UK threat level raised "critical" after subway bombing
LONDON (AP) — A homemade bomb planted in a rush-hour subway car exploded in London on Friday, injuring 29 people and prompting authorities to raise Britain's terrorism threat level to "critical," meaning another attack may be imminent.
The early morning blast sparked a huge manhunt for the perpetrators of what police said was the fourth terrorist attack in the British capital this year.
Prime Minister Theresa May, acting on the recommendation of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center, raised the country's threat level from "severe" to "critical" — its highest possible level. May said military troops would augment the police presence in a "proportionate and sensible step."
Earlier, May said the device had been "intended to cause significant harm."
Still, to the relief of authorities and Londoners, experts said the bomb — hidden in a plastic bucket inside a supermarket freezer bag — only partially exploded, sparing the city much worse carnage.
"I would say this was a failed high-explosive device," Chris Hunter, a former British army bomb expert, said of the blast, which caused no serious injuries.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said was carried out by an affiliated unit.
The bomb went off around 8:20 a.m. as the train, carrying commuters from the suburbs — including many school children — was at Parsons Green station in the southwest of the city.