OAP foster couple’s house in terror raid
Couple’s home searched hours after teen’s arrest
TERROR police investigating the London Tube bombing yesterday swooped on the home registered to an elderly couple honoured for their work with child refugees.
Police are searching a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, after an 18-year-old – understood to be the suspected bomber – was arrested in Dover.
The property is registered to foster carers Penelope and Ronald Jones, aged 71 and 88 respectively, who were awarded MBEs in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List for services to children and families.
Residents in the street were ordered from their homes as officers swarmed into the house, and were told they would have to remain elsewhere overnight.
The couple featured in an online interview with Elmbridge CAN, a community group which aims “to build a culture of welcome to refugees” and help settle them in the local community.
The organisation states that Mr and Mrs Jones have been foster parents for almost 40 years and had taken in 268 children – the last eight of which were refugees.
It is not clear when the interview was published.
In the interview Mrs Jones said fostering “had its ups and downs”, adding: “They’re all children, it doesn’t matter if they’re sky blue or with pink dots on them – they just need to be loved.”
The property, in Cavendish Road, was searched just hours after the man was arrested in the departure area at Dover port, on suspicion of being a terrorist.
One local said she was told by police she had “one minute” to leave her home during the raid.
Mother-of-three Mojgan Jamali, who lives on the street, said: “I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”
Speaking after a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the arrest was “very significant”.
A vast manhunt was launched after an improvised device partially exploded on a District Line train at Parsons Green station during the Friday morning rush hour, injuring 30.
Investigators – who it is understood are linking the attack to Islamist extremism – are continuing their probe.
The country’s top counter-terrorism officer indicated that a potential network of plotters could have been involved.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police were “chasing down suspects”.
The 18-year-old has been held under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, meaning he can be detained without charge beyond the normal maximum of four days.
Armed patrols have been stepped up in Scotland following the London attack.
However, Police Scotland said the move was part of a “well-rehearsed plans to respond to major incidents”, adding there was no intelligence of any specific threat north of the Border.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and key cabinet colleagues have been “fully briefed” in connection with the increased threat level.
Police raid the Sunbury home, top, following Friday’s Tube bomb.