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THE London terrorists’ real target could have been some the UK capital’s major stations including Paddington and Westminster, according to terror experts.
Will Geddes, CEO of security consultants ICP, told The Sunthe homemade bomb could have been intended for busier stops for “maximum impact”.
“My feeling is Parsons Green was not the intended destination for this device,” he said.
“We have to remember the terrorist is looking for maximum publicity and recognition worldwide.
“Unless you have been to Parsons Green, or you know someone there or are a Londoner you will not know it.
The improvised explosive device inside a tube train in west London. Picture: AFP PHOTO / HO / @sylvainpennec.Source:AFP
“Wimbledon, Notting Hill and Paddington — there are other destinations on that line that would have had much greater impact.” Paddington is one of London’s major rail terminals with trains to Heathrow Airport, Bristol, Cardiff and Plymouth.
The explosive detonated on a rush-hour London Underground District line train bound for Edgware Road, on the northern fringe of Central London, at around 8.20am on Friday morning, injuring 29 people.
The tube train would have passed through busy stops including Earl’s Court, High Street Kensington, Notting Hill Gate and Paddington.
If the terrorist had changed to a City-bound train at Earl’s Court, the bucket bomb could have also hit Victoria, one of Britain’s busiest stations, Westminster (opposite Big Ben) or Monument, close to the Bank of England.
Parsons Green is a relatively small suburban Underground station in West London. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASSource:AFP
Experts have said the device did not fully detonate, but if it had Mr Geddes fears it could have caused major loss of life.
He added: “Looking at the size of it, going by the social media pictures, it was a big device.
“That could have taken out the entire carriage.”
Mr Geddes said the device used today appeared to be a similar size to the backpack bombs used in the previous London 7/7 attacks in 2005 adding that today’s attack had “horrible echoes” of the 2005 bombings.
A London Underground map of Central London. Experts believe Parsons Green may not have been the intended target of the terror attack. Picture: The Sun.Source:The Sun
Cops have identified the terror suspect using CCTV, sources have said.
The homemade bucket bomb device sent a “fireball down a carriage” as it partially detonated, with a schoolboy and pregnant woman among those injured.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced “a manhunt is under way” as bomb squads and counter-terror cops swarmed on the scene.
He added: “The person or people responsible for this attack will be caught and will be brought to justice.”
Police have revealed that the homemade bomb, likened to pressure-cooker devices used in 2013’s Boston Marathon attack, did not fully detonate.
Paddington, one of Britain’s busiest stations, is on the same line as Parsons Green.Source:Supplied
The 2013 bombs, which killed three and injured hundreds, were packed with nails and ball-bearings to cause maximum damage, and it is not yet clear if today’s device had similar projectiles.
Theresa May is being kept informed of developments after the fifth major terror attack on British soil in six months.
The Prime Minister has chaired an emergency meeting of Cobra, and this afternoon announced the terror threat level will not be raised from severe to critical — although this could change as the investigation continues.
The terrorists could have easily reached Westminster station, right opposite the Houses of Parliament, with one change of train.Source:Getty Images
She condemned the “cowardly attack” saying “this was a device intended to cause significant harm”.
Today’s explosion follows four previous attacks in 2017, which saw five innocent people killed in Westminster in March, 22 killed in the Ariana Grande bombing in Manchester in May, eight killed in the van and knife rampage on London Bridge in June, and one man killed when a van rammed into worshippers outside a North London mosque.
Donald Trump has hinted that the attacker may have been known to security services in a string of Tweets posted this morning. Met Police later said the US President’s posts were “pure speculation” and “unhelpful”.
Theresa May later hit out at Trump, saying: “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”
This article first appeared on www.news.com.au
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