Police have arrested three more men in connection with the Parsons Green tube bombing after raiding a building said to be a ‘halfway house’ for asylum seekers.
A 25-year-old man, who neighbours say is an Iraqi Kurd, was detained in Newport in connection with the terror attack last night. Witnesses said he was smiling as he was taken away.
Anti-terror police then carried out an early-morning raid on another house in the city and detained two more men, aged 48 and 30. Locals believe they are also Kurdish.
Locals say the second of two properties raided is run by the Home Office as a ‘halfway house’ for asylum seekers. The Home Office declined to comment.
The first two of the five men now detained in the probe, 21-year-old Syrian refugee Yahya Faroukh and an 18-year-old believed to be from Iraq, remain in police custody.
This is the moment a third man was arrested in connection with the Parsons Green bombing
He was the first of three arrests in Newport, south Wales. Two others were detained today
Police arrested two other men in an early morning raid in this terraced street in the city. Locals say the property is run as temporary accommodation for asylum seekers
Officers from the Met’s Counter Terror squad swooped on the man just after 7pm this evening, with assistance from local forces.
Witnesses to the arrest described officers ‘jumping’ a man who was put into a police car and driven away.
Neighbours of the first man arrested said he was a very religious and came from the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Local butcher Abid Ali said: ‘When he’s not working he goes to prey at one of the local mosques. He was born in Iraq and is proud of being a Kurd.’
Describing the arrest, nearby resident Sully Ali, 19, said: ‘A big van pulled up and six officers got out and jumped this guy.
‘There were two armed officers there, they didn’t have their guns pointed at him but they had them on show.
‘The guy was smiling. I didn’t hear him saying anything or the police saying anything to him.’
Mr Ali said the arrested man worked as a painter and decorator for some local residents.
Forensics experts were today seen scouring the first of two addresses raided in this city
The Met Police described the terror probe as ‘fast-moving’, but said searches would take time
A 25-year-old man has been detained in Newport, Wales, in connection with the terror attack, Scotland Yard said
Arrests have been made in Kent, London and south Wales by police investigating the bomb
Mr Ali added: ‘They were Met Police officers – they were wearing hats saying Met Police and they didn’t speak like anyone from round here. He was arrested and handcuffed by officers wearing suits.
‘They handcuffed him and led him away, they didn’t put him in the van though – they put him in a marked police car.’
A local mother added: ‘He did some painting on our house about two years ago. He was a nice guy, he was very softly spoken.
‘He used to condemn terrorism in front of my husband, my husband would condemn terrorism and he would agree with him. I know he is a Muslim but I don’t know what mosque he went to.
‘Muslims in this area are totally shocked, we condemn terrorism totally and we totally condemn what happened in London.’
The area around Jeffrey Street in Newport has been cordoned off, as police sweep the house for evidence. Another address in West Street, said to be run by the Home Office, is also being searched.
A neighbour said: ‘The police went in there at 5am. It’s one of these places where people come and go – no one is there for long.
‘I was told the men were Kurdish, the same as the guy who was arrested the night before.’
A large scale police search is now underway at two addresses in the city following the arrests
Investigators were seen going in and out of a small, terraced house on the second street raided
A photograph taken on the tube at Parsons Green shows wires and a bucket on fire on Friday
Syrian refugee Yahya Faroukh (pictured left and right), 21, and an 18-year-old believed to be from Iraq, remain in police custody
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Counter Terrorism Command, said: ‘This continues to be a fast-moving investigation.
‘A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday. We now have five men in custody and searches are continuing at four addresses.
‘Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack.
‘We anticipate that the searches will take some days to complete and may cause further disruption.
‘However, it is important that we continue with these searches and I’d like to thank all those affected for their support, patience and cooperation.’
He added: ‘As police and our partners do all we can to confront the threat, public vigilance remains as vital as ever.
‘We are asking the public to look out for anything that seems out of place, unusual or just doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life.
‘It may be nothing, but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts, then act, and call us.’
Sniffer dogs were also brought in as detectives continue to investigate the bomb plot
Faroukh is being quizzed in a south London police station after he was arrested just before midnight on Saturday outside Aladdin’s Fried Chicken, in Hounslow, where he worked.
This followed the arrest of the 18-year-old at the Port of Dover at around 8am that morning.
The premises in Newport is currently being searched, as investigations continue at two houses in Surrey and Aladdin’s.
Faroukh’s family expressed their shock after the Syrian refugee was arrested on Saturday night as he finished a shift at the fried chicken takeaway.
His brother Hamed told MailOnline that Faroukh did not mix with extremists.
He said: ‘He is a good guy. He works in a restaurant to make a living. He would not hurt anyone.
‘My father, God bless his soul, brought us up to live decently and with high morals. Yahyah has never mingled with bad guys or militants or Daesh people.’
Police are still searching Penelope and Ronald Jones’ property in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, and neighbours have claimed a bomb was found in the garden
Police are still searching Faroukh’s house in Stanwell, just yards away from Heathrow Airport, after he was arrested in Hounslow
The family said they left Damascus, in war-torn Syria, in 2012 and moved to Egypt, where their ill father died recently.
Farroukh had travelled to the Netherlands to visit them during the Muslim holy period of Eid, shortly after the death, they said.
Scotland Yard said magistrates had granted warrants allowing the 18-year-old to be held until Saturday, and Farroukh until Thursday.
The news came as fresh CCTV footage emerged that may show the Parsons Green bomb suspect on his way to plant the homemade device.
The video, obtained by the Press Association, shows a figure dressed in grey carrying a distinctive white Lidl carrier bag around 80 minutes before the explosion that injured 29 people.
Footage yesterday emerged of the moment Faroukh was pinned to the wall by police who pretended to be homeless people and Londoners waiting for a bus outside the takeaway where he worked.
He was cuffed and then wrapped in plastic to preserve evidence.
In the CCTV video, a man dressed in a grey tracksuit keeps his head down and his face hidden from the camera as he walks quickly down the street
Officers were at a bus stop while the 21-year-old suspect walked past them before they turned around and grabbed him while he allegedly yelled: ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry’ and a pile of Maltesers and KitKats spilled out of his bag.
Other police waiting in cars in surrounding streets grabbed his mobile phone, put plastic bags over his hands, feet and legs and forensics teams took pictures of him and the scene.
Scotland Yard are investigating whether they first met abroad in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp or even as far away as ISIS-controlled Syria or Iraq.
They had been showered with love by Penelope and Ronald Jones at their property in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, after seeking asylum.
Anyone with information should call police confidentially, on 0800 789 321.
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