Detectives investigating the attack on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia, which resulted in 30 Britons being killed have officially linked it to the attack at the Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis in March.
UK counter terrorism officers, led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), are continuing to work very closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate both of the terrorist attacks in Tunisia.
Since the attack in Sousse on 26 June, UK officers have taken a total of 459 statements from witnesses and continue to speak to people who were in the area that day.
A number of witnesses have referred to a second gunman, wearing “red shorts”, which has been widely reported in the media. It is believed at this stage that the man wearing “red shorts” was a member of beach security who attempted to stop the attacker. The investigators retain an open mind on this issue and will continue to follow up leads to clarify how many gunmen and weapons were used.
Detectives are in the process of examining more than 370 photographic and video files from mobile devices which have been provided by many witnesses to the atrocity.
Meanwhile around 125 family liaison officers from forces across the country are continuing to provide support to the families of the UK deceased and victims who survived the attack.
Specialist UK counter terrorism security advisors have travelled to Tunisia to support the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Tunisian authorities review security at resorts and tourist attractions.
Providing an update on the investigation today (Wednesday 5 August), Commander Richard Walton, the head of Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), praised the Tunisian authorities for their dedication to the investigation and their co-operation with UK counterparts.
He said: "The Tunisian authorities have deployed significant resource into this investigation and have carried out operations across the country to disrupt terrorist activity and identify suspects in relation to the Sousse attack. I understand in all around 150 people have been arrested of which 15 have been charged with terrorist-related offences and remanded in custody while the investigation continues.
"The attack at the Bardo museum which left 22 dead, including one British woman, is now being linked to the Sousse murders. While I cannot go into further details regarding this live investigation, I can confirm that a team of officers, led by a senior detective from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, are working closely with the Tunisian authorities on both investigations and we have advised the coroner of the connection between the two.
"We are continuing to appeal to anyone who was in Sousse and witnessed the attack to contact us on 0800 789 321 to help with the investigation, if they haven’t done so already. We also have a dedicated email address for people to send any images and information that may assist the investigation."