London tube blast: Two held, UK still ‘critical’

The Metropolitan Police said that another person has been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Parsons Green station.

The 21-year-old man was arrested in the west London suburb of Hounslow just before midnight yesterday, the Metropolitan Police force said, in a statement.

He was detained under Britain’s Terrorism Act and taken to a south London Police Station.

Earlier, the British Police had arrested, an 18-year-old in connection with the crude bomb blast on a London Underground train at Parsons Green. Meanwhile, England continues to be under ‘critical’ threat level.

The man was arrested from the departure area of the Dover port under the Terrorism Act yesterday morning by the Kent Police, according to international media reports.

The Metropolitan Police described the arrest as “significant” but did not give further information on the his alleged role in the Tube blast. The police had earlier informed that investigators were hunting multiple suspects.

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Media quoted Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing, as saying that “this arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu

Basu also said that the investigation continued and the threat level remained at critical. Detectives have so far spoken to 45 witnesses are receiving photos and videos from the public, while scouring CCTV footage before and after the attack to track movements of those they suspect of involvement.

Any computer and phone owned by a suspect will be examined for clues, plus the remnants of the smouldering improvised explosive device left on the tube train will also provide forensic clues.

The London’s Metropolitan Police said, “The Kent Police had arrested the man in the port area of Dover on Saturday morning under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act under which a police officer can arrest someone whom they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist.”

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, had raised the threat level from severe to critical after the explosion on a Tube train in south-west London last week.

This is the fourth time that the assessment has been placed at the highest level in the past 11 years. Critical means an attack is expected imminently.


Passengers wait to for a train at Parson’s Green Underground station after it reopened following an explosion on a rush hour train yesterday morning, in London, Britain, September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls – RC13FF722940

The UK’s threat level was upgraded from “severe” to “critical” on May 23 following the Manchester bombing on May 22, in which a bomb exploded in the foyer of Manchester Arena moments after US pop star Ariana Grande left the stage. The attack left 22 dead and 59 injured.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Tube explosion in which 29 people were hurt after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasted inside a train at the Parsons Green Station.

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The explosion the occurred during morning rush hour left passengers fleeing in panic.

Several passengers in the vicinity of the bomb that exploded inside the carriage suffered facial burns from the blast.

Police said a device was placed inside a bag and left by the Tube carriage door towards the rear of the train, minutes before exploding. The explosion filled the carriage with smoke.

Passengers were seen “running and screaming” for help.

This was the fifth terrorist attack in the UK this year. But it was the only one in 2017 in which nobody died.

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