LONDON (AP) – Fearing another deadly attack on London”s transit system, British police hunted Friday for three suspected terrorists and kept up their interrogation of a Somali man arrested for last week”s failed bombings.
Detectives hope 24-year-old Yasin Hassan Omar — suspected of trying to blow up a subway train on July 21 with homemade explosives — will help them trace his three alleged accomplices and point to other possible terrorist cells in Britain.
Meanwhile, a police watchdog probed the killing of a Brazilian electrician, who was shot dead by officers who believed he was a suicide bomber.
Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission appealed for witnesses to last Friday”s incident at Stockwell subway station in south London where Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot eight times — seven times to the head.
Menezes” funeral will be held Friday in the small town of Gonzaga, Brazil, where he was born. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O”Connor, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales will attend a requiem Mass for Menezes at Westminster Cathedral in central London Friday evening.
One of the subway stations targeted in the July 7 attacks, which killed 56 people including the four suicide bombers, reopened Friday. Several bouquets of flowers lay at the entrance to the Edgware Road station in a tribute to the seven people killed in the July 7 attack. But passenger numbers were visibly down — a sign of nervousness among Londoners despite a huge police operation to catch the terrorists.
"I felt a bit nervous coming through the tunnel just then and this morning my mum gave me a look as though she was never going to see me again," said commuter Jasmine Chandhoke, 22. "Everyone was being incredibly vigilant on the train, checking each other”s bags."
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has said it is a "race against time" to catch three men suspected of carrying out last Thursday”s failed attacks.
"It does remain possible that those at large will strike again," Blair said Thursday, adding that other terrorist cells could be active and intent on bringing destruction to the capital.
Scotland Yard police headquarters declined to comment on the arrest in Zambia of a British man sought in connection with the July 7 bombings.
British investigators reportedly believe Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, had been in telephone contact with some of the four suicide attackers who carried out the July 7 attacks.
The British Foreign Office said it was seeking access to a Briton reportedly detained in Zambia but would not identify him.
In Britain, police have 20 people in custody in connection with the July 21 attacks, and as part of what Commissioner Blair has described as "the largest investigation the Met (Metropolitan police) has ever mounted."
Omar is a Somali citizen with British residency suspected of carrying out the failed attack at the Warren Street subway station. He was being questioned at a high security police station in London.
He was arrested in a dramatic raid in the Central English city of Birmingham on Wednesday when anti-terrorist officers subdued him with a stun gun.
Commissioner Blair questioned the tactic of using a Taser gun, which delivers electric shocks, and said it could have set off a bomb.
"It was an incredible risk to use a Taser on a suicide bomber because the Taser itself could set it off and that is not the policy," Blair told the BBC”s Newsnight program Thursday.
"I can”t imagine how that was used. We use Tasers in London regularly but a Taser sends electric currents into the body of somebody. If there is a bomb on that body, then the bomb can go off."