UK lowers official terrorist threat level after 2nd arrest

LONDON (AP) — The British government lowered the country’s official terrorist threat level Sunday after a second man was arrested in connection with the attack on a London subway train where a bomb partially exploded.

The downgrading of the threat level from “critical” to “severe” means authorities no longer believe an attack is imminent. The “severe” classification, the second highest level of alert, is based on the assessment that an attack is “highly likely.”

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the easing of the alert indicates that police and security services are making “good progress” in the sprawling investigation into the attack on a subway train that injured 30 people during the rush hour Friday morning.

Rudd cautioned that the investigation was ongoing.

Police announced the second arrest early Sunday, offering the clearest indication yet that authorities do not believe the person who planted the homemade bomb acted alone.

The first person arrested was an 18-year-old man who was taken into custody Saturday in the departure area of the port of Dover. The Metropolitan Police force said a 21-year-old man was arrested Saturday shortly before midnight in the west London borough of Hounslow.

The force said the second suspect was being held under the Terrorism Act and questioned at a south London police station Sunday, but has been neither charged nor identified.

Police on Sunday also launched an urgent search of a property in the southwestern suburb of Stanwell that authorities said was linked to the latest arrest.

They continued searching a home in Sunbury, another southwestern London suburb where neighbors were evacuated on Saturday.

During the attack on a stopped train at the Parsons Green station, a bomb hidden in a plastic bucket inside a supermarket freezer bag only partially exploded, sparing the city much worse carnage.

The two arrests indicate police and security services believe the attack was part of a coordinated plot, not the act of a single person.

“We are still pursing numerous lines of enquiry and at a great pace,” Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism coordinator Neil Basu said.

Residents of the Sunbury neighborhood where an armed police search started Saturday were evacuated in a rush and kept away for nearly 10 hours before they were allowed to return to their homes.

The property belongs to an elderly couple who have for years taken in foster children, including refugees from conflict zones in Syria and Iraq.

The pair — Ronald Jones, 88, and his…

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