Ter­ror cops have teen in cus­tody

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - RHIAN DEUTROM

PO­LICE have ar­rested an 18year-old in re­la­tion to Fri­day’s ter­ror at­tack on the London Un­der­ground.

The teen was de­tained at the port of Dover early yes­ter­day UK time and quizzed at a Dover po­lice sta­tion.

The UK’s se­nior na­tional co-or­di­na­tor for counter-ter­ror­ism, Deputy As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu, de­scribed the ar­rest as “sig­nif­i­cant”.

“Although we are pleased with the progress made, this in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues and the threat level re­mains at crit­i­cal,” he said.

“We are not, at this time, chang­ing our pro­tec­tive se­cu­rity mea­sures and the steps taken to free up ex­tra armed of­fi­cers re­main in place.”

Po­lice last night re­vealed 45 wit­nesses to the at­tack had come for­ward and they were work­ing through 77 videos and im­ages sent to of­fi­cers.

The ar­rest came as an Aus­tralian woman de­scribed the mo­ment a morn­ing com­mute into London turned into a nightmare when a pow­er­ful time-bomb par­tially det­o­nated on the Un­der­ground, in­jur­ing 29 peo­ple.

The blast sent what wit­nesses de­scribed as a fire­ball through the packed train dur­ing the morn­ing rush hour.

The de­vice had been put in a bucket and con­cealed in a shop­ping bag, which was packed with shrap­nel and fit­ted with a crude timer.

It failed to det­o­nate, mean­ing po­ten­tially hun­dreds of lives were spared. Po­lice think the bomb may have ac­ci­den­tally det­o­nated pre­ma­turely, with West­min­ster sta­tion the in­tended tar­get.

Lucy Stead­man, 24, from Bris­bane, and her part­ner, Fabian, 29, catch the train through Par­sons Green to work each day.

The cou­ple had been chat­ting about their plans for Fri­day evening and what they would get up to on the week­end when their train pulled into Par­sons Green.

“We were stand­ing close to the doors of the tube and then I heard some hor­ri­ble scream­ing and saw peo­ple sprint­ing down the plat­form to­wards the exit,” she said.

“The sta­tion only has one stair­case out, so peo­ple were rush­ing for that. I pan­icked and ran for that, too. Fabian was just be­hind me but we got sep­a­rated.”

Ms Stead­man searched for her part­ner, but the stam­pede of com­muters had pushed her fur­ther away from him.

“At that point, I didn’t know what had hap­pened yet and I thought it might be some­one with a gun or a knife, so I wasn’t sure if the threat was still there or not,” she said.

“I just had to fo­cus on stay­ing up­right be­cause I could see peo­ple in front of me fall­ing and get­ting tram­pled on.”

Af­ter the at­tack, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump seemed to ac­cuse the po­lice of er­rors, tweet­ing: “These are sick and de­mented peo­ple who were in the sights of Scot­land Yard”.

Counter-ter­ror­ism sources de­nied they had been aware of the sus­pect.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Mark Row­ley said it was “very rou­tine” for IS to claim the at­tack “whether or not they’ve had any pre­vi­ous en­gage­ment with the in­di­vid­u­als in­volved”.

Help­ing hand: A woman in­jured in the at­tack is of­fered com­fort out­side Par­sons Green tube sta­tion. Pic­ture: Reuters Inset: Bris­bane woman Lucy Stead­man.

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