Man held over UK tube bomb

17 September 2017 01:31

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Man held over UK tube bomb

Armed police search foster home, run by MBE foster couple, as they look for answers to the rush-hour train attack, writes Kate Holton

UK prime minister Theresa May put Britain on the highest security level of "critical" late last Friday, meaning further attacks may be imminent. She also relaunched Operation Temperer which deployed soldiers and armed police to secure strategic sites and hunt down the perpetrators.

In the fifth major terrorism attack in Britain this year, the home-made bomb shot flames through a packed commuter train during the Friday morning rush hour in west London, but apparently failed to detonate fully. The militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility.

"We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning," said Neil Basu, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing. "This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers," he said yesterday, suggesting there could be more arrests and house raids to come.

"For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage."

The Tube bomb was attached to a timer, unlike recent blasts which have typically been suicide bombs. Pictures showed a slightly charred white plastic bucket with wires coming out of the top in a supermarket shopping bag on the floor of a train carriage. The Parsons Green station where the attack took place had reopened by yesterday morning.

Following the Dover arrest, police raided the home of two respected foster carers, in their hunt for the bomb factory used by the Parsons Green bomber.

Police officers were later seen searching bins close to Dover Priory railway station a few minutes' walk from the port. The arrest location, close to the busiest ferry hub in Europe, raises the prospect the suspect could have been attempting to leave the country. Five hours later armed police arrived at an address in Sunbury on Thames, south- west London, and began evacuating residents from surrounding homes.

The elderly owners of the property, Penelope and Ronald Jones, are a foster couple who have taken in hundreds of young people since 1970, including refugees from several countries. In 2009, Mr and Mrs Jones were appointed MBEs for services to children and families. The honour was presented to them by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Mrs Jones, 71, and her husband, 88, said at the time: "We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need." Their home is 11 miles from Parsons Green and on the overground rail line to Wimbledon, which is on the District Line. The couple were unavailable for comment.

A neighbour who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Three months ago they fostered a lad from Somalia. My mate said he's 16, but I'd say he was older than 18 that they are reporting. He's been nothing but problems for them - he kept running away and stuff."

Yesterday in London, armed police patrolled the streets near government departments in Westminster and guarded Premier League soccer grounds hosting matches.

In the entertainment district on the south bank of the Thames, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Britain's top police officer, sought to reassure the public as she joined colleagues patrolling the area.

"Yesterday we saw a cowardly and indiscriminate attack which could have resulted in many lives being lost," she said. "London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one."

Source: independent.ie

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