The British police on Saturday arrested an 18-year-old man, in a move described as significant, in connection to the London Underground bomb attack on Friday. “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,” Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said in a statement to Reuters.
Basu, also the UK’s Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, seemed to indicate that the force was still on the hunt for further suspects. “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,” he said. “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 man was arrested under the Terrorism Act in the southern port area of Dover. He was taken into custody at a local police station and then transferred to a south London police station.
Earlier on Saturday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said was carried out by an affiliated unit. The terror threat level has been elevated to the highest level. The station was reopened Saturday, officials said, restoring some normalcy to London’s transport network after a day of severe disruption.
Prime Minister Theresa May said raising the threat level to its highest point was a “proportionate and sensible step.” Police called on the public to be vigilant. Hundreds of soldiers were being deployed across the country. The soldiers added to the police presence Saturday at public places to deter attacks.
At least 29 people were injured during the attack in which an improvised explosive device was detonated on a Tube train at Parsons Green underground station at 08:20hrs local time on Friday. The bomb was put into a bucket and concealed in a shopping bag. Officials said the bomb was intended to do grave harm to commuters. Analysts said the injuries would have been far worse had the entire device exploded.
with PTI inputs