London police foiled a terrorist plot involving three small explosive devices sent to major transportation hubs in the UK capital Tuesday.
The devices were delivered in white postal bags with heart-emblazoned stamps to London Waterloo train station, and locations near Heathrow Airport and London City Airport.
Just before 10 a.m., the city’s Metropolitan Police got a call about a suspicious package near Heathrow. After being opened by staff at the building, part of the package burned, according to cops. The building was evacuated and officers worked on the device until it was safe.
At 11:40 a.m., calls to British Transport Police came in for a suspicious package in the post room at Waterloo station, and at 12:10 p.m., police were called about a package package delivered near City Airport. Neither package was opened and no one was injured.
No flights were impacted by the incidents and transportation services at the hubs were operating as normal.
The city’s Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command is investigating.
“The police are treating the incidents as linked, but are keeping an open mind regarding the motives,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement. “I would like to thank officers from the Met, British Transport Police and other transport staff for their quick response today — the Met has confirmed that nobody has been injured.”
“I urge all Londoners and visitors to our city to remain vigilant, and report any potential suspicious packages to the police,” Khan stated.
No arrests have been made yet.
“These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened,” Met Police stated.
The explosive-stuffed packages were posted from the Republic of Ireland, a senior European government source told Reuters, and Irish police are helping Brits investigate.
The envelopes were oddly mailed with stamps printed with red hearts, which Ireland’s postal service identified as its “Love & Wedding” design.
Also on Tuesday, Met Police arrested a 20-year-old man in west London on suspicion of terrorism offences as part of an investigation, but officials say it’s not connected to the suspicious packages received at the three buildings.
The man was taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody, and officers are searching the address where he was arrested.
Past terror attacks on London have also targeted train stations. On Sept. 15, 2017, a homemade bomb partially detonated on a train in Parsons Green station, injuring 22 people.
And on July 7, 2005, three bombs exploded on London Underground system trains and on a double-decker bus at Tavistock Square. The bombs were set by four British Islamist suicide bombers and killed 52 people and injured about 700. Two weeks later, four more unrelated bombings were attempted at three train stations and a bus.
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