Police are investigating the potential Islamist links of an Asian-appearance 19 year old male from north London today after officers destroyed what has been described as a homemade device on a train in North Greenwich.
The device was destroyed in a controlled explosion on Thursday afternoon, and the unnamed suspect was detained under counter-terror laws on Friday afternoon on the Holloway Road in north London. Police are presently investigating the political and religious links, if any, of the man, and his mental health history.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports the device destroyed on the train was a homemade one, built “with the intention of exploding”, and police do not believe it was intended as a hoax.
Officers are now investigating the potential plot, and suspect the arrested man was planning more attacks. A memo from the government’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre discussed the event, remarking on: “…the discovery of a suspected viable improvised explosive device (IED) on a London Underground train yesterday.
“It is unknown who placed the device and what their motivation was. Therefore it remains possible that the perpetrator may attempt to place further devices. The threat level will continue to be reviewed as further information is received”.
The Daily Telegraph reports the attack-warning level in London for public transport has been raised to severe, and the Ministry of Defence put out a warning to personnel to expect further devices.
An eye-witness to the arrest told the newspaper:
He was just walking down the street doing his business.
He was just a normal guy walking along slowly.
He was definitely Asian and he definitely had black hair and I think he was in his twenties.
Officers came from behind him and tasered him.
They jumped on him. He was on the floor.
They checked him. They put him in a car and took him away.
I saw the whole thing from where I work.
The man was arrested by heavily armed officers and a taser stun-gun was deployed to help subdue the resisting suspect. Although it is unknown whether the man is associated with the institution, he was arrested outside London’s Metropolitan University, which has been linked in the past with radical Islamist speakers invited by the University’s Islamic Society, and with abuse of ‘Tier 4’ educational visas to the United Kingdom.