- Teenager, 18, arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover
- Arrest comes after Parsons Green station reopened after bucket bomb detonated on Tube train during Friday rush hour
- Armed police and military personnel set to be deployed over the weekend
- Britain’s terror threat level remains at critical – meaning another attack is expected imminently
- Police urge vigilance from public and call for patience amid disruption and delays
Police investigating the Parsons Green bombing have arrested a teenager on suspicion of a terror offence.
Scotland Yard said Kent Police had detained the 18-year-old man in the port area of Dover on Saturday morning. He is due to be moved to a south London police station.
Announcing the arrest, police said the investigation continues and Britain’s terror threat level remains at critical – meaning another attack is expected imminently.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu 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 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.
“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.”
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Parsons Green Station reopened in the early hours of Saturday morning, as armed police and military personnel were set to be deployed over the weekend following the attack.
The improvised explosive device – which reportedly contained the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and packed with nails – sent a fireball through the District Line train during Friday morning rush hour, sparking panic as passengers – including children – stampeding to escape.
It is thought the number of people injured could have been much higher had the bomb, which was hidden in a supermarket carrier bag, fully detonated.
On Friday night, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said military personnel had been drafted in to protect national infrastructure sites, allowing additional armed police officers to carry out patrols.
He said: “Communities across the UK can expect to see more officers, both armed and unarmed, on patrol by foot and in vehicles over the weekend. In particular, they will be patrolling at crowded places, iconic sites, transport hubs and ports.
“This may mean disruption for those who are travelling. The public are asked to be patient and plan ahead, allowing time for delays.”
Mr Rowley, the UK’s most senior anti-terror police officer, warned that security checks at events would be enhanced and also urged communities around the UK to be vigilant.
While The Islamic State (IS) terror group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, Mr Rowley said police had to be open-minded about the person who had planted the bomb and about “potential associates”.
He said detectives were only aware of one device and refused to be drawn on details of the suspects because of the “covert” nature of the operation.
Detectives have spoken to tens of witnesses, taken a large number of calls to the anti-terror hotline from members of the public, and have so far received 77 images and videos taken at the scene, he said, while the remnants of the device had been taken away for specialist examination.
“So whilst we chase down the suspects, as the public would expect, we are strengthening our policing resources on the streets of London and across the country whilst continuing the investigation.
“I have asked Government ministers earlier on for permission to use members of the military to free up extra police resources.”
It is not yet known whether the bomb, which was reportedly fixed with a timer, went off at its intended target.
The train was just pulling into the District Line station in south-west London when the device exploded, in the rear carriage.