BOMB COPS RAID FOSTER HOME
Swoop on house of couple who got MBEs
Armed police investigating the Parsons Green station bombing yesterday raided the home of an elderly couple who have fostered hundreds of children.
They swooped on the house in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey, where Ronald and Penelope Jones raised 268 youngsters over nearly 40 years.
It happened at 2pm, hours after they arrested an 18-year- old man wanted in connection with Friday’s failed bucket bomb attack on a Tube train as it pulled into the station in south-west London at 8.20am.
He was stopped in the port area in Dover as he tried to buy a ferry ticket cket to France.
It is understood that at least eight of the Jones’s foster children have been refugees. They have taken in youngsters ters from Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Albania and Afghanistan.
Ronald, 88, and Penelope, 71, were both awarded MBEs by the Queenn in 2009 for their services to children and families.
Penelope became a foster motherher after giving up working in a juvenile le prison and the couple fostered up p to seven children at a time.
A resident claimed about 60 people in the surrounding area were evacuated from their homes while police seized the property.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd described the arrest of the suspectt in Dover as “very significant”.
In Sunbury, about 200 people were evacuated to Staines Rugby Club while the police carried out searches.
The UK terror threat remained at critical, the highest level, meaning a further attack may be imminent.
Police Scotland said armed patrolsols are being increased following thehe attack, which left 30 people injured.
Most were treated for minor or injuries and three people were being treated at Chelsea and Westminster hospital in central London last night. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attempted a attack. It is understood the device had a timer but the bucket bomb on the District line train did not go off properly. Analysts said there would have been be many deaths if the entire device, which is believed to have contained TATP, an explosive dubbed the Mother of Satan, had exploded.
Police probing the attack have spoken to 45 witnesses and received 77 images and videos from the public.
It’s understood CCTV images were instrumental in aiding the police investigation as they narrowed their search for the bomber.
The suspect held in Dover yesterday was taken to a Kent police station and was expected to be moved to London later.
Police said they were “keeping an open mind” about whether more than one person was responsible for the attack.
Rudd said it was “too early” to say if those involved were known to authorities.
She added: “We have one arrest and we have an ongoing operation. When we have more information, we will be sharing it.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the attack as “cowardly and indiscriminate”.
She added: “London has not stopped
after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.”
Operation Temperer, which involves the use of military personnel to aid security, was put in place after the threat level was raised.
Transport police chiefs said more armed officers would be deployed at stations across Britain.
Police Scotland said increased security north of the border was part of “wellrehearsed plans to respond to major incidents”.
They added there was no intelligence to suggest any current specific threat to Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s so- called “resilience room” was activated after the attack.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and key cabinet colleagues had been “fully briefed” in connection with the increased threat level.
Sturgeon said: “Our thoughts remain with those who sustained injuries in the attack in London.
“I received a full briefing regarding the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s decision to increase the threat level from severe to critical and to invoke Operation Temperer.
“The resilience room has been activated and will remain in close contact with Police Scotland and the UK Government.
“While it is natural that any increase in the threat level is of concern, the public should be reassured that all appropriate precautionary measures are being implemented.
“My advice to the public is to remain vigilant and report any concerns to the police but otherwise to go about daily life as normal.”
It’s the fourth time the UK terror threat level has been raised to “critical” since the system was introduced in 2006.
The most recent instance was in May following the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 as well as the bomber.
The Scottish Government said “all significant events” taking place over the next few days would be reviewed with the “security footprint increased where that is deemed appropriate”.
They added: “Armed officers will be deployed as appropriate on foot patrol and at key locations as a precautionary measure.
“As in May, when the threat level was raised to critical following the attack at Manchester Arena, Operation Temperer is also being invoked.
“This will not involve military personnel being deployed in public places in Scotland.”
Pol ice Scot land said response procedures in place are similar to those for recent terror- related incidents. Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “With the threat level at critical, we will increase our operations to protect people, businesses and public places. This will include increasing the number of armed police on patrol across the country.
“The public should expect to see armed officers on foot patrol at key locations and crowded places across the country.
“Do not be alarmed by the presence of these armed officers. These measures are being taken to increase security at these sites, and to reassure residents, businesses, workers and visitors so they can go about their daily lives as normally as possible.
“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland but I would ask the public to remain alert and report anything suspicious.”
Anyone with information or footage that could aid police can pass it on via www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
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