Terror Level Critical After ISIS Claim Tube Bucket Bomb Attack

From Daily-Mail:
Armed police have flooded London's streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again, Theresa May announced tonight.

The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

Scotland Yard said it is making 'excellent' progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London at 8.20am.

Mrs May said in a statement from Number 10: 'The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has now decided to raise the national threat level from severe to critical - this means their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.'

Minutes later Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested there might have been more than one person involved, stating that police were 'chasing down suspects'.

Police identified the suspected terrorist using CCTV footage but the investigation has been overshadowed by an extraordinary diplomatic row triggered by Donald Trump

The US President tweeted just hours after the rush hour blast that police had the attacker 'in their sights' and should have been 'more proactive' in catching 'the loser'.

Scotland Yard hit back and said Mr Trump's comments were 'pure speculation' while senior officers refused to name the suspect.

The President later rowed back on his controversial comments by posting another tweet saying, ‘our hearts and prayers go out to the people of London’.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack tonight, saying its 'soldiers' had 'planted IEDs'.

It was the middle of rush hour when the crude bucket bomb - which had a timer - went off at 8.20am inside a tube train packed with commuters, including children and a pregnant woman.

The device was hidden in a builder's bucket and could have killed dozens but failed to properly detonate and sent a 'wall of fire' through the carriage at Parsons Green, injuring at least 29 people.

Terrified passengers were left covered in blood with scorched hands, legs, faces and hair – others suffered crush injuries during a stampede as they 'ran for their lives' over fears the
'train would blow up'.

London Ambulance took 19 patients to hospitals, while the others went in themselves. The four hospitals dealing with patients were Imperial, Chelsea and Westminster, Guy's and St Thomas' and St George's.

Officers are tonight hunting for the bomber across London amid claims he could be armed and might have planted other explosive devices.

An officer at the scene told MailOnline: 'We believe there is a second bomb - there is a man with knives on the loose.'

In a pre-recorded television statement released around 8.30pm, May said military personnel would replace police officers 'on guard duties at certain protected sites which are not accessible to the public'.

She said: 'The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets, providing extra protection.
'This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses.'

Speaking moments afterwards, Assistant Commissioner Mike Rowley said: 'We are making excellent progress at the moment as we pursue our lines of inquiry to identify, locate and arrest those responsible.

'We have hundreds of police officers trawling through CCTV footage, detectives have spoken to tens of witnesses and we have taken a large number of calls to the hotline... from members of the public.
'Indeed members of the public have sent in so far 77 images and videos of the scene which they have sent in to our appeal website and these are now being assessed for evidential value.'

Mr Rowley said he was only aware of one device, and the remnants of that device are being examined by experts.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC radio 'there is a manhunt under way as we speak' and there have been no arrests. Mr Khan was later criticisd for using a TV interview to score political points about police cuts.

He said the events backed up his argument that the Metropolitan Police needed more money. But Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: 'I would've thought Sadiq Khan would want to keep politics out of the terror attack'.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack this evening through its Amaq News Agency, saying its 'soldiers planted IEDs'. However, the group has often made false claims in the past.
Photographs show what experts believe is an 'unsophisticated' bomb in a flaming white bucket inside a Lidl freezer bag with Christmas lights protruding from the top - a type of fuse encouraged by ISIS in its online manuals.

Donald Trump tweeted just hours after the rush hour blast that police had the attacker 'in their sights' and should have been 'more proactive' in catching 'the loser'.
Scotland Yard hit back and said Mr Trump's comments were 'pure speculation' while senior officers refused to name the suspect.

Mrs May also hit out at the President's tweet, calling it 'unhelpful', and has this evening discussed the intelligence sharing between the two countries with the President in a telephone call.

Witnesses to the explosion said there was a loud 'bang', a flash and then a ball of flame engulfed surrounding passengers on the 'packed' District Line train.

Luke Warsmey said: 'The explosion was like a large match going off at the end of the carriage. People just started sprinting. It was every man for himself when that happened. The burn victims had severe leg injuries.

'It was a very busy commuter train, young and old, school children going to their schools. I saw was nannies trying to look for kids, because of the rush of people just taking five and six year olds away from them and they were trying to look for them.

'There were lots of injuries from people being trampled on and everyone who had been close to it had the same burns to their head.'
Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee this afternoon to discuss the terrorist attack.

Mrs May later appealed to any members of the public with images of the incident to pass them to the police.
Armed Police, paramedics and firefighters were all said to be at the west London station within five minutes of the explosion.

A 100 yard cordon was erected around the station and a police helicopter was also overhead.

The Met confirmed it was a terrorist attack around 40 minutes later.
Scotland Yard said the area surrounding Parsons Green Tube station has been evacuated so specialist officers could 'secure the remnants of the improvised device and ensure it is stable'.

In the aftermath armed police swooped from the SO-15 counter-terrorism unit performed a hard-stop on a bus in nearby Chelsea Bridge Road. The call was linked to the terror attack but nothing suspicious was found on board.

Emma Stevie, 27, described a 'human stampede' after the bomb went off. She said: 'I heard lots of screams and people saying “run, run”. We got out and then there was a human stampede, down the stairs.

'There were people lying underneath getting crushed, a big human pile-on. I wedged myself in next to a railing. I put myself in the foetal position. I kept thinking, “I'll be ok, I'll be ok”.

'There was a pregnant woman underneath me and I was trying really hard not to crush her.'
Richard Aylmer-Hall told Sky News: 'There were a few crush injuries on the stairs. People got squashed and crushed going down the stairs. Police evacuated everyone from the scene pretty quickly.

'There was screaming, pushing and shoving - it was a like there was a terrorist on the loose with a gun or something - lots of people were in tears. When it was all over lots of people were being comforted and looked after. It was total chaotic panic.
'A lady who had been on the same carriage as the device described it going off - a puff of smoke and flames coming out of it.'

Couple Lucy, 24 and Fabin, 29, were on their way to work when the explosion happened.
Lucy, who works in PR, said: 'We just heard screaming and sprinting, there was a stampede on the stairs and people were falling over, there was a schoolboy being lifted up after he had fallen down, he was in his school uniform, he must have been about ten, he was crying and distressed.'
Fulham fitness instructor Niyi Shokunbi, 24, was in the next carriage the moment the bomb went off.
He told MailOnline: 'I have never seen anything like it was like something out of a film. I thought it was an acid attack. It happened like bang within ten seconds, I just wanted to run.

'I went towards the carriage where the bomb went off a woman said you don't want to go in there. I saw a little boy with scratches on his face crying for his brother. A woman was bleeding. Everyone was running. I've never seen anything like it.'

People suffered burns from the explosion and others were hurt in the crush.
Rob Partinton, 24, from Harrow told MailOnline: 'We were literally about two minutes from Parsons Green when the train suddenly stopped.

'I saw people running on the track opposite direction towards Fulham Broadway, I could hear no screams but a lot of people running. We've been held at the station for the last half an hour.

It's pretty busy, a lot of police around and police dogs.'
Another witness, Sham, said he saw a man with blood all over his face. 'There were loads of people crying and shaking,' he told Five Live.

'There were a lot of people limping and covered in blood. One guy I saw, his face was covered in blood - I've never seen anything like it.'

At the scene dozens of police and ambulances have continued to be called into the cordoned area. It is not known at this stage how many people are injured.
Specialist armed anti-terror units also swamped the area.
Chris Wildish, who was on the train, said he saw a 'device' in the last carriage.

'It was a white bucket, a builder's bucket, in a white Aldi bag or Lidl bag,' he told 5live.
'Flames were still coming out of it when I saw it and had a lot of wires hanging out of it'.
Sylvain Pennec, a software developer from Southfields, was around 10 metres from the source of the explosion when fire filled the carriage.

'I heard a boom and when I looked there were flames all around,' he said. 'People started to run but we were lucky to be stopping at Parsons Green as the door started to open.'
He described the scene of panic as commuters struggled to escape the carriage, 'collapsing and pushing' each other.
Mr Pennec stayed behind to take a closer look at what he believed was the source of the explosion.

'It looked like a bucket of mayonnaise,' he said. 'I'm not sure if it was a chemical reaction or something else, but it looked homemade. I'm not an expert though.'
Passengers on the train behind the affected Tube witnessed terrified passengers sprinting away up the tracks.

They were then held in their train for over an hour before being evacuated on to the tracks themselves.
Nicole Linnell, 29, who works for a fashion label, said: 'We saw people running down the tracks. About 30 or 40 people.

'They were running down the tracks outside our train.
'It was absolutely terrifying. Running on the tracks is the last thing you want to do so we were like 'What's going on?'

'After about an hour we were evacuated off the train on to the tracks. About 10 to 15 people at a time.'
Melanie Heyside had been at a gym nearby and intended to get on a District Line train to go to work.

She told Sky News: 'I just was about to open the doors to leave the studio and then all of a sudden Swat cars completely stormed and blocked the street and police jumped out with their armour and were telling people to 'move, to move'.
'So I was inside with a group of other people and we weren't really sure what to do.'

She said they were told to leave the area, which she added was populated by schoolchildren and others going to work, as quickly as possible.
Lady Margaret's School, next to Parson's Green tube station, put out an alert to concerned parents to say all children are okay and there are no absences.

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