Was so called Islamic extremist Khalid Masood – the man responsible for the recent terror attack in Westminster – actually a militant motorist inspired by TV shows like Top Gear and The Grand Tour? “Nobody can seem to say when, or if, this guy was radicalised and it turns out that he wasn’t even called Masood – he was actually an Adrian! Since when have crazy jihadists been called Adrian?” asks forty eight year old Bill Watters, noted road safety campaigner and conspiracy theorist. “”But I know a lot of white van drivers called Adrian – and they are all irate over things like increases in road tax, the price of diesel and the congestion charge!” Watters has theorised that Masood was pert of an underground organisation of drivers dedicated to fighting what they see as increasing restrictions upon their passion. “When a supposed Islamic extremists chooses a car as his weapon of choice and uses it to mow down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, isn’t the most logical conclusion is that he is a radicalised motorist, attempting to take out his grievances on those he sees as the ‘enemy’ – pedestrians and politicians?” says Watters. “Let’s not forget that not only did he mount the pavement and mow down pedestrians, but the attacker was simultaneously using an app on his phone and exceeding the speed limit by driving a seventy miles an hour in a built up area – all the hallmarks of the modern irate driver. He was clearly trying to demonstrate that doing these things weren’t dangerous, as he was carrying out a successful terror attack whilst doing them. Oh, and let’s not forget that he eventually rammed a safety barrier.”

For Watters – who first became interested in road safety issues after suffering a family tragedy when his pet cat was struck by a speeding driver, resulting in the loss of a leg and part of its tail – the role of TV motoring programmes in the attacker’s decision to weaponise his vehicle is obvious. “He and his ilk are the sort of irresponsible drivers who look up to the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond as role models, spreading the message that excessive speed and erratic driving are not dangerous, that fast cars aren’t polluting and that it is all a conspiracy by the health and safety kill joys out to ruin their fun!” he opines. “They promote the idea that safety restrictions, such as speed limits and their enforcement by speed cameras, are a heinous attack on the civil liberties of drivers.” According to Watters, there is an international underground organisation of militant motorists who believe that the ability to drive at dangerously high speeds without regard for other road users is an expression of their freedom. “How else can we explain the global popularity of such programmes as The Grand Tour?” he muses. “More to the point, how else do we explain the recent spate of so called terror attacks involving the use of vehicles as weapons? For decades the bomb, the gun and the suicide attack were the favoured tools of the terrorist, yet we’re expected to believe that they have suddenly decided to favour the motor vehicle instead – utterly ludicrous! Do the authorities really think that we are stupid?”

Watters believes that all of the recent terror attacks using vehicles as weapons, including the truck atrocity in Nice and the similar attack on a Christmas market in Germany, are the work of this shadowy network of irate drivers. “Obviously, there’s been a huge cover up by the authorities,” he says. “The fact is that the governments of the world are so terrified of the motor industry lobby that they’d rather characterise these attacks as the work of Islamic terrorists than implicate ordinary motorists in their commission.” The cover up is especially important to the UK government as, with the prospect of Brexit looming, they are desperate to keep the large international car manufacturers with plants in Britain on side. “They can’t risk the potential loss of jobs in places like the North East,” the veteran road safety campaigner points out. “Some of them have already received backhanders from the Tory government to stay here post-Brexit, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the government doesn’t want them to be seen as encouraging terrorism.”

Watters believes that TV motoring shows which fetishise fast cars and dangerous driving aren’t just creating a culture which nurtures the militant motorist movement, but that they are also directly encouraging acts of motoring terrorism. “Just look at that episode of The Grand Tour where they are tooling around in tanks? What sort of message is that sending?” he demands. “Clarkson and his cohorts have form for it – every show they do seems to involve automotive destruction and explosions. Then there was that episode where they had that competition to see who could customise a car in such a way that they could kill and maim the most pedestrians – if that isn’t a guide for would be motoring terrorists, I don’t know what is!”

Both Amazon, producers of The Grand Tour and the BBC, which produced Clarkson’s former show, Top Gear, have denied that any such competition was featured in either show, describing Watter’s allegations as ‘ludicrous’ and ‘offensive’. Watters, nonetheless, is adamant that TV motoring shows are directly promoting terrorism. “It isn’t just Clarkson – I know damn well that I saw an episode of the new Top Gear where Matt Le Blanc showed how to use a delivery van as a battering ram to break through security gates,” he insists. “And don’t get me started on bloody Wheeler Dealers and that episode where Edd China turns that old Vauxhall Astra Mike Brewer bought for five hundred quid into a car bomb!” Once again, the producers of the programmes in question have denied the existence of any episodes resembling those described by Watters. The government has also condemned his claims, describing them as ‘ridiculous’ and insult to the families of those who tragically lost their lives in the Westminster attack. “Not only that,” a Downing Street spokesperson told The Sleaze, “but he is factually incorrect: there are Jihadis called Adrian. One of my neighbours, Adrian Mustapha, was recently arrested for carrying an AK 47 in his black cab. He claimed it was for shooting out the tyres of Uber drivers trying to steal his customers, but the police begged to differ. He’s in Belmarxh on terrorism charges right now.”