NEWS

Parsons Green Terror Attack Prompts Search For 'Cowardly' Suspects

Police deny media reports they have singled out attacker on CCTV.

15/09/2017 15:56 | Updated 15 September 2017

LATEST: Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

What we know so far:

  • Emergency services were called at around 8.20am after reports of a bag exploding on a train
  • The Met Police confirmed at 10.13am it is investigating it as a ‘terrorist incident’
  • Twenty-two people suffered non-life threatening injuries
  • Police said an ‘improvised explosive device’ was detonated. Pictures show a flaming bucket in a bag on the train
  • One witness described to HuffPost a stampede of panicked people fleeing the station
  • The PM chaired a Cobra meeting this afternoon
  • Terror threat level to remain at severe

The Metropolitan Police said that the improvised explosive device may have only partially exploded. Footage on social media showed a fire in a bucket inside a Lidl bag, with what appeared to be wires sticking out, on the train carriage floor.

The incident caused mass panic at the station and what one witness called “a horrendous human pile-on” as people fled.

Theresa May condemned the “cowardly” attack, saying: “This was a device intended to cause significant harm.”

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terror Command was working with MI5 to investigate the attack.

PA Wire/PA Images
Plain-clothes police officers near Parsons Green station

He also appealed for members of the public who filmed or photographs to share them with police and warned them to expect an “enhanced police presence” in London in the coming days.

Sky News cited sources saying that police believed they had singled out the attacker on CCTV. 

But the Met said it was not aware of this. “We’ve not heard anything like that at all,” a Met spokesman told HuffPost.

No arrests have been made.

In the minutes after the explosion, it was unclear whether it was an attack but, two hours later, the Met confirmed it was investigating it as terrorism. The explosive device reportedly had a timer.

Theresa May condemned the “cowardly” attack, saying: “This was a device intended to cause significant harm.”

She chaired a meeting of Cobra on Friday afternoon.

Despite speculation the terror threat level could be raised given an attacker is on the loose, it will remain at ‘severe’.

A cordon with a 50-metre radius has been put in place at Parsons Green so that specialist officers can “secure the remnants of the improvised device and ensure it is stable”.

Photos showed a forensic tent has been set up on the station platform.

PA Wire/PA Images
A forensics tent on the platform at Parsons Green

Sky News cited sources saying that police believed they had singled out the attacker on CCTV. 

But the Met said it was not aware of this.

“We’ve not heard anything like that,” a Met spokesman told HuffPost.

No arrests have been made. 

PA Wire/PA Images
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley speaks to the media outside New Scotland Yard after the attack

Donald Trump tweeted the attack was the work of a “loser terrorist” who was “in the sights of Scotland Yard”, which led some to think he was leaking sensitive intelligence about the suspects.

But May dismissed his words, suggesting it wasn’t helpful to “speculate”.

“I never think it’s helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” she said.

Trump later said he had been briefed on intelligence, while taking questions from reporters on the White House lawn.

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