UK makes ‘sig­nif­i­cant’ ar­rest but at­tack is seen as im­mi­nent

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NATION | WORLD - BY GREGORY KATZ

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 that an­other at­tack is judged im­mi­nent.

Po­lice ar­rested an 18-year-old 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 nofly zone above the prop­erty be­ing searched.

Po­lice did not say that they had nabbed 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. His iden­tity is a closely guarded se­cret and po­lice have im­plored the press not to spec­u­late while the in­quiry un­folds.

Author­i­ties would not say if they thought the man was try­ing to flee to France on a Dover ferry.

It’s clear that Bri­tain’s po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices are still wor­ried. 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.

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