Was teenager shel­tered in Sur­rey by un­sus­pect­ing carer hon­oured by the Queen?

The Mail on Sunday - - Front Page - By Ian Gal­lagher, Martin Beck­ford and Mark Wood

A TEENAGER ar­rested over the Par­sons Green ter­ror at­tack may have been an asy­lum seeker who was given a home by a fos­ter cou­ple, it emerged last night.

Po­lice raided the cou­ple’s lilac­painted house in Sur­rey just hours af­ter dra­mat­i­cally am­bush­ing the 18- year- old bomb­ing sus­pect in Dover as he tried to leave the coun­try early yes­ter­day.

Penny Jones, 71, and her hus­band Ron, 8 8 , have been hon­oured by t he Queen af­ter tak­ing in hun­dreds of refugees, in­clud­ing some from Syria.

Last night, as 250 res­i­dents liv­ing near the Jones’s house in Sun­bury-on-Thames were evac­u­ated, there were un­con­firmed re­ports that ex­plo­sives were found dur­ing the raid.

Neigh­bour Ser­ena Bar­ber, 47, who has known Mr and Mrs Jones all her life, said last night: ‘All I know is that they have two boys at the mo­ment. Both are for­eign.’

She al­leged that one of the pair was ‘ar­rested at Par­sons Green’ two weeks ago. Scot­land Yard de­clined to com­ment on the claim.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, around seven armed of­fi­cers sur­rounded the bomb­ing sus­pect in the ticket of­fice at Dover’s ferry ter­mi­nal as he at­tempted to catch a boat to France. Sources told The Mail on Sun­day that po­lice lay in wait at the port for his ar­rival, sug­gest­ing his move­ments were be­ing mon­i­tored by se­cu­rity ser­vices.

It is un­der­stood he was iden­ti­fied fol­low­ing an ex­haus­tive ex­am­i­na­tion by hun­dreds of de­tec­tives of CCTV footage. This prompted a tense sur­veil­lance op­er­a­tion in­volv­ing MI5 and sev­eral po­lice forces which ended dra­mat­i­cally with the Dover sting.

A wit­ness who works in the ferry ter­mi­nal said the sus­pect was sur­rounded by po­lice of­fi­cers as he tried to buy a ticket at 7.50am.

‘It was dif­fi­cult to see him or what he looked like be­cause the po­lice moved to­wards him so quickly,’ she said. ‘ He was led away and there was no shout­ing and no sign of a strug­gle.’

Af­ter be­ing held for sev­eral hours un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act, he was later moved to a South Lon­don po­lice sta­tion where he will be ques­tioned over Friday’s at­tack on a packed morn­ing rush hour-train in West Lon­don.

Hun­dreds of com­muters and school­child­ren nar­rowly avoided death when a bomb in a bucket hid­den in a shop­ping bag failed to fully det­o­nate. About 30 peo­ple were rushed to hos­pi­tal, some with se­ri­ous burns.

Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd, who chaired a meet­ing of the Govern­ment’s CO­BRA emer­gency com­mit­tee yes­ter­day, de­scribed the ar­rest as ‘ very sig­nif­i­cant’ but said the op­er­a­tion was still on­go­ing.

How­ever, she said it was ‘much too early’ to tell if au­thor­i­ties knew the sus­pect in the bomb­ing.

The fast-mov­ing de­vel­op­ments came as:

Po­lice in­ten­si­fied the hunt for pos­si­ble ac­com­plices amid fears of a sec­ond ter­ror strike;

The fam­ily of a 13- year- old school­boy tram­pled in the stam­pede at t he sta­tion fol­low­ing Friday’s at­tack spoke of his ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal;

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick vowed: ‘Lon­don has not stopped af­ter other ter­ri­ble at­tacks and it will not stop af­ter this one.’

Armed pol ic e a nd mili ta r y per­son­nel were de­ployed across the cap­i­tal as the ter­ror threat re­mained at crit­i­cal.

The 18-year-old was de­tained on sus­pi­cion of pre­par­ing a ter­ror­ist act, spark­ing an evac­u­a­tion of the ferry ter­mi­nal, Met Deputy As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu said.

De­tec­tives i nves­ti­gat­ing t he bomb­ing were said to be ‘keep­ing an open mind’ about whether more plot­ters were in­volved, and Mr Basu said the ter­ror threat would re­main at its high­est level, in­di­cat-

‘He was sur­rounded as he tried to buy a ticket’

ing an­other at­tack was feared. Just hours af­ter the ar­rest in Dover, a huge squad of counter-ter­ror po­lice de­scended on the Jones’s home in Cavendish Road, Sun­bury.

The cou­ple have spent decades tak­ing i n vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, in­clud­ing refugees. They were made MBEs in 2010.

Heav­ily armed counter-ter­ror­ist of­fi­cers, car­ry­ing semi-au­to­matic ri­fles and pro­tected by shields, were seen wait­ing on nearby street cor­ners. Scot­land Yard put up a 100-yard cor­don in the streets sur­round­ing Cavendish Road, with two of­fi­cers guard­ing each en­trance to the leafy street.

They even ap­plied to the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity for a no-fly zone to stop drones and TV news he­li­copters fly­ing over­head.

As uni­formed and plain-clothes of­fi­cers swooped on the street, they or­dered ter­ri­fied res­i­dents to evac­u­ate their homes im­me­di­ately for fear that there could be a bomb fac­tory in the prop­erty be­ing raided.

Lo­cals were taken by po­lice minibus to wait at nearby Staines Rugby Club but many gath­ered at the edge of the cor­doned-off zone to take pho­to­graphs of the scene.

Lee Ry­der, 43, was sleep­ing in his front room when armed po­lice banged on his door and or­dered him to evac­u­ate the street at 1.40pm yes­ter­day.

He said: ‘It was like some­thing out of a movie. One minute I was doz­ing off and the next all these po­lice ap­peared on the street and sprang into ac­tion. It’s ter­ri­fy­ing that this quiet part of Sur­rey could have any­thing to do with what hap­pened in Par­sons Green.’

His part­ner Nicola, 43, re­turned home laden with shop­ping bags to find her whole street in lock­down.

One dis­tressed woman com­plained that her house­bound hus­band was still in t heir home. An­other asked one of the Sur­rey Po­lice of­fi­cers to feed her cat.

Coun­cil worker Natalie Jones said she was told by po­lice that ‘ex­plo­sive de­vices’ had been found.

An­other nei gh­bour, Mo­j­gan

‘It was ter­ri­fy­ing, like some­thing from a film’

Ja­mali, said: ‘I was in my house with my chil­dren and there was a knock at the door from the po­lice.

‘They told me to leave. They said, “You have one minute to get out of the house and get away.”

‘I just got out. I got my three chil­dren and we left the house and the street. We didn’t know what was go­ing on.’

The fo­cus of the po­lice ac­tiv­ity, how­ever, was the home of Penny and Ron Jones.

The cou­ple were awarded MBEs by the Queen at Buck­ing­ham Palace in 2010 for ser­vices to chil­dren and fam­i­lies. They said in a re­cent in­ter­view they had fos­tered 268 chil­dren since 1970.

Mrs Jones has told how they made a con­scious de­ci­sion to just take in young refugees and have looked af­ter at least eight. She told a lo­cal com­mu­nity web­site it was a ‘ lot eas­ier’ to care for young­sters classed as un­ac­com­pa­nied asy­lum­seek­ing chil­dren from war- torn coun­tries in­clud­ing Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Al­ba­nia and Afghanistan. Mrs Jones told the web­site: ‘You have to have pa­tience too and re­mem­ber they’ve been through a lot – they’re do­ing their best but noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen overnight. But it’s so re­ward­ing.

‘ They’re grate­ful to be safe, to have a bed to sleep in and to have food and [our sup­port]… that’s all they need.’

Mrs Jones told how they once looked af­ter a 15- year-old who had smug­gled him­self into the UK on a lorry from Calais, and how on an­other oc­ca­sion she cooked ha­lal chicken for their refugee guest for Christ­mas din­ner.

‘We put dec­o­ra­tions up to cel­e­brate and he was fas­ci­nated with them. We sat as a fam­ily… and he was so grate­ful for the gift of just be­ing to­gether… in a place he could call home. He was happy.’

A neigh­bour de­scribed Mrs Jones as a ‘woman with a big heart’.

The lat­est de­vel­op­ments came as Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Ben Wal­lace said that com­pa­nies such as Google, Face­book and YouTube ‘can do more to tack le ex­trem­ism’. Mr Wa l - lace said that con­cerns had been reignited af­ter the UK was tar­geted for a fifth time this year, and promised to put pres­sure on com­pa­nies to in­vest in tech­nol­ogy that could iden­tify and re­move ter­ror­ism-re­lated ma­te­rial more quickly. Se­cu­rity sources said that the bomb, which failed fully to ig­nite, con­tained sim­i­lar ex­plo­sives to those used in the Manch­ester Arena at­tack and Lon­don bomb­ings in 2005. The de­vice, packed with fairy lights and cov­ered by a Lidl bag, had a timer that en­abled the at­tacker t o slip off t he t rain be­fore i t was due to ex­plode. Wit­nesses de­scribed a fire­ball in the car­riage. Most of the vic­tims suf­fered flash burns, but some were hurt in the stam­pede out of the sta­tion. On Friday, Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bomb and said oth­ers had been planted.

‘You have one minute to get out of the house’

SEARCH: An of­fi­cer en­ters the house in Sun­bury yes­ter­day. In­set: Owner Penny Jones

ALERT: A heav­ily armed of­fi­cer on pa­trol in Lon­don yes­ter­day as the ter­ror threat level was raised to crit­i­cal BOY: I WAS BURIED UN­DER BOD­IES

LOOK­ING FOR CLUES: Po­lice search bins in Dover yes­ter­day and the ferry ter­mi­nal, above

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