Po­lice make sec­ond ar­rest in con­nec­tion with Lon­don at­tack

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Doug Stan­glin

Bri­tish author­i­ties rolled back the na­tion’s ter­ror threat level from crit­i­cal to se­vere on Sun­day, hours af­ter a sec­ond man was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with last week’s sub­way blast in Lon­don.

Mark Row­ley, as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner for Lon­don’s Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice, cited “rapid progress” of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Fri­day’s ap­par­ent ter­ror­ist at­tack, but warned that an­other at­tack at some point re­mained “highly likely.”

“There is still much more to do,” Row­ley said. “But this greater clar­ity and this progress has led (ter­ror­ism author­i­ties) to come to the judg­ment that an at­tack is no longer im­mi­nent.”

The Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack, which it said was car­ried out by an af­fil­i­ated unit.

Row­ley said searches were con­tin­u­ing at ad­dresses in the Lon­don bor­ough of Houn­slow and in Sur­rey, about 30 miles south­west of Lon­don. He said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were learn­ing more about the prepa­ra­tion of the ex­plo­sive de­vice used in the at­tack.

On Satur­day, po­lice had an­nounced a “sig­nif­i­cant” ar­rest in the case af­ter tak­ing an 18-yearold man into cus­tody in the port city of Dover. The sec­ond man, 21, was ar­rested hours later by de­tec­tives from the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice’s Counter Ter­ror­ism Com­mand unit in the Houn­slow.

Of­fi­cials did not re­lease the names of the two men or any other in­for­ma­tion about them.

The bomb ex­ploded Fri­day at 8:20 a.m. aboard a com­muter train in the Par­sons Green sta­tion. The blast and sub­se­quent stampede on the Dis­trict Line train in­jured 30 peo­ple, in­clud­ing some with burns. None of the in­juries was be­lieved to be life-threat­en­ing.

The train nor­mally car­ries com­muters, in­clud­ing school­child­ren, from the sub­urbs. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May on Fri­day raised the threat level to crit­i­cal — the high­est such level mean­ing an­other at­tack may be im­mi­nent — and po­lice called on the public to “re­main vig­i­lant.”

Hun­dreds of sol­diers were de­ployed across the coun­try Satur­day at key public places un­der Op­er­a­tion Tem­perer, which in­volved the use of the mil­i­tary.

The beefed-up mil­i­tary pres­ence fo­cused on Lon­don and the south­east of Eng­land, but was de­scribed as a “light touch,” mean­ing on a lesser scale than af­ter the deadly Manch­ester Arena at­tack in May, ac­cord­ing to the BBC.

Images from in­side the sub­way car af­ter the blast showed that the de­vice, con­cealed in a plas­tic shop­ping bag, had been placed in a bucket with wires hang­ing out of it.

Po­lice haven’t said if the teenager is sus­pected of plant­ing the bomb or whether he played a sup­port­ing role in a pos­si­ble plot.

Of­fi­cials said the bomb was in­tended to do grave harm to com­muters.

An­a­lysts said the in­juries would have been far worse had the en­tire de­vice ex­ploded.

“They were re­ally lucky with this one. It could have re­ally be­come much worse,” said ter­ror­ism spe­cial­ist Mag­nus Ranstorp of the Swedish De­fense Univer­sity.

Bri­tain has en­dured four other ter­ror­ist at­tacks this year, which have killed a to­tal of 36 peo­ple. The other at­tacks in Lon­don — near Par­lia­ment, on Lon­don Bridge and near a mosque in Fins­bury Park in north Lon­don — used ve­hi­cles and knives.

In ad­di­tion, a sui­cide bomber struck a packed con­cert hall in Manch­ester in north­ern Eng­land, killing 22 peo­ple. That at­tack in May also briefly caused the threat level to be set at “crit­i­cal.”

FRANK AUG­STEIN, AP

A po­lice foren­sic tent sits on the plat­form af­ter a home­made bomb ex­ploded Fri­day at Par­sons Green sta­tion in Lon­don.

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