Tube attack probe deepens, terror threat lowered

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: Police yesterday stepped up their investigation into the bombing of a packed London Tube train during rush hour after officers made a second arrest in their probe.

The bomb went off on Friday morning in a crowded carriage, and although the device is thought to have malfunctioned, it still wounded 30 people.

Britain on Sunday downgraded the nation's terrorism threat from its highest level following the arrest. It was the country's fifth terror attack in six months, a series that has claimed 35 lives.

Police said on Sunday that a 21-year-old man, who has not been identified, was detained on Saturday in Hounslow, on the western rim of the capital.

"The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which reviews the threat level that the UK is under, has decided to lower that level from critical to severe," Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

A critical threat level means another attack is "expected imminently", while a severe threat indicates an assault is highly likely.

A search was underway on Sunday in Stanwell, a few miles west of Hounslow, in connection with the 21-year-old, police said. Some Stanwell residents told The Guardian that the suspect kept late hours and worked in a job with a uniform.

After taking into custody an 18-year-old man earlier on Saturday over the "bucket bomb" attack at the Parsons Green Tube station, police had said they were hunting more suspects. Ms Rudd said the police were trying to find out how the teenager, the first to be arrested, was "radicalised". Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The 18-year-old's arrest took place at the Dover ferry terminal, a main link to Europe, and a "number of items" were recovered during the operation.

Police also raided a home in Sunbury, a town west of London on Saturday. Local residents quoted in British media said the owners of the house were elderly foster parents who had recently hosted refugees from conflict zones. - AFP

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