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Teen arrested by counter terrorism unit after device found in Tube train

Teen arrested by counter terrorism unit after device found in Tube train

A 19-year-old man has been arrested by counter-terrorism officers after a device was discovered on a Tube train, sparking a major security alert.

The suspect was seized in the street on Friday afternoon in an armed operation in Holloway Road, north London.

A Taser was discharged during the arrest but no shots were fired.

The swoop came after a controlled detonation was carried out on the suspicious item at North Greenwich station, close to the O2 complex in south-east London on Thursday morning.

In a statement, Scotland Yard 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."

The arrested man was white, bearded and wearing a hoodie, a witness said.

Ali, who did not want to give his full name, said the man had been walking along the street "normally" when police descended.

He said: "The armed police, I think five of them, ran behind him and put him on the floor."

Ali, 30, said he did not see the man Tasered but that he did see the Taser on the floor.

"He was struggling not to get arrested for like a good five minutes. They were shouting 'armed police, don't struggle'. Everything happened so quick."

He described the arrested man as in his early twenties, white, bearded and that he was wearing a hoodie, a long jacket, jeans and trainers.

"He did not look like he had had a shave for a long time," he added.

British Transport Police were called to the station shortly after 11am on Thursday after train staff reported finding a "suspicious item" on a train travelling eastbound on the Jubilee Line.

Officers evacuated the station and it remained shut for several hours as specialist teams worked to make the item safe.

No details about the device have been officially released but reports suggested it was handed to a tube driver, who saw that it contained wires and possibly a clock.

The device is currently being forensically examined and investigators are awaiting the results of the tests.

Scotland Yard said: "The Met and BTP have been working tirelessly since the item was found to follow up all potential leads.

"Officers are keeping an open mind regarding any possible motive. They are not looking for anyone else in relation to this investigation at this stage."

Commuters were told to expect to see more officers, including armed police, in and around transport hubs while patrols by BTP officers on the underground and at stations are in place.

The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is severe - meaning an attack is "highly likely".

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."

North Greenwich station reopened on Thursday night and a performance at the O2 by the band Nickelback went ahead as planned.

:: Police urged anyone who saw anything suspicious on the train, or anywhere else, to call the anti-terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.