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Teenager becomes sixth person arrested in connection with London Underground bomb

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Teenager becomes sixth person arrested in connection with London Underground bomb

The sixth suspect arrested in connection with the attempted bombing on a London Tube train lived in a halfway house for asylum seekers, it has emerged.

The 17-year-old was detained under the Terrorism Act during a raid on the property in Thornton Heath, south London, shortly after midnight on Thursday.

Phil Burt, 67, who has lived at the opposite side of Saint Paul’s Road for 40 years, said he heard “enormous shouts”.

“We had trouble with that house in the past. I’m not surprised to see tape around there,” he added.

“I think at one stage it was used as an in-between house. I think they tried to use it for ex-jail people and I think they tried to use it for asylum seekers.”

Paula Anderson, 43, lives next door to the property and said she was woken by “a lot of banging”, adding: “When I looked out there were lots of police officers.”

When her husband asked the police what was happening, he was told they were “acting on intelligence”.

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A woman who lives a few doors down, and did not want to be named, said the seven or eight-bedroom property was a halfway house and usually occupied by young people.

“All we know is that they’d come and they’d go, they come and they go,” she added.

The teenager is the youngest suspect being questioned over a blast that injured 30 people on a packed District Line train during last Friday morning’s rush hour.

Officials said the blast was caused by a homemade bomb, which failed to fully detonate.

Isis claimed responsibility for the attempted attack, saying it was carried out by “soldiers of the caliphate”.

Police are searching the 17-year-old’s home, as well as properties linked to other suspects in London, Surrey and Wales.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s 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.

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“We now have five males 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.”

The national terror threat was raised to “critical” following the explosion, sparking an operation seeing soldiers deployed to guard potential terror targets and increased patrols by armed police.

It was later lowered to “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely but not imminent, but police are urging people to remain vigilant.

“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,” Commander Haydon said.

“It may be nothing, but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related, trust your instincts, then act, and call us.”

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