SHAFAQNA – A 19-year-old man has been arrested under the Terrorism Act after a suspicious device was found on a London tube train.
The suspect was seized in the street on Friday in an armed operation in Holloway Road, north London.
The Metropolitan police said a Taser was discharged during the arrest but shots were not fired.
In a statement, the Met said: “The 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism acts, under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He has been taken to a London police station where he remains in custody.”
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the suspect device.
The police swoop came after a controlled detonation was carried out on the device, which was discovered just after 11am on Thursday by a member of the train staff. The station was then closed, and a controlled explosion was carried out by counter-terrorism investigators.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Thanks to the outstanding professionalism of the Metropolitan police, Transport for London staff and the British Transport police, this situation was dealt with swiftly and safely, and no injuries resulted.
“I have been in constant contact with the Metropolitan police commissioner and the TfL commissioner throughout the past two days.
“Keeping Londoners safe is my highest priority. I am urging all Londoners to check with TfL before they travel and to remain calm and vigilant at all times.”
Neither police nor TfL have confirmed the details of the suspect item. However, a Tube source said: “Staff follow a training procedure known as ‘Hot’ – is the object hidden, obvious, typical? There’s a lot of lost property every week and it’s quite rare for something to be regarded as this suspicious, and obviously for the police to close down the line for this length of time.”
There had been earlier reports that a member of train staff had found a “bag of wires”, but police have dismissed this.
Police chiefs ordered extra officers to patrol potential transport targets across London after the suspicious item was found on a Jubilee line train. They said it was a “reassurance” measure, with more officers seen patrolling the capital’s underground network and at key overground stations.
The extra patrols were expected to continue as investigators tried to establish the motive.
Unions sought assurances over the safety of the tube following the controlled explosion. The TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “I’d like to pay tribute to all our tube workers who were at the forefront of [the] evacuation of the Jubilee line tube and station at Greenwich North.
“However, in light of very serious concerns raised about security by our members following the alarming events, we are urgently pressing for an emergency and immediate security summit with London Underground, British Transport police, Scotland Yard and city hall.
“Our members are telling us that they are scared and that the company is giving them scant reassurance. The network should be shut until we are given assurances that it’s made as safe as possible for them and for passengers.“
Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We understand the concern on the part of some of our staff, and kept everyone informed during the incident. We have been working closely with the police and continue to take all appropriate measures to keep customers and staff safe.
“Our teams are trained and very experienced in managing the security of our operations and responded professionally to this incident.”
Police said they were keeping an open mind but that “the Met’s counter-terrorism command is leading the investigation because it has the expertise to deal with incidents of this kind”.
A statement said: “Shortly after 11am on Thursday 20 October, the British Transport police was called to North Greenwich underground station after train staff reported finding a suspicious item on a train travelling eastbound on the Jubilee line.
“Specialist officers from the Met and BTP are in attendance and a controlled detonation has since taken place to ensure the item is safe.”