18-year-old sus­pect held in blast that in­jured 30

House searched as in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Wil­liam Booth and Rick Noack

LONDON» Fol­low­ing a fast-mov­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and man­hunt, Bri­tish po­lice on Satur­day ar­rested an 18-year-old man in con­nec­tion with an at­tack the pre­vi­ous day on the London sub­way, in which at least 30 people were in­jured and au­thor­i­ties la­beled as ter­ror­ism.

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 searched a house in Sun­bury, west of London, on Satur­day af­ter­noon. Coun­tert­er­ror­ism units were at the scene, and po­lice told re­porters the op­er­a­tion was con­nected to the sub­way ex­plo­sion.

A home­made bomb ex­ploded on a London sub­way train at Par­sons Green sta­tion Fri­day morn­ing, send­ing a scorch­ing blast of flame and smoke through a London sub­way car.

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

Deputy As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu called the ar­rest of the teen at the Dover port “sig­nif­i­cant” but cau­tioned that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.

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.

In the town of Sun­bury-on-thames, lo­cated about 15 miles to the west of central London, res­i­dents waited out­side of a po­lice cor­don on Satur­day evening, as foren­sics ex­perts en­tered a row­house on Cavendish Road.

Anna Wilkins 43, lives next to the house be­ing searched. “I saw a young man come out of there with his bike a cou­ple of times in re­cent weeks,” Wilkins said. The young man, whom she de­scribed as “Asian,” ar­rived at the house just a cou­ple of months ago and lived with an el­derly cou­ple, be­lieved to be Bri­tish. It is un­known whether the young man de­scribed by Wilkins is the sus­pect ar­rested in Dover.

“I never spoke to him and only saw him when he left the house with his bike, but I was al­ways sus­pi­cious of him,” Wilkins said.

One res­i­dent liv­ing near the house be­ing searched said he had never seen any­one en­ter­ing or leav­ing it. “This isn’t an area where people re­ally know each other,” said Chris Ross, 51. “This af­ter­noon, there were sud­denly armed po­lice of­fi­cers who told us to get out of our houses as soon as pos­si­ble. They only gave us a cou­ple of sec­onds.”

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. 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.

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

“Yes­ter­day we saw a cow­ardly and in­dis­crim­i­nate at­tack, which could have re­sulted in many lives be­ing lost,” Dick said. “Since then, we have had teams of de­tec­tives and spe­cial­ists work­ing through the night on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and of­fi­cers through­out London mo­bi­liz­ing and pro­vid­ing an in­creased vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence — es­pe­cially in crowded places.”

The ex­plo­sion on London’s Tube rekin­dled de­bate about whether coun­tries such as Bri­tain have been tough enough in fight­ing ter­ror­ism. Just hours after the blast, Pres­i­dent Trump sug­gested that Bri­tain needed to be “more proac­tive.” Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May re­torted that such com­ments were not help­ful.

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