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Newport arrests bring total held over Parsons Green bombing to five

A 30-year-old and a 48-year-old were detained during a raid by counter-terrorism officers at a home in South Wales.

Two more men have been arrested in connection with the Parsons Green bombing, taking the total to five, Scotland Yard said.

Men aged 30 and 48 were detained during a raid by counter-terrorism officers at a home in Newport, South Wales, at around 5.10am on Wednesday.

A third man, 25, who was arrested at a separate address in Newport shortly after 7pm on Tuesday. Two other suspects detained on Saturday remain in custody.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This continues to be a fast-moving investigation.

“A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday. We now have five men in custody and searches are continuing at four addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack. We anticipate that the searches will take some days to complete and may cause further disruption.

“However, it is important that we continue with these searches and I’d like to thank all those affected for their support, patience and cooperation.”

Witnesses to Tuesday’s arrest described officers “jumping” a man who was put into a police car and driven away.

Nearby resident Sully Ali, 19, a part-time model, told the Press Association: “A big van pulled up and six officers got out and jumped this guy. There were two armed officers there, they didn’t have their guns pointed at him but they had them on show.

“The guy was smiling. I didn’t hear him saying anything or the police saying anything to him.”

Mr Ali said the arrested man worked as a painter and decorator for some local residents. He added: “They were Met Police officers, they were wearing hats saying Met Police and they didn’t speak like anyone from round here.

Police presence on Jeffrey Street in Newport, following the arrest of a third man in connection with the Parsons Green terror attack (Claire Hayhurst/PA)

“He was arrested and handcuffed by officers wearing suits. They handcuffed him and led him away, they didn’t put him in the van though, they put him in a marked police car.”

Residents said the arrested man had lived in the area for many years and attended local mosques.

One mother said: “He did some painting on our house about two years ago. He was a nice guy, he was very softly spoken. He used to condemn terrorism in front of my husband, my husband would condemn terrorism and he would agree with him. I know he is a Muslim but I don’t know what mosque he went to.

“Muslims in this area are totally shocked, we condemn terrorism totally and we totally condemn what happened in London.”

(PA Graphic)

The latest raids were carried out by the Met Counter Terrorism Command, assisted by Gwent Police and the Welsh Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (Wectu) and both addresses in the town were being searched on Wednesday.

Detectives had already been granted more time to question two suspects, Yahyah Farroukh, 21, and an 18-year-old man, over Friday morning’s bomb attack on a London Underground train, which injured 30.

The family of the second suspect questioned over the Parsons Green bombing earlier insisted he was innocent and “loves the UK”, according to reports.

Aladdins chicken shop in Hounslow, west London after one of its employees, Yahyah Farroukh, was arrested on Saturday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The older man’s family expressed their shock after the Syrian refugee was arrested on Saturday night as he finished a shift at a fried chicken takeaway.

His brother Hamed told the MailOnline from Egypt: “My father, God bless his soul, brought us up to live decently and with high morals.

“Yahyah has never mingled with bad guys or militants or Daesh people.”

The family said they left Damascus, in war-torn Syria, in 2012 and moved to Egypt, where their sick father died recently.

Farroukh left for the UK in 2013, they said.

Both Farroukh and the younger man, understood to be the suspected bomber, are believed to have spent time in foster care with Penelope and Ronald Jones, aged 71 and 88 respectively, who previously received MBEs for services to children and families.

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