Friday 21 September 2018

One held over London train bombing; security tightened

LONDON, September 16, 2017

The British police said on Saturday that they had made a “significant arrest” of a suspect in the terrorist attack on a subway station in Parsons Green that injured at least 30 people and unleashed chaos in London’s subway system.

The suspect, identified only as an 18-year-old man, was arrested in the port area of Dover, in the southeastern county of Kent, reported The NY Times. The police said he would be transferred to a South London police station later.

“We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the top counterterrorism official at the Metropolitan Police in London, said in a statement.

Prime Minister Theresa May put Britain on the highest security level of "critical" late on Friday, meaning an attack may be imminent, and soldiers and armed police deployed to secure strategic sites and hunt down the perpetrators.

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, reported Reuters.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast on Friday in a statement that said “a detachment” of its militants had carried out the attack.

Britain raised its terror threat level to “critical,” the highest level, after the attack, meaning that another assault was “expected imminently.” Basu said on Saturday that the threat level would remain at critical and that the investigation was continuing.

British police raided a home near London on Saturday just hours after making their first arrest in the investigation into the bombing of an underground train a day earlier.

They said a major hunt was still underway to nab those linked to the bombing. The police in Kent warned residents in a statement on Twitter to expect more officers and “military personnel” on the streets.

Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed across strategic sites, the Metropolitan Police said.

Dover, about 75 miles from London, is one of the main ports on the English Channel for ferry services linking Britain with mainland Europe.

As part of the bombing investigation, armed officers on Saturday were searching a house in Sunbury, in the southwestern part of the capital and about five miles from Heathrow Airport in London, stated media reports.

The authorities had put up cordons in the area and evacuated nearby residents, it added.

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