Terror level lowered to “severe,” investigation ongoing, talk of internet regulation resurfaces
On Friday morning, a bomb was detonated in the London Underground near Parsons Green. Two men have since been arrested, Prime Minister Teresa May has downgraded the UK threat level from critical to severe, and British police are searching the Surrey home of an elderly couple who fostered “refugee children.” The two men arrested are reportedly aged 18 and 21.
Investigators probing a bomb blast that injured more than two dozen people in London’s subway last week on Sunday combed through a house in this suburban town owned by elderly foster parents that neighbors said had recently been caring for two “refugees.”
Armed police descended on the neighborhood Saturday after the arrest of an 18-year-old man in connection with the Friday attack, in which an improvised explosive device aboard a train erupted in a ball of flame, burning some passengers and sending others fleeing in panic.
Police also arrested a second man, aged 21, late Saturday evening in a different suburb to the west of the capital. Both were being questioned on Sunday, police said.
Police have not yet released the names of the men, but May initially raised the terror threat level and deployed British soldiers to patrol select areas of London.
Authorities increased the terrorism threat level to critical late on Friday, after the bomb partially exploded during the morning rush hour at the Parsons Green station.
A critical threat level means the Government task force believes another attack may be imminent.
Prime Minister Theresa May said raising the threat level to its highest point was a “proportionate and sensible step”.
The attack also prompted the Government to take the rare step of deploying soldiers to replace police officers on guard duties at certain protected sites not accessible to the public.
The soldiers will also add to the police presence at public places to deter attacks after the improvised explosive device was partially detonated on a District Line train.
Following the arrests of the two as-yet-unidentified male terrorists, May lowered the threat level to severe, indicating that there was no longer an imminent threat.
Detectives are continuing to question two men, aged 18 and 21, arrested in connection with Friday’s London Underground attack as the government concluded a follow-up attack is not imminent and downgraded the UK terror threat assessment from critical to severe.
The home secretary Amber Rudd claimed “good progress” had been made in the investigation following the rush hour incident on Friday morning which involved a crude bomb which failed to detonate properly but still resulted in injuries to 30 people at Parsons Green tube station.
British police searched the home of elderly foster parents who reportedly “take in everyone,” turning no one away.
Police said on Sunday they were searching a home in Stanwell in the county of Surrey near the perimeter of London’s Heathrow Airport, in connection with the Hounslow arrest.
Police continued to search the house in Sunbury nearby but said there were no safety risks to local residents.
Local media said the home belongs to a couple who have fostered hundreds of children, including refugees.
The 18-year-old, whom authorities tracked using facial recognition technology, was believed to be a foster child taken in by Ronald Jones, 88, and his wife, Penelope, 71, who were honored by Queen Elizabeth for taking care of 268 foster children, the Times of London reported.
Police searched the couple’s home on Saturday as they reportedly stayed with friends. Neighbors around the house was evacuated as a precaution on Saturday. Mojgan Jamali, who lives near the house being searched, said police gave her “one minute” to pack.
“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,'” she said. “I just got out. I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”
. . . . Police did not reveal details about the search, but the precautions suggested concern that there might be explosives or violent extremists on the property. Residents were able to return to their homes on Sunday, but Jones’ house remained cordoned off.
President Trump tweeted a message of support for the people of London.
The president took some heat for tweeting that the bombing was a terrorist attack before UK officials publicly confirmed that fact. A particular bone of contention was the president’s assertion that Scotland Yard was aware of these particular terrorists prior to their bombing the London underground.
The BBC reported that May stated in response, “”I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.” Of course, later that day she confirmed, as had British law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials, that the attack was indeed a terror attack.
Responding to the point about Scotland Yard and the ire that evoked from UK officials (and the American media), National Security adviser H. R. McMaster explained:
National security adviser H.R. McMaster appeared to try to clean up Trump’s comment, telling reporters later on Friday afternoon that Trump was speaking generally about Scotland Yard, and that he was trying to broadly convey that law enforcement is focused on the threat of terrorism.
“For years, Scotland Yard has been a leader, as our FBI has been a leader. So I think if there was a terrorist attack here, God forbid, that we would say that they were in the sights of the FBI,” McMaster said. “So I think he didn’t mean anything beyond that.”
President Trump also stated, once again, that U. S. efforts should include cutting off radical Islamic terrorists from their internet recruiting tool.
According to the Guardian, “May is is due to make prevention of extremism on the internet one of her three key themes at the UN next week. Although May does not support Trump’s talk of cutting off the internet, she agrees with him that technology giants have not done enough to tackle online extremism.”
Following the London Bridge terror attack in June, May also called for greater regulation of the internet.DONATE
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