Armed police raid address in Sunbury as home secretary Amber Rudd hails arrest at port of Dover as very significant
Police hunting the London tubing bomber have arrested an 18 -year-old man in Dover and raided an address in Surrey as investigators raced to thwart a second attack.
Police and the home secretary, Amber Rudd, hailed the arrest under section 41 of the Terrorism Act as very significant. Researchers believe the suspect may have been in the port area of Dover to try to board a ferry to leave Britain.
There was confidence among counter-terrorism officers that detecting and imprisoning the suspect at 7.50 am on Saturday represented a major breakthrough in the investigation.
It led to the decision to raid an address in Sunbury at 1.40 pm. Residents were evacuated as armed police and their colleagues searched a home.
The UK remained at its highest nation of terrorism alerting with researchers still unable to rule out more than person or persons to get involved in the attack or its preparation. The alert level was at critical on Saturday, entailing another assault may be imminent.
The threat level was being reviewed hour by hour as the investigation unfolded, sources said.
Police and security services believe the improvised explosive device( IED) that partly detonated at about 8.20 am on Friday was intended to kill.
It was detonated by a timer, but unlike in previous bombings, the timing device was not a mobile phone. The IED at Parsons Green contained fairy lights, which may have been used as an initiator that was meant to set off the main explosive charge.
Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said on Saturday:” We have made a significant apprehend in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation are ongoing and security threats level remains at critical.
” The public should remain vigilant as our faculty, policemen and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed policemen remain in place.
” This arrest will lead to more activity from our policemen. For strong investigative reasons we will not devote any more details on “the mens” we apprehended at this stage.
” We are still pursuing numerous lines of inquiry, and at great pace. Our priorities are … to determine and situate any other potential suspects .”
The motivation for the attack is believed by counter-terrorism examiners “mustve been” jihadi. Isis has claimed responsibility, but it has done so after other attacks that it had nothing to do with.
Saturday morning’s apprehend is significant, but investigators are keeping an open mind as to whether anyone else was involved in placing the bomb on the tube develop at Parsons Green, or helping to make it.
Investigations will continue and questions about whether there were other conspirators will be put to the Dover detainee.
Detectives will also scour reams of CCTV footage they have secured from before and after the attack in an effort to track the movements of those they suspect of involvement.
Any computer and phone owned by a suspect will be examined and the remnants of the IED may also provide forensic clues.
Parsons Green station reopened in the early hours of Saturday, shortly after the end of the terror threat was raised to its highest level.
It is the second time this year the country has been placed on critical alert. The other occasion was after the Manchester Arena bombing that killed 22 people in May.
Authorities have said the number of people hurt on Friday could have been much higher, with possibilities for fatalities and life-threatening injuries, had the bomb, which was disguised within a supermarket carrier bag, fully exploded.
It is not yet known whether the device, which was reportedly fitted with a timer, went off at its intended target.
The train, which was bound for Edgware Road, was pulling into the station in south-west London when the bomb detonated in the rear carriage, sending passengers fleeing for safety.
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