A massive manhunt is underway after a suspected Islamist detonated a homemade explosive device on a London Underground train. The attack occurred in Parsons Green station in west London on Friday morning during rush hour. At least 22 injured passengers are being treated in hospital.
The improvised bucket bomb was left on a District line Tube-train at around 8:20 this morning and triggered with a timer device. However, police told Sky News that the explosive did not fully detonate.
Witnesses described scenes of panic and a train full of “acrid smoke” as the explosion sent a “fireball” and a “wall of flame” across the carriage. Police and forensics are currently examining the bucket bomb and taking statements from people who were near to the blast.
Images of the burning and charred device posted on Twitter appear to show a white bucket and wires placed inside a Lidl supermarket shopping bag.
The Metropolitan Police identified a man believed to have detonated the bomb after looking at CCTV footage. They have now launched a major counter-terrorism investigation working with British domestic intelligence agency MI5.
Just over a week ago, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told a Spanish newspaper that there are now more than 50,000 radical Islamists living in Western Europe — around 35,000 are based in the United Kingdom. He also said he expected more major terrorist incidents over the coming years.
This is the fifth Islamic terror attack in the UK in 2017. According to the Daily Express, the suspected bomber was already known to British police.
07:18 ET: British Prime Minister Theresa May called an emergency COBRA meeting at 1pm Friday in response to the incident.
PM: My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) September 15, 2017
07:50 ET: London Mayor Sadiq Khan posted a written statement about the incident on Twitter.
President Trump weighed in as well, in his own unique way.
10:33 ET: President Trump gave a speech expressing solidarity with the United Kingdom.
“I want to say that our hearts and prayers go out to the people of London who suffered a vicious terrorist attack today.
I spoke to a wonderful woman, British Prime Minister Theresa May, this morning, and relayed America’s deepest sympathy as well as our commitment to eradicating the terrorists from our planet.
Radical Islamic terrorism – it will be eradicated. believe me.”
Tucker is a foreign correspondent and media analyst for Not Liberal.