Teenage refugee bombing suspect
A TEENAGER believed to be a refugee from the Middle East is the key suspect behind the London Underground train bomb that injured 30 people.
British police were yesterday searching the home of a pensioner couple who foster refugees from countries including Syria and Iraq after arresting an 18-year-old man.
His identity has not been released.
Counter-terrorism officers and special forces troops swooped on the house in Sunbury-on-Thames, in Surrey, six hours after arresting the young man at the Port of Dover.
The suspect was being questioned in London as forensic officers continued to search the terrace house owned by Ronald and Penelope Jones, who have received honours from the Queen for fostering 268 children.
Across London, armed officers patrolled the streets, and security was beefed up at major events, including Premier League soccer matches, after intelligence chiefs warned another attack might be imminent.
Before the police raid on the house, neighbours in the suburban street southwest of London were ordered out of their homes by balaclava-clad armed officers.
A local woman described the moment she saw heavily armed police in her street.
“I literally came out of my house and I saw three men,” she said.
“As I came out, I saw the back of one and as he turned around I saw his gun and I immediately put my hands up.”
Mr Jones, 88, and Mrs Jones, 71, were described by neighbours as “big-hearted” people who had taken in many vulnerable children.
They were mentioned in a recent article about fostering, in which they said they had taken eight children from war zones, including Syria, Iraq and Eritrea. Neighbour Serena Barber said the pair now fostered two children and one of them had been arrested two weeks ago.
“All I know is that they have two boys at the moment – both are foreign,” she said.
“One is very quiet and polite, the other who is 18 is awful. I know about two weeks ago, he was arrested by police at Parsons Green – for what I don’t know – and returned back to Penny and Ron.”
Officers apprehended the teenager at 7.50am on Saturday local time in Dover, where boats regularly leave for Calais and Dunkirk, in France.
The port area was evacuated as police conducted further sweeps after the arrest.
Tourist Daniel Vaselicu said the man appeared “normal, not fighting” as he spoke with police officers.
The developments yesterday came as London hospitals updated the number of people injured in the crude bomb attack to 30.
Most had suffered burns after the homemade bomb detonated on a packed Tube train as it pulled in to Parsons Green station on Friday morning.