LONDON AT­TACK: PO­LICE AR­REST TEENAGER AT DOVER PORT

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - KATE HOLTON

Bri­tish po­lice ar­rested an 18-year-old man in the south­ern port of Dover on Satur­day in a “sig­nif­i­cant” devel­op­ment in the hunt for the people be­hind a London com­muter train bomb­ing that in­jured 30 people a day ear­lier. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May put Bri­tain on the high­est se­cu­rity level of “crit­i­cal” late on Fri­day, mean­ing an at­tack may be im­mi­nent, and sol­diers and armed po­lice de­ployed to se­cure strate­gic sites and hunt down the per­pe­tra­tors. The home-made bomb shot flames through a packed com­muter train dur­ing the Fri­day morn­ing rush hour in west London but ap­par­ently failed to det­o­nate fully. "We have made a sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion this morn­ing," said Neil Basu, Se­nior Na­tional Co-or­di­na­tor for Counter Ter­ror­ism Polic­ing.

Bri­tish po­lice ar­rested an 18year-old man in the south­ern port of Dover on Satur­day in a “sig­nif­i­cant” devel­op­ment in the hunt for the people be­hind a London com­muter train bomb­ing that in­jured 30 people a day ear­lier.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May put Bri­tain on the high­est se­cu­rity level of “crit­i­cal” late on Fri­day, mean­ing an at­tack may be im­mi­nent, and sol­diers and armed po­lice de­ployed to se­cure strate­gic sites and hunt down the per­pe­tra­tors.

The home-made bomb shot flames through a packed com­muter train dur­ing the Fri­day morn­ing rush hour in west London but ap­par­ently failed to det­o­nate fully.

“We have made a sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion this morn­ing,” said Neil Basu, Se­nior Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Counter Ter­ror­ism Polic­ing.

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

The ar­rest was made in the port area of Dover, where pas­sen­ger fer­ries sail to France.

The blast on the London tube train at the Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion was the fifth ma­jor ter­ror­ism at­tack in Bri­tain this year and was claimed by Is­lamic State. Sol­diers de­ployed Bri­tain de­ployed hun­dreds of sol­diers at strate­gic sites such as nu­clear power plants and min­istry of de­fence sites on Satur­day to free up armed po­lice to help in the hunt for those be­hind the bomb­ing.

The last time Bri­tain was put on “crit­i­cal” alert was after a man killed 22 people at an Ari­ana Grande con­cert in Manch­ester in May. Prior to that it had not been trig­gered since 2007.

“For this pe­riod, mil­i­tary per­son­nel will re­place po­lice of­fi­cers on guard du­ties at cer­tain pro­tected sites,” May said in a tele­vised state­ment.

“The pub­lic will see more armed po­lice on the trans­port net­work and on our streets pro­vid­ing ex­tra pro­tec­tion. This is a pro­por­tion­ate and sen­si­ble step which will pro­vide ex­tra re­as­sur­ance and pro­tec­tion while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses.” The bomb struck as pas­sen­gers were trav­el­ling to the centre of the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. Some suf­fered burns and oth­ers were in­jured in a stam­pede to es­cape from the sta­tion, one of the above­ground stops on the un­der­ground net­work. Health of­fi­cials said none was thought to be in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

Pic­tures taken at the scene showed a slightly charred white plas­tic bucket with wires com­ing out of the top in a su­per­mar­ket shop­ping bag on the floor of a train car­riage.

“I was on the sec­ond car­riage from the back. I just heard a kind of ‘whoosh’. I looked up and saw the whole car­riage en­gulfed in flames mak­ing its way to­wards me,” Ola Fayank­innu, who was on the train, told Reuters.

“There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.”

The Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group have claimed other at­tacks in Bri­tain this year, in­clud­ing two in London and the pop con­cert in Manch­ester.

It was not im­me­di­ately pos­si­ble to ver­ify the claim about Par­sons Green, for which Is­lamic State’s news agency Amaq of­fered no ev­i­dence.

West­ern in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials have ques­tioned sim­i­lar claims in the past, say­ing that while Is­lamic State’s ji­hadist ide­ol­ogy may have in­spired some at­tack­ers, there is scant ev­i­dence that it has or­ches­trated at­tacks.

PHOTO: REUTERS

An in­jured woman is led away after a blast at Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in London

REUTERS

Po­lice of­fi­cers pa­trol the road near Par­sons Green tube sta­tion in London, United King­dom, after the at­tack on a com­muter train

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