Teenage refugee bomb­ing sus­pect

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - STEVEN SCOTT and RHIAN DEUTROM in Lon­don

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.

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