newsCO.com.au–UK lowers threat level after Tube blast

September 17, 2017

@newsCOflash

2017-09-17 14:35:12

Britain lowered its national security threat level to severe from critical after progress in an investigation into a bomb attack on the London Underground, Interior Minister Amber Rudd says.

“Following the attack on Parsons Green last Friday, the police have made good progress with what is an ongoing operation,” she said on Sunday.

“The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which reviews the threat level the UK is under, has decided to lower that level from critical to severe.”

The level was raised to critical, meaning an attack is expected imminently, on Friday after the bomb injured 30 people in an underground train.

Severe, the second highest level, means an attack is highly likely.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.

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 6km from Hounslow.

The second man, 21, 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.

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.

Some passengers suffered burns and others were hurt in a stampede to escape. Health officials said none was thought to be in a serious condition.

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, they said.

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 IS was involved.

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.

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