WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- London was struck by a terrorist attack on Friday when a bomb exploded on an underground train.
- An 18-year-old man was arrested by the police in Dover in connection with the attack.
- The national threat level in Britain remains “critical”, the highest terror alert level.
Police arrested an 18-year-old suspect in the Dover port departure lounge on Saturday morning. They said that the arrest was a “very significant” development in the London terror attack investigation.
The police partially evacuated the area as a precaution. They said they recovered a number of items but didn’t elaborate further.
Hours after the arrest, fully-armed police officers raided a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey. The neighborhood was about 11 miles (18 km) from Parsons Green station, where the bomb exploded.
The bomb was reportedly wrapped in a plastic grocery bag hidden in a bucket. It went off Friday, at 8:20 a.m., in a mass transit during the morning rush. There were no casualties but the explosion injured 30 people. The London Underground, nicknamed “the Tube”, is the world’s oldest subway system.
The Islamic State affirmed responsibility for the attack hours later. They said that a “detachment” of its disciples had planted the bomb suggesting there’s more than one attacker.
Prime Minister Theresa May raised the national security level to “critical” late on Friday. This put the country in a vigilant state for a possible impending attack. Soldiers and armed policemen were deployed to strategic locations.
Britain was last put on “critical” alert in May of this year. It was after the Ariana Grande concert incident where a suicide bomber killed 22 people.
Cressida Dick, Britain’s top police officer, reassured the public, “Yesterday we saw a cowardly and indiscriminate attack which could have resulted in many lives being lost,” she said. “London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.”
Armed police officers are seen patrolling the streets of London and near government offices in Westminster. Prime Minister May advised the public not to panic when they see armed officers on the streets. “This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses,” she said on Friday.
It has been reported that the bomb was attached to a timer. This is different from previous attacks wherein suicide bombers were responsible.
Interior minister Amber Rudd said that, “There is no doubt that this was a serious IED (improvised explosive device) and it was good fortune that it did so little damage.”
The attack could have been deadly. According to officials, the home-made bomb exploded but seemingly did not detonate fully.