WEB GIANTS WITH BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS
It takes minutes on Google to find plans to build this bomb which brought terror to the Tube. Now the PM is to confront bosses of the . . .
Theresa May will order internet giants to clamp down on extremism following yesterday’s Tube terror attack.
she will take on Google, Facebook and Microsoft after hundreds of commuters and schoolchildren narrowly avoided death when a bomb failed fully to detonate on a rush-hour train.
the attacker, who is on the run, used a ‘fairy light’ bomb that can be made from instructions still available online last night.
the Prime Minister will host a summit with French president Emmanuel Macron next week and is expected to warn technology giants they need to do more to tackle extremists.
last night she raised the terror alert status to its highest level ‘critical’, which means an attack is expected imminently. troops will be deployed at key sites to free up more armed police to patrol thoroughfares and transport hubs.
the suspect for the attack at Parsons Green station in west london has not been named. But he is said to be known to the security services, who fear he will strike again and may be part of a jihadi cell.
it is understood investigators found fingerprints
on the device and have a CCTV image of the suspect. As Scotland Yard and MI5 deployed hundreds of investigators to hunt for the attacker:
Mrs May rebuked Donald Trump for saying the bomber was ‘in the sights’ of British police;
Commuters told of pandemonium when a ball of flame engulfed their carriage;
Twenty-nine people were taken to hospital with minor injuries;
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
The bomber fled shortly after dumping the suspected nail device on a District Line train heading to central London.
It was hidden in a Lidl bag inside a large plastic food or builder’s tub.
At around 8.20am it partially ignited, sending a fireball through the carriage, causing flash wounds. The device fizzled out however before the main charge could go off. Passengers covered in blood and with scorched hands, legs, faces and hair, fled in panic, triggering a stampede.
The bomber is believed to have been captured on CCTV making a telephone call. Experts at GCHQ have been working to match up calls made in the Parsons Green area at that time.
Security services also looked at Oyster cards and contact cards used to get in to stations on the line to work out who the bomber is.
The speed with which the terrorist was identified suggests he could already have been on a police database or watchlist.
Mr Trump suggested in a tweet that the bomber was already on the radar of Scotland Yard, a claim which was met with fury from police.
Forensics were last night examining fingerprints from components of the explosive device and the container.
Earlier this week, an image was circulated on encrypted messaging site Tele-
‘Publicity and recognition’
gram of a jihadi pointing toward London landmarks such as Big Ben.
Terror analysts suggested the real target yesterday could have been major stations including Paddington and Earl’s Court which the train was bound for on its way to Edgware Road.
There was a timer on the device and it is thought to have detonated earlier than planned. The train would have passed through busy stops including Earl’s Court, High Street Kensington, Notting Hill Gate and Paddington, some of which are underground, where a blast would have been more powerful.
Last night the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the Parsons Green attack.
Rita Katz, director of US intelligence group Site, said IS claimed the bombing was the work of a ‘detachment’ rather than simply a ‘soldier’, which she said implied it was a co-ordinated attack.
Will Geddes, of security consultants ICP, said: ‘My feeling is Parsons Green was not the intended destination for this device. Modern day terrorists look for maximum publicity and recognition worldwide. Unless you have been to Parsons Green, or live in London, you will not know it.
‘Earl’s Court, Notting Hill and Paddington, these are internationally recognised destinations on that line that would have had much greater impact.’
Police have revealed that the homemade bomb, likened to pressure-cooker devices used in 2013’s Boston Marathon attack, did not fully detonate.
Those bombs, which killed three and injured hundreds, were packed with nails and ball-bearings to cause maximum damage, and it is not yet clear if yesterdday’s device had similar projectiles.
Hans Michels, professor of safety engineering at Imperial College London, said the device bore similarities to those in the failed 21/7 London attacks.
He added: ‘There are a lot of similarities with the aftermath of the second largely failed explosions on the London underground in 2005. In appearance and arrangement the remnants of the device seem highly similar to those of the hydrogen peroxide based devices of 2005.
‘The flash flame reported suggests that the explosion was only partly successful. In particular much of the bucket still seems to be intact and there appear to be no victims with lethal impact wounds.
‘I must speculate that either the mixture was not of the right composition or that the ignition system was inadequate or not properly placed.’
Mrs May is being kept informed of developments after the fifth major terror attack on British soil in six months.
The Prime Minister chaired an emergency meeting of Cobra and announced the terror threat level would not be raised from severe to critical – although this was later changed to critical. She condemned the ‘cowardly attack’ saying ‘this was a device intended to cause significant harm’. The public would see more armed police on the streets to offer reassurance but people should ‘go about their business as normal’.
Photographs show what experts believe is a ‘pretty unsophisticated’ bomb with Christmas lights protruding out of the top of the device– a type of fuse encouraged by ISIS in its online manuals and magazines.
It is not the first time extremists have used fairy lights to build a device.
In May, a radicalised former doorman Zahid Hussain was found to have built an explosive device in his bedroom with fairy lights, shrapnel and a pressure cooker.
He is said to have researched bombmaking techniques online, with police finding a wealth of notes and instructions at his home in Birmingham
Comment – Page 18
Smouldering: The partially-exploded bucket bomb and the fairy lights used to detonate it yesterday
A time for action: Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street last night