As The terror threat level in the UK remains at “critical” following the terrorist attack in the London Underground on Friday, authorities announce that they have arrested a suspect connected to the event. An 18-year-old man was taken into custody in the port area of Dover according to the Metropolitan Police and is currently awaiting transfer back to London for questioning. The Guardian adds that the suspect was reportedly trying to board a ferry to leave Britain, with intelligence noting that ISIS has allegedly used Dover and the ports in Kent as a route in and out of the country in the past due to weaker security. A statement by the Metropolitan police notes that although an arrest has been made, the investigation is still ongoing:
“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.”
According to The Guardian, the UK’s threat level is currently being assessed “hour by hour” and authorities are gathering information following the arrest to ensure those behind the attack and the materials used to make the explosive device are collected. London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a statement echoing the police announcement, adding strong words in response to the attack and the ongoing threat of terrorism:
It is important we all remain alert and vigilant. There will be an increased police presence across London today and over this weekend, including additional armed officers. They are there to keep us safe.
London will never be intimidated by terrorism. We will always defeat those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life.
Despite the arrest, authorities have chosen not to release images and CCTV footage that could be used by the public to identify the attacker. Apart from the age of the suspect in custody, no other details have been released by police at this time. According to The Guardian, counter terrorism investigators do believe the attack to have been “Islamist” in motivation and an ISIS statement claimed responsibility, but The Guardian adds that the group claimed responsibility with attacks in the past that they were later found to have no connection to.
The attack itself injured at least 29 people on Friday during rush hour, but only closed the Parsons Green Underground station for less than 24 hours according to CNN. Apart from an increased police presence in the area, life had returned “back to normal” with travelers using the tube as if no attack had happened.