Bomb fuelled by ‘Mother of Satan’
The crude bomb at Parsons Green was made from an explosive known as ‘‘Mother of Satan’’ and had been filled with nails.
Explosives experts said the device, which is being examined by Ministry of Defence scientists, was similar to the failed bombs in the July 21 attacks on the London transport network in 2005.
The four partially exploded devices recovered then were made with triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which was to be detonated by a booster charge.
The bomb at Parsons Green is thought to have had a main charge of TATP. Unlike the 2005 devices, comments, May said: ‘‘I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.’’
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said yesterday the city ‘‘will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism’’.
Khan said the city ‘‘utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life’’. However, he added that which were intended to be suicide bombs, it had a timer.
In 2005, commuters escaped largely unscathed because the bomb makers made basic mistakes which meant that the devices exploded only partially.
‘‘There are very few chemical compounds readily available to jihadists that can be used to make a high explosive, so the main charge will almost certainly be TATP,’’ said Chris Hunter, a former army bomb disposal officer.
‘‘This substance is known as the ‘Mother of Satan’. It is supersensitive just after being made and can go off very easily.’’ Londoners should remain ‘‘calm and vigilant’’.
Khan attended a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee with May.
London has been targeted by attackers several times this year, with vehicle attacks near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park.
Terrorism analyst Magnus Ranstorp, with the Swedish
Commuters said they heard a ‘‘whoosh’’ and saw a flash fireball, interpreted by experts as meaning that only the initiator or a fraction of the main charge had exploded. The bucket containing the mixture appeared to be intact and the carrier bag which it was in was barely damaged.
Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists have used TATP in the past, but Lewis Herrington, terrorism lecturer at Loughborough University, said the presence of the timer pointed to a bomber who was not intent on martyrdom. That raises the possibility of a plan to carry out further attacks. Defence University, said Londoners were very fortunate because the bomb appeared not to have fully detonated.
After studying photos of the device, he said ‘‘it seems that this was hastily put together. Probably not very well mixed together’’. Much of the device and its casing remained intact, which he said would make it easy for police and security services to determine what chemicals and methods were used.
‘‘They were really lucky with this one. It could have really become much worse.’’
German and French leaders say the attack has only strengthened their determination to increase international cooperation in fighting terrorism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in Berlin yesterday: ‘‘Our thoughts are of course with the wounded, our thoughts are with the British population.’’
Philippe said the London bomb and an attempt the same day by a knife-wielding assailant to attack a soldier at a Paris subway interchange ‘‘show how much we collectively, in France, Britain and also in Germany, face a major threat’’.
‘‘We must find answers at national level and all together . to give our fellow citizens the greatest possible security,’’ including intelligence cooperation, he said.
The New York Police Department has moved extra officers, bomb detection dogs and heavy weapons teams into the city’s transit system as a precaution following the London bombing. . .
Emergency services tend to an injured woman following the explosion on an Underground train at Parsons Green . Staff from a local Italian restaurant hand out free pizza and water to emergency services workers near the Parsons Green tube station in west London, where 30 people were injured when an explosive device went off.