Monday 20 August 2018

Police raid foster carers' home in west London as teen (18) arrested - London terror latest

Police and forensic officers taking part in an operation in Cavendish Road, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, as part of the investigation into the Parsons Green bombing. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police and forensic officers taking part in an operation in Cavendish Road, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, as part of the investigation into the Parsons Green bombing. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Armed police raided the home of two respected foster carers in their hunt for the bomb factory used by the Parsons Green bomber today, just hours after arresting an 18-year-old man close to the port of Dover.

The rapidly moving developments came a day after commuters fled in terror after a homemade bomb partially detonated on a District Line train, injuring 29 people.

Kent police detained the teenager close to the Port of Dover at 7.50am on suspicion of being a terrorist, describing it as a “significant arrest”.

Police officers were later seen searching bins close to Dover Priory rail station a few minutes walk from the port.

The suspect is due to be moved to a south London police station tonight.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "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.

"The public should remain vigilant. This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers."

The arrest place to close to the busiest ferry hub in Europe, which serves as a commercial gateway to the French coast, including Calais and Dunkirk - raising the prospect the suspect could have been attempting to leave the country.

Five hours later armed police backed by the bomb squad arrived at an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, south west London, and began evacuating residents from surrounding homes.

The elderly owners of the Cavendish Road property, Penelope and Ronald Jones, are a dedicated foster couple who have taken in hundreds of young people since 1970, including refugees from several countries.

In 2009 Mr and Mrs Jones were appointed MBEs for services to children and families. The honour was presented to them by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Jones, 71, and her husband, 88, said at the time: “We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need.”

Their home is 11 miles from Parsons Green and on the overground rail line to Wimbledon, which is on the District Line. The couple were unavailable for comment.

A neighbour who gave her name as Daphne, who lives opposite the house that was raided on Cavendish Road, said: ''I am so worried about Ron and Penny, they are a lovely couple.”



Mojgan Jamali, who lives close to the house, said: "I was in my house with my children and there was a knock at the door from the police.

"They told me to leave. They said: 'You have one minute to get out of the house and get away.'

"I just got out, I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”

Friday's device reportedly contained the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and nails, but is thought to have only partially detonated from inside a bucket.

There were fears the number of those hurt could have been much higher had the bomb, which was concealed within a supermarket carrier bag, fully exploded.

It is not yet known whether the device, which was reportedly fixed with a timer, went off at its intended target or whether it was intended to go off further into central London.

The train, which was bound for Edgware Road, was just pulling into the station in south-west London when the device detonated in the rear carriage, sending passengers fleeing to safety.



Parsons Green station was reopened in the early hours of Saturday.


Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, speaking after a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, said: "There is no doubt that this was a serious IED, it was good fortune that it did so little damage in fact."

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police were "chasing down suspects", indicating that a potential network of plotters could have been involved in the Parsons Green attack.

The Met said it has spoken to 45 witnesses and 77 images and videos have been sent to detectives by members of the public.

A key plank of the investigation has focused on CCTV, with officers combing through footage to establish who planted the device, and when and where it was placed on the train.

Security minister Ben Wallace suggested CCTV images of the bomber could be released as part of the manhunt, but Scotland Yard subsequently denied there were any plans to do so.

Troops have been dispatched to key sites across the country to free up armed police officers after the country's terror threat level was raised to its highest point.

The threat level remains at critical, which means a further attack is feared to be imminent.

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News