Po­lice make key ar­rest in Lon­don sub­way bomb­ing

San Francisco Chronicle - - WORLD - By Gre­gory Katz Gre­gory Katz is an Associated Press writer.

LON­DON — Bri­tish po­lice made an ap­par­ent break­through Satur­day in the race-against-time sub­way bomb­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion with what they called a “very sig­nif­i­cant” ar­rest, but the coun­try re­mained on a “crit­i­cal” alert, mean­ing an­other at­tack is judged im­mi­nent.

Po­lice ar­rested an 18-yearold man in the port of Dover — the main ferry link to France — and then launched a mas­sive armed search in the south­west­ern Lon­don sub­urb of Sun­bury in which they evac­u­ated res­i­dents, es­tab­lished a huge cor­don and im­posed a no-fly zone above the prop­erty be­ing searched.

Po­lice did not say that they had ar­rested the man be­lieved to have planted the bomb that par­tially ex­ploded on a crowded Lon­don sub­way train Fri­day morn­ing, but Home Sec­re­tary Amber Rudd and oth­ers said the ar­rest was of ma­jor im­por­tance.

The man is be­ing held un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act and has been brought to Lon­don for ques­tion­ing. He was not im­me­di­ately iden­ti­fied. Au­thor­i­ties also would not say if they thought the man was try­ing to flee to France on a Dover ferry.

Hun­dreds of sol­diers pa­trolled pub­lic ar­eas Satur­day, free­ing up po­lice for the bomb­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Rudd said the coun­try’s ter­ror threat level — which was raised Fri­day night to the high­est pos­si­ble level — will stay there un­til the in­de­pen­dent Joint Ter­ror­ism Anal­y­sis Cen­ter is con­vinced the threat of im­mi­nent at­tack has eased.

The home­made bomb on the rush-hour train only par­tially det­o­nated — Rudd said it could have been much worse — and there are fears that ac­com­plices may have sim­i­lar de­vices. Ex­perts said the bomb could have caused many fa­tal­i­ties if it had func­tioned prop­erly. Three of the 29 peo­ple in­jured by the blast re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized Satur­day.

In Sun­bury, po­lice did not re­veal de­tails about the search, but the pre­cau­tions sug­gested con­cern that there might be ex­plo­sives or vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists on the prop­erty. The Is­lamic State group has claimed one of its units planted the bomb.

Po­lice are comb­ing through closed-cir­cuit TV images and have ex­ten­sively stud­ied the re­mains of the par­tially det­o­nated ex­plo­sive de­vice, which was con­tained in a bucket and con­cealed in a plas­tic shop­ping bag.

The train hit by the bomber at Par­sons Green sta­tion in Lon­don had video cam­eras in each car, and the Lon­don Un­der­ground net­work has thou­sands of cam­eras at the en­trances to sta­tions and along its labyrinth of sub­ter­ranean and above-ground pas­sage­ways.

Tim Ire­land / Associated Press

Of­fi­cers ob­serve the crowd out­side Wem­b­ley Park Sta­tion be­fore a soc­cer match. Se­cu­rity was in­creased across Bri­tain af­ter Fri­day’s sub­way bomb­ing in Lon­don that in­jured 29 peo­ple.

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