A homemade bomb exploded on a London subway train at Parsons Green station Friday morning, sending a scorching blast of flame and smoke through a London subway car. The explosion injured approximately 29 people. The explosion has been labeled as a terrorist attack by the British government. Authorities have stated that at the time of the explosion the subway was packed commuters. The explosion sent hundreds of panicked crowds scrambling for safety.
On Friday, authorities did not release much information except that the explosion had been labeled as a terrorist attack and that the countries terror threat level had been raised to critical. After the explosion, security measures across London were tightened and counter terrorism units were deployed.
The British government described the threat level “critical”, as meaning another attack could be imminent. This is something the London and other cities across Europe have experienced over the last year. Most of the terror attacks in Europe over this last year have involved the use of knives and vehicles, with one or maybe two people involved in the attack. But in the last few months the attacks have become more complex and better coordinated and have involved several people.
The explosive that was used on Friday’s terror attack is described as a crude explosive device, carried in a bucket and shoved into a shopping bag and had a makeshift timer. This kind of explosive suggest that bomb maker had some degree of bombmaking knowledge.
On Saturday morning, British police released a statement saying that they had arrested a man in the port area of Dover on the English Channel. Police believe that the suspect was looking for a boat out of England. The identity of the suspect is not being released at this time.
As the investigation in the terror attack continues, reports of armed police raids have been reported near a property in Sunbury west of London Saturday afternoon. The police stated that counterterrorism units were at the scene conducting operations in connected to the subway explosion.
In a statement Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu called the arrest “significant”. But the investigation is not over. Due to the complex nature of the explosive that was used in the bombing, police believe that there could be more people involved in the planning and execution of the attack.
Basu also stated that the suspect that was arrested is being held for questioning under the Terrorism Act. Basu further stated that “For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage,”.
After the attack, the Islamic State terrorist (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the terror attack on its Amaq News Agency website. Some experts believe that ISIS often seeks credit for attacks it may have only inspired, but in some cases, they could have nothing to do with the attack. At this point the police have not found any credible link to ISIS and the man that has been arrested.
As the investigation unfolded in London the message was the now familiar “keep calm and carry on.”
In an interview, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick stated, “Yesterday we saw a cowardly and indiscriminate attack, which could have resulted in many lives being lost,” Dick said. “Again, we saw a quick response from all the emergency services and transport staff. Since then, we have had teams of detectives and specialists working through the night on the investigation and officers throughout London mobilizing and providing an increased visible police presence – especially in crowded places.”
This latest attack has rekindled the debate about whether Britain is doing enough in fight against terrorism.
As the investigation continues, investigators have stated that the device used was intended to cause significant damage. But some believe that the device could have detonated prematurely or malfunctioned. This means that the damage and casualties could have been a lot worst.
It is unclear what role the person that has been arrested has played in the terror attack. Police have not stated if they know who the bomber is or if he is one of the people injured in the explosion.
As part of the investigation, London police have asked the public to submit cellphone images taken at the scene. The believe that this could help could help identify the suspect or suspects involved in the attack.