Parsons Green bucket bomb Suspect, 18 Identified as PM raises terror threat to highest level and orders armed police and soldiers to protect public

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  • Soldiers will replace police at key locations out of public view so more armed officers can go onto streets
  • Scotland Yard has identified the suspect behind the rush hour bomb on District Line train at Parsons Green
  • Failure of the device to detonate properly avoided a massive blast that would have claimed dozens of lives
  • Manhunt underway for bomber amid fears he may have left other devices and could be armed with knives 
  • Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the west London attack saying its ‘soldiers’ had ‘planted IEDs’ 

An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Parsons Green bombing.

Police apprehended the suspect in the ‘port area’ of Dover under the Terrorism Act and are currently holding him at a local police station.

It comes after the Prime Minister last night announced Britain’s terror threat has been raised to its highest level amid fears the bombing could inspire copycat attacks.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Security minister Ben Wallace said today the threat level has been raised to critical because a new attack is likely to be ‘imminent’.

Speaking before news broke of the arrest this morning the politician said that the Government and security services were using all their resources to track down ‘the individual or individuals’ responsible for the bombing.

But he piled the pressure on police for not releasing CCTV footage of the attacker, describing it as a ‘useful’ tool in identifying suspects.

He said on BBC Radio 4’s Today show this morning: ‘I totally agree that CCTV footage is useful but that part of the investigation I leave with the police and security services.’

The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

Highlighting an increased visible police presence after the Parsons Green bombing, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick today said: ‘London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.’

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick today said: 'London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one'

The crime commissioner chats with armed police officers who have been deployed around the city in the wake of the failed bombing at Parsons Green tube station yesterday 

The crime commissioner joined police patrols today after Operation Temperer was activated, meaning that up to 5,000 armed troops can be deployed at sensitive sites

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick talks to a member of the public on the South Bank in central London, as Operation Temperer is enacted

A photograph of the flaming white bucket taken just after it exploded around 8.20am on Friday shows a number of wires protruding out of the top and on to the train carriage floorScotland Yard said last night it is making ‘excellent’ progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London on Friday.

Had it worked as intended, a massive blast of fire would have killed dozens on the new, open-plan style train which – at 8.20am yesterday – was close to its capacity of nearly 1,000 people.

Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement from Number 10: ‘The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has now decided to raise the threat level from severe to critical – this means their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.’

Minutes later Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested there might have been more than one person involved, stating that police were ‘chasing down suspects’.

Mr Wallace said this morning: ‘We are trying to track down who did it, whether it’s a bomber or bombers.

‘There are potentially very dangerous individuals out there and we need to track them down.’

Parsons Green was open again this morning as undeterred passengers were seen heading through the turnstiles to catch tubes into the centre of the capital.

Police identified, but did not name, the suspected terrorist using CCTV footage. However, last night the investigation was overshadowed by an extraordinary diplomatic row triggered by Donald Trump

The majority of victims of Friday's attack suffered 'flash burns' including to their heads (pictured)  and several were taken to a specialist burns unit

 

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