PM raises terror threat level to critical after Parsons Green Tube attack


Armed police and military personnel will be deployed over the weekend with the public asked to remain vigilant in the wake of the Parsons Green bomb attack.

Britain is on the highest terror alert after Prime Minister Theresa May raised the threat level to critical, meaning another attack is expected imminently.

A manhunt is under way after the improvised explosive device (IED) sent a fireball through a packed London Underground train carriage in south west London, during the Friday morning rush-hour.

The Prime Minister said military personnel would replace police officers “on guard duties at certain protected sites which are not accessible to the public”.

“The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets, providing extra protection,” Mrs May said.

“This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses.”

The use of the military is believed to allow up to 5,000 troops to be deployed in support of the police.

Yes – though not unprecedented. It is the fourth time the assessment has been placed at the highest level for the past 11 years. It has only been at critical three times, in August 2006 and June 2007 and in May after the Manchester Arena bombing.

The level was first made public in 2006. Since then, it has most often been at severe, and not been lower than substantial (an attack is a strong possibility).

An organisation called the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. It was established in June 2003 and is based at MI5’s London headquarters. JTAC comprises representatives from 16 government departments and agencies.

A number of factors may be taken into account, including available intelligence, terrorist capability, terrorist intentions and timescale.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police were “chasing down suspects” over the attack.

In a statement outside Scotland Yard, the UK’s most senior anti-terror police officer said: “Somebody has planted an improvised explosive device on the Tube – we have to be open-minded at this stage about him and about potential associates.”

Mr Rowley said detectives were only aware of one device and refused to be drawn on details of the suspects because of the “covert” nature of the operation.

“Detectives have spoken to tens of witnesses and we have taken a large number of calls to the anti-terror hotline from members of the public,” he said.

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“And indeed members of the public have sent in so far 77 images and videos they have taken at the scene and these have been sent into our appeal website and these are being assessed for evidential value.

“Meanwhile, the improvised explosive device on the train, the remnants of it have now been made safe and they’ve been taken away for specialist examination by forensic scientists.

“So whilst we chase down the suspects, as the public would expect, we are strengthening our policing resources on the streets of London and across the country whilst continuing the investigation.

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, most of whom suffered “flash burns”, after the improvised explosive device went off at Parsons Green station in south-west London at around 8.20am.

The Islamic State (IS) terror group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, according to the US-based Site Intelligence.

Rita Katz, the director of Site, said IS claimed the bombing was the work of a “detachment” rather than simply a “soldier”, which she said implied it was a coordinated attack.

The terror group has frequently declared that it was behind terrorist incidents in recent years but experts have warned their claims should be treated with caution.



Source : http://www.itv.com/news/2017-09-15/pm-raises-terror-threat-level-raised-to-critical-after-tube-terror-attack/

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