Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Second bombing suspect detained

SECURITY Two men have been detained after Thursday's failed attacks in London; a manhunt continues as the mayor backs a shoot-to-kill policy


Police investigating this week's failed bombings said yesterday they had arrested a second man in a south London neighborhood close to the scene of one of the attacks and where officers shot another suspect dead in a subway train.

Thousands of officers conducted a huge manhunt amid hopes the publication of images of four suspected attackers would lead to their capture.

Security alerts kept the city of about 8 million on edge. Police briefly evacuated east London's Mile End subway station in one such incident and one witness reported the smell of something burning. Service was suspended on parts of two subway lines. Police said later that the incident "turned out to be nothing."

Earlier, the Metropolitan Police said the second arrest late Friday was "in connection with our inquiries" into Thursday's attacks. The first suspect, whose identity has also not been released, was being questioned at a high-security London police station.

The force said it had had a good response to Friday's release of the photos, which were captured on closed-circuit surveillance cameras. Police said their anti-terrorist hotline had received more than 400 calls since Friday's appeal.

Authorities gave few details about the arrests, made under anti-terrorism legislation Friday in the Stockwell area of south London, where another man was shot dead by plainclothes officers in front of stunned subway commuters. Stockwell is near Oval station, the scene of one of Thursday's bungled bombings.

The men can be held for up to 14 days before they must be charged or released under the anti-terrorism legislation.

Friday was a day that jangled London's jittery nerves, with repeated security alerts on the transport system and armed raids on several properties.

Police would not say whether either the man killed or the men they arrested were among the four suspected of carrying bombs onto three subway trains and a bus on Thursday. Media reported widely that the man who was shot was not one of the bombers.

The bombs, which contained homemade explosives, failed to detonate properly and no one was injured, which echoed the much deadlier blasts two weeks earlier that killed 52 people and four suspected bombers.

Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair said that dealing with the threat posed by the bombers was "the greatest operational challenge ever faced by the Metropolitan Police Service."

He said the service, which for years had to deal with terror campaigns waged by the Irish Republican Army, was now "facing previously unknown threats and great danger."

The startlingly clear closed-circuit TV images of the suspects stared from the front pages of British newspapers yesterday. "Faces of the four bombers," said the Daily Telegraph. "The Fugitives" said the Times, while the Daily Mail labeled them "Human Bombs."

One image shows a stocky man in a "NEW YORK" sweat shirt running through a station. Another depicts a man in a white baseball cap and a T-shirt adorned with palm trees. Two others are in dark clothes, slightly obscured by a poor camera angle.

Authorities released the images Friday as snipers and bomb squads fanned out across the nervous city.

Heavily armed officers patrolled the British capital with clear instructions to stop suicide bombers -- if necessary, with a shot to the head.

"If you are dealing with someone who might be a suicide bomber, if they remain conscious, they could trigger plastic explosives or whatever device is on them," said Mayor Ken Livingstone. "Therefore, overwhelmingly in these circumstances, it is going to be a shoot-to-kill policy."

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