Photos have emerged of one of the terror suspects arrested over the attempted bombing on a London Underground train. Yahyah Farroukh is one of two refugees who were fostered by the same couple being questioned by police on suspicion of terror offences.
Via: Lizzie Dearden
The 21-year-old was arrested outside the chicken shop where he worked in Hounslow on Saturday night, hours after the chief suspect was detained in Dover.
Farroukh’s Facebook page says he comes from the Syrian capital of Damascus and includes posts documenting his journey to Europe via Egypt and a refugee boat across the Mediterranean in 2013.
More recent photos show him partying, shopping and out with friends, with posts on Instagram suggesting he smoked cannabis and took drugs.
Last month, he posted emotional messages and photos of his father, who is thought to have died recently in Egypt.
Farroukh’s page says he has worked for nightclub promoters in London and studied English at West Thames College. He is thought to have a cousin who lives in Scotland with his children.
Police have not confirmed details of his alleged links to the Parsons Green attack but former colleagues told The Independent they had “not even an inkling” of suspicious behaviour.
“He didn’t look outwardly religious at all,” said Suleman Sarwar, who runs Aladdin’s Fried Chicken.
“He dressed like any other twenty-something: jeans, T-shirt, no distinct beard. Very, very, very normal.”
Farroukh had prayed regularly alongside other staff and customers at the restaurant’s upstairs prayer room but showed no signs of extremism, he added.
The main suspect, an 18-year-old man, was arrested on Saturday morning in Dover, where he was reportedly attempting to buy a ferry ticket to Calais.
Police said they could not give any further details on his identity due to “strong investigative reasons” but local officials identified him as an Iraqi refugee.
Farroukh and the teenager, who has not yet been identified, are believed to have been taken in at different times by a British couple known for their dedication to fostering.
Penelope and Ronald Jones, aged 71 and 88 respectively, were made MBEs for services to children and families in 2009 and have fostered hundreds of children.
Their home in Sunbury-on-Thames remains cordoned off after a raid by armed police, who evacuated nearby homes as a precaution on Saturday.
Neighbours told The Independent explosives and weapons had been found at the property, but investigators have not confirmed the result of searches.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the national lead officer for counter-terror policing, said there had been “rapid progress” in the investigation.
“There are now two searches continuing at addresses in Surrey and we are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the device,” he added.
It came after 30 people were injured when a “fireball” ripped through a train at Parsons Green station in the height of morning rush hour.
Officials said the blast was caused by the partial detonation of a failed bomb, which experts said could have killed everyone in the carriage.
Isis claimed responsibility for the attempted massacre, which it claimed was carried out by “soldiers of the caliphate”.
Less than two hours before the explosion, a young man was caught on CCTV leaving the Jones’ home carrying a Lidl bag similar to that containing the device.
Footage shows the man, wearing a red hat and grey tracksuit, walking swiftly down the road with his head down.
Ian Harvey, a local politician, said he understood an 18-year-old Iraqi orphan was living with Mr and Mrs Jones, having moved to Britain aged 15 after his parents died.
Their neighbour Serena Barber, 47, said the couple were currently caring for two foreign boys, describing one as polite but the 18-year-old as “awful”.
“I know about two weeks ago he was arrested by police at Parsons Green, for what I don’t know and returned back to Penny and Ron,” she told the Daily Mail.
“After that Penny said she was going to have to stop caring for him, she couldn’t handle him.”
According to a couple, who asked not to be named, one of the young men cared for by the couple stayed up late at night and was often visited by two male companions, who appeared to be in their late teens.
Farroukh is believed to have left their care earlier this year and has been living at a home in Stanwell, which is also searched by police.
Footage showed him being detained outside Aladdin’s where a witness said he had been walking past a takeaway when four undercover counter-terror police officers tackled him to the ground.
“The guy was screaming,” the witness told The Sun. “When they took him down his phone went flying and he dropped his bag containing a drink can and a KitKat.
“The cops were shouting to get his phone. I guess because it holds important information.”
Farroukh was restrained using plastic restraints, put in overalls and driven away. He and the 18-year-old remain in custody as they are questioned on suspicion of terror offences.
Officials have lowered the national terror threat level from “critical” to “severe”, indicating that police are not urgently seeking anyone else in relation to the attack.
Officials said soldiers will continue to protect key sites including nuclear power stations as armed police carry out increased patrols.
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