Sept. 15 (UPI) — President Donald Trump‘s Twitter comments regarding Friday’s explosion aboard a London subway car were rebuked as “unhelpful” by British government officials.
At least 22 people were injured, mostly with burns, after an improvised explosive device exploded aboard a crowded subway car Friday morning at London’s Parsons Green station. Police referred to the incident as terrorist-related.
In several Twitter comments beginning at 3:42 a.m. EDT, Trump suggested the attack was committed by a “loser terrorist” already known to London’s Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard. He also promoted his attempts to curtail travel to the United States by people from largely Muslim nations and advocated a more intense policy against terrorism.
In separate tweets, Trump wrote “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
That message was followed minutes later by “Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”
British Prime Minister Theresa May, responding to a question Friday about the remarks, said, “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”
Conservative Party legislator Ben Howlett called Trump’s comments “unhelpful, dangerous and inappropriate” — and the Metropolitan Police added that “any speculation is unhelpful.”
Trump spoke with May by phone on Friday to convey his sympathies.
“The President pledged to continue close collaboration with the United Kingdom to stop attacks worldwide targeting innocent civilians and to combat extremism,” the White House said in a statement.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack and police have no suspects in custody.
Trump also tweeted, “The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”