic and loyal from
afar" rather than central figures in Islamic State.
Those assailants are inspired by Islamic State's online
campaigns, Okasha said, and often leave behind the Islamic State
materials from which they drew their inspiration.
"So the operation has an Islamic State signature on it, and
straight after the operation ... the Daesh (Islamic State)
leadership in Syria put out a statement claiming responsibility"
even though they may have had no advance knowledge, he said.
A French judicial source said last month that an Egyptian
man who attacked soldiers with machetes at the Louvre museum in
Paris told police he identified with the beliefs of Islamic
State but had not received instructions from - or sworn
allegiance to - the group.
That type of "lone wolf" attack contrasts with the November
2015 suicide assaults on Paris and bombings at Brussels airport
and the metro four months later - waves of coordinated killings
carried out by Syrian-trained militant cells.
Rita Katz, founder of the intelligence firm SITE which
monitors Islamist militants, said there was no evidence yet that
Masood had been in direct contact with Islamic State.
Shortly after the attack, Katz tweeted that some Islamic
State supporters were celebrating. "However, unlike #Paris &
#Brussels, no organised media campaign from #ISIS yet which may
suggest no coordination w ISIS , if linked at all".
That may in part reflect the reduced activities of Islamic
State and its sympathisers on social media - a decline which
coincides with its territorial losses in Iraq and Syria.
The group's presence on Telegram, a social media network
that had become its main platform for announcements and
speeches, has tapered off recently.
The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition estimates that its
activity on Twitter has fallen by 45 percent since 2014, with
360,000 of the group's Twitter accounts suspended so far and new
ones usually shut down within two days.
But even on the group's own media there has been little
fanfare for an attack which struck at the heart of one of its
main international enemies.
Friday's daily news broadcast on Islamic State's Albayan
Radio, which carried reports of fighting in Mosul, Aleppo and
the Egyptian Sinai peninsula, made no mention of the London
attack or the group's claim of responsibility.
(Editing by Giles Elgood)