Po­lice ar­rest 18-year-old in Lon­don sub­way at­tack; threat level still high

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - Nation&world - By The Washington Post

LON­DON — Af­ter a fast­mov­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and man­hunt, Bri­tish po­lice on Satur­day morn­ing ar­rested an 18-year-old man in an at­tack the pre­vi­ous day on the Lon­don sub­way. The at­tack, which au­thor­i­ties la­beled as ter­ror­ism, in­jured at least 29 peo­ple.

Au­thor­i­ties said the man was ar­rested by Kent po­lice in the port area of Dover on the English Chan­nel. Po­lice sus­pect he might have been seek­ing a boat out of Eng­land.

In ad­di­tion, armed po­lice raided and be­gan search­ing a prop­erty in Sun­bury, west of Lon­don, Satur­day af­ter­noon. Coun­tert­er­ror­ism units were at the scene, and po­lice told re­porters the op­er­a­tion was con­nected to the sub­way ex­plo­sion.

The home­made bomb went off at Par­sons Green sta­tion Fri­day morn­ing, send­ing a scorch­ing blast of flame and smoke through the sub­way car.

Home Sec­re­tary Amber Rudd said it was “good for­tune” the im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice “did so lit­tle dam­age,” but she sug­gested that the ma­te­ri­als used to build the bomb were too read­ily avail­able.

“We have to make cer­tain we take all the steps we can to en­sure that the sort of ma­te­ri­als this man was able to col­lect become more and more dif­fi­cult to com­bine to­gether,” Rudd said.

Deputy As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu called the ar­rest sig­nif­i­cant but added that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

The man is be­ing held for ques­tion­ing un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act. “For strong in­ves­tiga­tive rea­sons, we will not give any more de­tails on the man we ar­rested at this stage,” Basu said.

Af­ter the bomb­ing, se­cu­rity mea­sures were im­me­di­ately tight­ened across Lon­don’s vast mass-tran­sit net­work, and the gov­ern­ment de­scribed the threat level as crit­i­cal, mean­ing an­other at­tack could be im­mi­nent.

The Is­lamic State ter­ror­ist group as­serted re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ex­plo­sion on its Amaq News Agency web­site.

Ex­perts cau­tioned that the group of­ten seeks credit for at­tacks it may have only in­spired, as well as ones it had noth­ing to do with.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­folded, in Lon­don the mes­sage was the now-fa­mil­iar “keep calm and carry on.”

Metropoli­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick trav­eled — very vis­i­bly, es­corted by news me­dia — via the Un­der­ground sub­way to Water­loo sta­tion and “pa­trolled” the South Bank of the River Thames.

“Yes­ter­day, we saw a cow­ardly and in­dis­crim­i­nate at­tack, which could have re­sulted in many lives be­ing lost,” said Dick, adding that “of­fi­cers through­out Lon­don (were) mo­bi­liz­ing and pro­vid­ing an in­creased vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence — es­pe­cially in crowded places.”

The ex­plo­sion on Lon­don’s Tube is bound to rekin­dle pointed de­bate about whether such coun­tries as Bri­tain have been tough enough in fight­ing ter­ror­ism. Just hours af­ter the blast, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sug­gested that Bri­tain needed to be “more proac­tive.”


Po­lice foren­sic of­fi­cers en­ter a prop­erty in Sun­bury-on-Thames, in south­west Lon­don, as part of the probe into Fri­day’s bomb­ing.

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