An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the bomb blast that took place in a packed London Tube train on Friday.
The man was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover on Saturday morning under UK’s Terrorism Act. He was taken into custody at a local police station and then transferred to a south London police station.
“We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical,” said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.
At least 30 people were injured during the attack in which an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated on a Tube train at Parsons Green underground station during the morning rush hour on Friday.
“This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage,” Basu said while hinting that more arrests were likely.
“The public should remain vigilant as our staff, officers and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed officers remain in place,” he added.
The Islamic State group has said it was behind the bomb but Met Police’s Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said it was “very routine” for ISIS to claim the attack, whether in contact with those involved or not.
Announcing the change in the UK threat level, Prime Minister Theresa May said the military would be providing support to police and would replace officers on guard duty at national infrastructure sites not accessible to the public.
It is part of the first phase of Operation Temperer, activated when the terror threat level reaches its highest possible.
“This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses,” May said.
This is the fourth time the UK national terror threat level has been raised to “critical” since the system was made public in 2006. The last time was in May this year following the Manchester Arena bombing, when it was feared that the bomb-maker was still at large and could strike again.
May took the decision last night after the independent Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre recommended raising the terror threat level to critical meaning another attack is expected.
The blast, which is being described as a “bucket bomb” sent a “fireball” through the Tube causing burn injuries to many commuters. The main device, which had been fitted with a crude timer using shop-bought fairy lights, failed to detonate, meaning hundreds of people were spared death and serious injury.
(With inputs from agencies)