A prankster caused alarm on the London Underground on Monday after dressing as a suicide bomber in a stunt British Transport Police branded "insensitive" and "crass" in light of recent terrorist attacks across the world.
In an image captured by Alec Wilson, three people are pictured in police costumes, while a fourth is dressed in camouflage fatigues, with a large rucksack and a “fake bomb” on his chest.
Wilson, 29, spotted the group boarding the train at Fulham Broadway station around 7pm. He told the Evening Standard that the man in camouflage had a "little man bag on his front, like a camera bag, and it had a 'detonation' cord.”
Wilson, from Fulham, said those on the carriage soon realised it was a "sick" joke.
He tweeted a picture of the scenes, calling the group "dicks" and saying he hoped they would "get shot by the actual police".
Wilson told the newspaper: “I realised his weapon was plastic and that he was walking towards the ‘police man’ with a feather boa in his hat.
“Once I realised it was a joke I thought it was sick.
“I thought if he’s the first one walking through a turnstile and a police officer calls it in, they’ll be pointing automatic weapons at him.”
Four or five men, thought to be in their late 20s or early 30s, accompanied the fake suicide bomber, dressed as police officers. Several women were also said to be among the group.
Wilson told the Evening Standard that he thought the costume was "inappropriate". He said: "People dress up as Nazis, that’s offensive, but it’s not something that might get you shot.”
The incident comes six months after the 10th anniversary of London's 7/7 bombings, which included three attacks on the underground.
The British Transport Police said officers were aware of the incident even though commuters didn’t report it.
A spokeswoman said: “It is insensitive and crass behaviour in the light of recent terrorist attacks across the world and the threat to the UK currently at severe."
“It is important for everyone to remember the need to be responsible and considerate to fellow passengers while making your journey.
“We would always encourage anyone to report anything they think is suspicious or which makes them uncomfortable to us, to allow us to establish if any further action is needed.”
Social media users were quick to condemn the stunt.
What absolute twats: Panic on Tube after commuter dressed up as a ‘suicide bomber'January 19, 2016
Cannot believe the SHEER STUPIDITY of this idiot!!! Panic on Tube after commuter dressed up as a ‘suicide bomber'January 19, 2016