London attacker’s encrypted WhatsApp message cannot be accessed

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: People write messages of support on the ground during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood, 52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON — A top British official says London attacker Khalid Masood sent a WhatsApp message that cannot be accessed because it was encrypted by the popular messaging service.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd used Sunday appearances on BBC and Sky News to urge WhatsApp and other encrypted services to make their platforms accessible to intelligence services and police trying to carrying out lawful eavesdropping.

She said, “We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp — and there are plenty of others like that — don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.”

Rudd did not provide any details about Masood’s use of WhatsApp. British press reports suggest Masood used the messaging service just minutes before starting a rampage Wednesday that left three pedestrians and one police officer dead and dozens more wounded.

Authorities say Masood drove a rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before smashing it into Parliament’s gates and rushing onto the grounds, where he stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead.