Improvised Explosives Left Near London Transport Hubs, Police Say

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LARGE LEDE Heathrow Airport LARGE LEDE
Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Three packages containing small improvised explosive devices were received at buildings near airports and train stations in London Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The Met’s counter terrorism command is investigating the suspicious packages and is treating the incidents as linked. The packages were all white postal bags containing devices that appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.

The devices were received at Waterloo train station; near Heathrow airport in Hounslow, and close to London City airport in east London. The train to City Airport was briefly disrupted, but no flights were affected, police said. No arrests have been made.

While there was only one high-profile U.K. terror-related incident in 2018 -- when a car crashed into Parliament -- London has been an all too frequent target in recent years. In 2017, there were at least four terror attacks in the city. Eleven people were killed when a van with three attackers drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and days later one person was killed when another vehicle was driving into a crowd of people leaving a mosque in north London.

The threat level is currently at severe, the second-highest level, which means an attack is regarded to be highly likely, according to U.K. security services. The highest level -- “critical” -- is designated when a terrorist attack is expected imminently.