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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Terror raids across London finger foster parents

The 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of preparing a terrorist act, sparking the evacuation of the ferry terminal on Saturday morning

Police and forensic officers work at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames, southwest London, as part of the investigation into Friday's Parsons Green bombing. Victoria Jones/PA via AP
Police and forensic officers work at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames, southwest London, as part of the investigation into Friday's Parsons Green bombing. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

There remains confusion and unwanted attention for the residents of Sunbury, as police raids there targeted a house which had served as a haven for foster children, turned a place of sanctuary into somewhere that suspicion reigned at.

Following the arrest of a teenager suspected of the planting of the Parsons Green bomb who was detained in the departure area of the port of Dover, Scotland Yard has revealed that their target was ‘live’.

The 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of preparing a terrorist act, sparking the evacuation of the ferry terminal on Saturday morning. Detectives investigating the attack “kept an open mind” as to whether the Tube bomber was acting alone or as part of a wider network of terrorists.

Britain's threat level has been raised to "critical", indicating that another attack is feared, and soldiers have been deployed to guard key points to free up police for the investigation.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the terror threat level in the UK would remain at that level, indicating another attack could be likely.

"We're keeping an open mind around whether more than one person is responsible for the attack," Basu told reporters.

Dover's ferry terminal was evacuated during the arrest and "a number of items" were recovered, while the teenager is now in custody in London.

The bomb detonated in a packed train carriage on Friday morning with a large explosion followed by what eyewitnesses described as a "fireball". It was Britain's fifth terror attack in six months.

Residents of an evacuated street in Sunbury near London, where a police search in a house is ongoing, were allowed to go back home late on Saturday evening.

"Good news - all residents can now return," Surrey police said on Twitter.

"Policing activity will continue in the area -- however there is no safety risk associated with this," it added.

Witnesses described chaos after Friday's explosion.

Charlie Craven told AFP he heard a "massive bang" and "an orange sort of fireball encompassing the whole Tube coming towards you."

Another, Lauren Hubbard, described it as "a wall of fire".

Twitter user @Rrigs posted pictures of a white bucket smouldering on the train and described how a "fireball flew down carriage and we just jumped out open door".

The bucket, which was inside a frozen food bag, looked like the type used by builders and there appeared to be cables coming from it.

According to eyewitnesses, the suspect was seen being interrogated by two unarmed police officers moments before his arrest in Dover.

Tourist Daniel Vaselicu, 31, had been sitting with a friend in the waiting area at the ferry hub when he saw the man being approached by officers.