Friday, December 15, 2017
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Armed police search house over Tube bombing


Search-AreaPolice have arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of a terror offence in connection with Friday's attack on a London Tube train.


Armed police are searching a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, where nearby residents have been evacuated.


The arrest is "significant" and the terror threat level remains "critical", Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.


The man was held in Dover on Saturday and taken to a Kent police station - he is being moved to south London.


Thirty people were injured after the explosion on a train at Parsons Green.


After a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee, Ms Rudd said it was "much too early" to say whether those behind the attack were known to authorities, adding: "The operation is ongoing".


The terror threat level was raised to critical, meaning an attack may be imminent, on Friday evening.


In Sunbury-on-Thames one of the residents evacuated, Anna Wilkins, told BBC News she was "shaking like jelly" after being told by armed police to leave the home she shares with her partner and two young children.


"As I walked out of my house I saw three armed officers," she said. "One had a balaclava on, all I could see were his eyes, I was really frightened.”


Many residents have been evacuated to Staines Rugby Club where one, Dan Norcott, said the council was making preliminary arrangements for hotel accommodation.


Earlier Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the attack as "cowardly and indiscriminate".


Ms Dick, who travelled by Tube before joining Met officers patrolling the South Bank, said: "London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one."


Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the public should remain vigilant and extra armed officers were still being deployed.


Operation Temperer, which involves the use of the military was put in place after the threat level was raised and is being stepped up gradually.


Home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said it is mainly focused on London and the south-east of England and is described as "light-touch", and not on the same scale as what was seen after the Manchester Arena attack.


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said "significant" police activity would continue this weekend.


More armed police officers will be present at London Underground stations, as well as at stations across England, Scotland and Wales, British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith told the BBC.


Most people caught in the blast were treated for minor injuries and have been released, NHS England said, but three people remain in Chelsea and Westminster hospital in central London.


The BBC understands CCTV images have been obtained of the person suspected of planting the explosive device.


The Islamic State group has said it was behind the bomb, which detonated at 08:20 BST on Friday.


It is understood the device had a timer, but the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner said the bomb appeared not to have gone off properly.


Had it worked as intended, it would have killed everyone around it and maimed everyone in the train carriage for life, he said.


The Met's Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said it was "very routine" for the Islamic State group to claim the attack, whether in contact with those involved or not.

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