The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command’s investigation into three improvised explosive devices at addresses in London yesterday (5 March) is ongoing.
The incidents are being treated as a linked series and investigators are keeping an open mind regarding motives.
Staff at three business addresses yesterday reported having received suspicious packages. The packages – all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags – were assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices. These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.
The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is not investigating any other suspicious packages in relation to this inquiry at this time.
At approximately 09:55hrs the Met Police received a report of a suspicious package at The Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Hounslow. The package was opened by staff at the building, causing the device to initiate. This resulted in part of the package burning.
No one was injured. The building was evacuated as a precaution. Specialist officers attended and made the device safe. The building was initially closed and has now been reopened. The Compass Centre is not within Heathrow Airport, and flights were not affected by this incident.
At approximately 11.40hrs British Transport Police were called to reports of a suspicious package in the post room at Waterloo Station. The package was not opened. Specialist officers attended and made the device safe. No one was injured.
The station was not evacuated however cordons were erected in a small area on Cab Road, outside the station. These cordons have now been removed. Train services were not affected.
At approximately 12.10hrs police were called to a report of a suspicious package at offices at City Aviation House, Royal Docks, Newham. Staff were evacuated from the building as a precaution. The package was not opened and no one was injured. Specialist officers attended and made safe the device. The building has been reopened. Flights to and from the airport were not affected.
Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The Met Police is working closely with the CT Policing Network and police partners more widely. We are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry. One such line is the possibility that the packages have come from Ireland.”
“Our utmost priority is to ensure the safety of the public and staff working with mail. Yesterday we quickly shared images of the packages with staff at transport hubs and mail handling companies and offices, to aid them in identifying similar packages, however we have not received any further reports.”
The Met Police is today releasing images of the exterior of all three packages.
Commander Jarrett continued: “We have issued extensive advice to transport hubs and mail sorting companies to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police, as always we encourage anyone who sees something suspicious to report it.”
Suspicious activity can be reported by calling the confidential phone line 0800 789 321 or filling in a secure form at www.gov.uk/act.
Officers from the British Transport Police are present at Waterloo Station to provide reassurance to the public. Specially-trained Met Police Project Servator officers, who carry out operations every day, will be present at some transport hubs. The officers are both plain clothes and uniform and are specially trained to identify tell-tales signs that someone is in an area for terrorist or other criminal purposes.
No arrests have been made.