(Original title: Clapham Junction alert)
One of the biggest overland rail interchanges in the country. That’d fuck up quite a bit…
More to follow.
10:40 – Not Clapham – Sky News reporting police have shot a suspected suicide bomber near Stockwell tube station after a train was evactuated.
This is, however, coming from Sky, so don’t believe anything yet.
10:44 – reports of a gunfight between a suspected bomber from yesterday and police. Sounds a tad Wild West…
10:45 – BBC confirm train evacuation, say “shots reportedly fired”
10:48 – all reports of a shooting seem to have come from Sky. If they’re making this up they’re a bunch of dicks.
10:49 – Sky speculation goes into overdrive – “If the suspect is confirmed to be a suicide bomber, it would mark the fifth attempted terrorist attack on London in less than a day.”
Yep – because the police are REALLY likely to shoot someone who’s strapped to a load of explosives, aren’t they? Almost certainly one of the morons from yesterday they’d tracked down. (Says Nosemonkey, indulging in exactly the kind of speculation he just accused Sky of…)
10:52 – Reuters still not confirming, BBC yet to get a page up, although train evacuation is still in their ticker tape.
10:58 – BBC page up:
Passenger Briony Coetsee said: “We were on the Tube and then we suddenly heard someone say, ‘Get out, get out’ and then we heard gunshots.”
11:01 – Sky explain their speculation – “Police have been given orders to shoot to kill if they believe someone is about to detonate a bomb.”
Hmmm… Could be fair enough, I suppose.
Still no confirmation of anything else though.
11:02 – Met Police confirm someone has been shot – five times.
11:03 – via the BBC – “Passenger Mark Whitby told BBC News he had seen an Asian man shot five times by “plain-clothes police officers”.
“Mr Whitby, told BBC News: “I saw an Asian guy run onto the train hotly pursued by three plain-clothes police officers.
“One of them was carrying a black handgun – it looked like an automatic – they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him.”
Are you really going to push someone to the floor and shoot them FIVE times if they’re a suspected suicide bomber? Fucking risky, wouldn’t you say? This is more like execution-style…
11:06 – Victoria and Northern lines suspended, and large area around Stockwell cordoned off.
More reports of the guy being shot five times at close range. Ever heard of questioning, guys? That’s bloody ridiculous. Especially close range, if you want to kill them quickly go for a head shot, surely?
This don’t make a lick of sense…
11:09 – Also northbound Charing Cross branch train at Vauxhall? Sounds like it vaguely – police caught a guy with a rucksack, threw him against the wall and started searching him while evacuating everyone. Just the boys in blue being jumpy, or another one?
11:15 – reports of police surrounding a Mosque in east London…
11:16 – Kennington tube also evacuated, apparently. Whether as part of the general shut-down in that part of the south London tube or another incident, not too sure. All these places are relatively close together and I don’t know south of the river very well, so hard to tell. Possible – judging by early Clapham junction reports – that everyone’s a tad confused still.
Guy at Stockwell tube was shot just after 10, at any rate. No confirmation of five shots.
No further info on the Mosque in east London rumours.
11:19 – reports of something happening in Shadwell – east London, so could be the Mosque thing.
11:20 Rob Read at Time Worstall’s place reports Aldgate Mosque.
Now having confirmation – armed police around the East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road…
11:24 – Stockwell was northbound Northern line. Witnesses again mentioning rough handling. Also gunshots sounding like they were silenced. Very odd…
The man has been confirmed as dead. Shot in the head at close range.
Other incidents at Kennington and Vauxhall not confirmed, though there was something at those – possibly just scares.
Police have warned people to stay inside on Whitechapel Road by the mosque. Possible bomb threat, apparently, but no one actually knows what’s going on there. The building is surrounded by armed police though.
This sounds like a swift, co-ordinated mop-up movement to me. Dunno why they shot the guy though – doesn’t make much sense unless he really WAS about to detonate a bomb. But Stockwell’s a pretty shitty part of town to do it. Nearly as pointless as Oval.
11:31 – Highbury and Islington station also shut off. Something going on in North London as well…
11:33 – Robin Grant’s also on the case again, carrying on where he left off.
11:35 – the East London Mosque has apparently been given the all clear. Police were responding to a bomb threat – unrelated to the shooting.
Fascists, in other words. Yay.
11:37 – The Guardian have lots of eyewitness reports of the shooting. Sounds like, although this is confused, not much else is likely to happen.
The mosque thing was an entirely unrelated incident – just some small-brained racist dickhead phoning in a bomb threat after hearing Sky report another attempted suicide attack, most likely. Diverting precious police resources from hunting down the people who tried to bomb us yesterday. Nice one.
11:45 – Robin Grant at Perfect.co.uk reports via BBC News 24 eyewitness – “It looks like the guy that was shot had previously left a bag on a Victoria line train (the one I would have got this morning if I hadnï¿½t been running late), and got off the train at Stockwell – his bomb (in a back bag) then failed to explode (more smell smoke etc) – hence the station closure at Vauxhall.”
11:56 – Lots of speculation in the comments, from SAS involvement to this being a foiled attack on the UK’s spy HQ. But there’s been no new confirmed info for a fair while now. All we know is that a man has been shot, probably dead. And that the police had better hope to buggery that he was what they thought he was.
12:04 – Scotland Yard statement – “A man was challenged by officers and subsequently shot. London Ambulance Service attended the scene. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
12:11 – Victoria line is back open, which would tend to suggest that earlier reports of an attempted detonation at Vauxhall tube were nonsense – they’d need to keep it shut to get forensics in there if there’s been another failed bomb.
12:20 – BBC have a more full eyewitness account from one of the same people as before: “He [the suspect] had a baseball cap on and quite a sort of thickish coat – it was a coat you’d wear in winter, sort of like a padded jacket.
“He might have had something concealed under there, I don’t know. But it looked sort of out of place with the sort of weather we’ve been having, the sort of hot humid weather.
“He was largely built, he was quite a chubby sort of guy.
“I didn’t see any guns or anything like that – I didn’t see him carrying anything. I didn’t even see a bag to be quite honest.”
12:44 – No more info, but the BBC have a timeline. Tubes seem to be running normally again – looks like this was an isolated incident, and there’s no ongoing threat. Which is a relief.
Shame they didn’t get him alive though.
13:08 – sod this, it’s all over. I’m off to the pub. Will update again if anything new happens or more info comes to light.
14:43 – still no confirmation on anything happening at Vauxhall earlier. A few eyewitnesses report someone screaming about a smell, and a few unconfirmed reports of smoke – all shortly before the events at Stockwell. This is London has some accounts suggesting that a Victoria line train didn’t stop at Vauxhall, and went on to Stockwell, where those who had wanted to get out at the previous station got involved in the shooting incident.
Considering the guy who was shot was apparently trying to get ON the train at Stockwell, this doesn’t make too much sense. Why wouldn’t the train stop at Vauxhall uness there was some kind of incident? Curiouser and curiouser, said Nosemonkey…
14:53 – Reuters have more reports of this incident on Harrow Road in west London, which first emerged half an hour or so ago. Unfortunately their site is taking a lot of hits and can’t cope. 25 minutes ago Robin Grant noted a guy on the phone to the BBC talking baout police presence, bomb disposal units etc. This is north of Westbourne Park, south of Kilburn. North West London. Neither Sky nor BBC have anything, as yet.
14:58 – Updates from Spain, of all places. Sounds like a transcript of the guy on the phone to the BBC robin Grant mentioned. Bloomberg mentions a spokeswoman (presumably from the police) confirming the road has been cordoned off.
15:05 – More on Harrow Road: “The focus of the police operation appears to be an internet cafe on Harrow Road where two women have reportedly been removed and detained in a police van. Even with the presence of armed police and bomb disposal experts onlookers are not being pushed back which suggests the police do not feel that devices are present at the address.”
15:26 – still no more word about Harrow Road, although in the comments Sean mentions shots fired.
Sky reports the operation is focussed on a Thai restaurant. No news of shots, but reports that two women and a teenage boy have been searched.
15:34 – hearing reports of an incident at Canary Wharf as well – still no confirmation on the reports of shots at Harrow Road.
15:48 – Still nothing confirmed, even though there are reporters on the scene.
Vague thought: Best guess is that the police had a very good idea of who all the people were and were planning a co-ordinated strike, but the Stockwell guy did a runner before they were ready. Now they’re trying to mop up the dregs. That’d explain the lack of any release of descriptions over the last 24 hours – want to put them off their guard.
15:51 – odd. Police will release descriptions / CCTV footage of yesterday’s ineffective wannabe bombers later today, and are appealing for information on all four – which, as Robin Grant has noted, could suggest that the guy shot this morning wasn’t one of them. Possibly.
Here’s the first pic. With that baseball cap he looks American to me… Not the most helpful of photos, it must be said.
15:55 – Guy killed this morning was “linked to” but wasn’t actually one of yesterday’s bombers, apparently. Two more raids (in addition to Harrow Road) have been mentioned, but no locations. May or may not include the Canary Wharf arrest.
16:00 – rumours that Harrow Road may be a bomb-making factory. No idea if it’s in the Thai Restaurant or Internet Cafe though. If Thai, expect clampdowns on middle-aged sex tourists, if an internet cafe on overweight spotty 30-somethings living in their parents’ basements.
16:20 – God, the interweb’s being slow. Very hard to find more info. No confirmation on locations of the other two addresses being searched. And work is getting in the way of digging out more.
16:52 – Euston station is currently being evacuated, according to Europhobia’s Matt, on the scene.
17:19 – Walthamstow Central tube currently undegoing a security alert – cordons etc.
No more word on Euston. Or Harrow Road. Or anything else, really.
17:26 – there’s effectively been no new info from anywhere since the police news conference a couple of hours back. Rumours all over the shop – including another failed bomb at Vauxhall this morning, Euston closed, Walthamstow closed, Watford closed – but absolutely tit all in the way of confirmation about anything.
Seems almost like a voluntary media blackout to keep police operations secret. Which would tie in with my theory that they were planning a co-ordinated strike this morning but the guy they shot spotted them, tipped off his mates and legged it.
It’s going to make finding out how to get home for those using public transport rather interesting though…
19:00 update – In the comments Eric S reports a man arrested in Stockwell, where the shooting took place earlier today, and from where the police believe yesterday’s loser wannabe Oval bomber began his journey. This has been confirmed by police. Stockwell station is still cordoned off, and eyewitnesses from this morning’s shooting are still being quesitoned.
There has, as of yet, been no confirmation of any of the other rumours. These include incidents at Euston, Walthamstow, on a Stratford train, and outside Buckingham Palace.
The Harrow Road incident appeared to end with no arrests and nothing found. Possibly just a suspect package. But it’s still sealed off. Channel 4 News reports that CS gas was fired into a basement flat there, and later, around the corner, the two women and boy were stopped and searched.
There is also a report of an arrest in Birmingham – a man with two suitcases, but no more details as of yet.
19:50 – In the absence of any more actual information, there’s some good speculation/debate at Shot by Both Sides, including this rather fair point from dsquared: “These eyewitness accounts are just worse than useless… I think that this citizen journalism thing is running up against its limitations.”
Agreed – and that goes for blogging these things as well: a frenzied blend of unreliable eyewitness accounts, stories purporting to be from eyewitnesses that aren’t, gossip, rumour and hearsay.
And with that, an end to speculation and to posting for today. Time for the pub again, methinks.
Saturday update: The shot man was not a terrorist.