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British police arrest second man over London train bombing
September 17, 2017 / 7:32 AM / in a month

British police arrest second man over London train bombing

A police officer stands outside a property being searched after a man was arrested in connection with an explosion on a London Underground train, in Stanwell, near Heathrow airport, Britain, September 17, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - A second man has been arrested over Friday’s bombing of a London commuter train that injured 30 people and Britain remained on its highest level of alert on Sunday with soldiers helping provide security.

The 21-year-old man was detained under Britain’s terrorism laws in the west London suburb of Hounslow just before midnight on Saturday, London police said in a statement.

Police arrested an 18-year-old man in the departure lounge of Dover port earlier on Saturday in what they called a “significant” step and then raided a property in Sunbury, a town near London and about six km from Hounslow.

The home-made bomb shot flames through a packed train carriage at west London’s Parsons Green Tube station during the Friday morning rush hour but apparently failed to detonate fully.

Police said on Sunday they were searching a residential property in Stanwell, Surrey, close to the perimeter of London’s Heathrow Airport, in connection with the Hounslow arrest.

The search of the property in Sunbury, also in the county of Surrey next to the capital, was continuing but there were no safety risks to local residents, they said.

Local media reported that the Sunbury home belongs to a couple who have fostered hundreds of children, including refugees. The BBC said the couple, 88-year-old Ronald Jones and Penelope Jones, 71, had been honoured by Queen Elizabeth for their work with children.

ISLAMIC STATE CLAIM

A police officer stands on duty at the back of a property being searched after a man was arrested in connection with an explosion on a London Underground train, in Sunbury-on-Thames, Britain, September 17, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Islamic State claimed responsibility, as it has for other attacks in Britain this year, including two in London and one at a concert by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in May.

Interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday the second arrest indicated it was not a “lone-wolf” attack, but there was no evidence Islamic State was involved.

“It is inevitable that so-called Islamic State, or Daesh, will reach in and try to claim responsibility. We have no evidence to suggest that yet,” she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Slideshow (3 Images)

“But as this unfolds, and as the police do their investigations, we will make sure that we find out exactly how he was radicalised, if we can.”

The bomb struck as passengers were travelling towards the centre of the British capital. Some suffered burns and others were hurt in a stampede to escape. Health officials said none was thought to be in a serious condition.

Prime Minister Theresa May put Britain on its highest security level of “critical” late on Friday, meaning another attack might be imminent. Soldiers and armed police were deployed to strategic locations such as nuclear power plants.

On Saturday, armed police patrolled the streets near government departments in Westminster and guarded Premier League soccer grounds hosting matches.

The last time Britain was put on “critical” alert was after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at the Ariana Grande concert.

On that occasion, the threat level remained at critical for four days while police established whether the bomber had worked alone or with others. Prior to that it had not been triggered since 2007.

Additional reporting by Andrew Heavens; editing by David Clarke

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