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Two vehicles found in London packed with explosives, car explodes at Glasgow airport

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  • Two vehicles found in London packed with explosives, car explodes at Glasgow airport

    LONDON, June 29, 2007 - British police defused a bomb found in a parked car in central London on Friday, and the new government called an emergency meeting of senior security chiefs to investigate what many feared could have been a planned terror attack.

    A British security official told The Associated Press that the car was packed with explosives, gas canisters and nuts and bolts and would have caused "significant damage."

    He said there were similarities between the device and vehicle bombs used by insurgents in Iraq.

    "Forensic staff are still examining the device, but once we know more about it, we'll know more about what type of individuals are behind this," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the security details.

    The incident comes a week before the second anniversary of the July 7 London bombings, when four British Muslim suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 bus and subway passengers.

    The official said Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 also would examine possible connections between Friday's incident and at least two similar foiled plots — including a planned attack on a West End nightclub in 2004 and a thwarted attempt to use limousines packed with gas canisters to attack targets in London and New York.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who took office on Wednesday, said the incident was a reminder that Britain faces "a serious and continuous threat" and the "need to be alert."

    "I will stress to the Cabinet that the vigilance must be maintained over the next few days," Brown said.

    Officers were called to The Haymarket shortly before 2 a.m., a police statement said.

    The Haymarket is the site of restaurants, bars, a cinema complex and, most famously, theaters. On a Thursday night, the area would have been buzzing with crowds of people. The broad street links Piccadilly Circus in the north to the Pall Mall at its southern end.

    Forensic officers in white suits were examining a silver sedan and had placed a blue tent-like cover over the rear of the vehicle, which was parked outside an American Express foreign exchange office.

    The area around the vehicle was cordoned off as a precaution on Friday morning. London transport officials said the Piccadilly Circus underground train station was closed.

  • #2
    attacking people is never good! it is totally not understandable. Not in London not in Madrid. It gives a religion the face of terror. Same for the US by the way. I am not against Americans, i have family there too and i love the place but i do not like American style of making war here and there. Because that is clearly wrong just as wrong as these bombing terrorists.


    • #3
      June 29, 2007 -- Over the past two years anti-terrorism officers have scaled a steep learning curve as they try to tackle, and understand, the threat posed to Britain by Islamist terrorists.

      The threat posed by the IRA at the end of the past century was very different from that of today. Inside Scotland Yard, detectives are faced with the knowledge that there are thousands of Islamist terror suspects at large, some of whom pose no immediate, direct threat; others who do.

      The difficulty lies in choosing whom to watch when. Currently anti-terrorist officers are working on intelligence that suggests there are 250 high-risk terror suspects in the UK and 700 or so classed as medium risk. But individuals can swiftly move from peripheral figures to high-risk figures. Crucial to counter-terrorism are the choices senior officers must make when deciding which groups or individuals to target.

      Today's discovery of a car bomb device in the heart of London's West End confirms what many experts within anti-terrorism have feared for some months. While the July 7 and July 21 attacks involved rucksack bombs carried by individuals intent on suicide and targeted on the transport system, no one has been in any doubt that terrorists are constantly changing their tactics and targets.

      On the streets of Baghdad the use of car bombs is a daily tactic which reaps horrific results. Senior officers have been waiting and dreading for those tactics to be employed in the UK by homegrown Islamist extremists.

      Recently Scotland Yard admitted that they were carrying out anti-terrorist spot checks on lorries entering the capital.

      There are growing concerns that iconic sights will be targeted. For example, last week concern was raised privately about security at Wimbledon, when it was noted that there are no vehicle crash barriers in the streets directly outside the tennis championships.

      Evidence of the past three years has also indicated that the transport system is not the only target being considered. The plotters in the Crevice fertiliser bomb plot were heard talking about several targets, including nightclubs and the Bluewater shopping centre, back in 2004.

      However, despite private concerns of car bombs being used at landmark sites, there has been to date no intelligence to suggest that the tactic was being discussed by extremists.

      The discovery of the car bomb today in Haymarket comes, therefore, out of the blue.


      • #4
        LONDON - Police in London's bustling nightclub and theater district on Friday defused a car bomb that could have killed hundreds after an ambulance crew spotted smoke coming from a Mercedes filled with a lethal mix of gasoline, propane and nails. Hours later, police confirmed a second explosives-rigged car was found nearby.

        The first car bomb, found near Piccadilly Circus, was powerful enough to have caused "significant injury or loss of life" at a time when hundreds were in the area, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said.

        Clarke said Friday evening that the second car — another Mercedes — was originally parked illegally in same area, but had been towed from the West Eng to an impound lot near Hyde Park.

        "The vehicle was found to contain very similar materials to those that had been found in the first car," he said. "There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters. As in the first vehicle, there was also a quantity of nails. This like the first device was potentially viable."

        The discoveries came just ahead of the second anniversary of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings that killed 52 people on three London subways and a bus.

        "We are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism," Britain's new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said after an emergency meeting of top officials.

        In Washington, two officials said British authorities found no link between the defused car bomb and any terrorist group during the early hours of the investigation. The officials, who were briefed on the inquiry, said the investigation had yielded no suspects and no definitive description of anyone leaving the vehicle. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

        Police were examining footage from closed-circuit TV cameras, Clarke said, hoping the surveillance network that covers much of central London will help them track down the drivers of the cars.

        Rep. Peter King, R-New York, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee who was briefed on the investigation, said British authorities had recovered a cell phone that they believed was to be the trigger for the explosion.

        "They found a cell phone and it was going to be used to detonate the bomb," he said.

        The events unfolded when an ambulance crew — responding to a call just before 1:30 a.m. about a person who had fallen at a Haymarket nightclub — noticed smoke coming from a car parked in front of the building, Clarke said.

        The crew alerted police, and a bomb squad manually disabled the device, Clarke said.

        Photographs of the metallic green Mercedes discovered first show a canister bearing the words "patio gas," indicating it was propane, next to the car. The back door was open with blankets spilling out. The car was removed from the scene after a bomb squad disabled the explosives.

        The Haymarket thoroughfare is packed with restaurants, bars, a cinema complex and West End theaters, and was buzzing at that hour. "Phantom of the Opera" is playing at Her Majesty's Theater down the street.

        It was ladies' night Thursday, nicknamed "Sugar 'N' Spice," at the Tiger Tiger nightclub, a three-story venue that at full capacity can pack in 1,770 people and stays open until 3 a.m.

        Police also were investigating the possibility that the planned attack could have been criminal in nature. Authorities closed the Piccadilly Circus subway station for eight hours and cordoned off a 10-block area around the scene.

        The incident triggered a series of security scares across central London, and police closed Park Lane, Fleet Street and nearby Chancery Lane to investigate other suspicious vehicles.

        A British security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the security details, said there were similarities between the device and vehicle bombs used by insurgents in Iraq. But the two officials in Washington said it was too early in the investigation to tell if those similarities were significant.

        The British security official also said the domestic spy agency MI5 would examine possible connections between Friday's bomb attempt and at least two similar foiled plots — to attack a London nightclub in 2004 and to pack limousines in New York with gas canisters and shrapnel.

        In the 2004 plot, accused members of an al-Qaida-linked terror cell were convicted of conspiring to cause explosions. One of the possible targets M15 overheard them discussing was the Ministry of Sound, one of London's biggest and most famous nightclubs.

        One man is heard saying the plan was to "Blow the whole thing up."

        Gordon Brown, who only Wednesday succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister, called it a reminder that Britain faces a serious and continuous threat of terrorist attacks: "I will stress to the Cabinet that the vigilance must be maintained over the next few days."

        There had been no prior intelligence of planned attacks from the al-Qaida terror network, a British government official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

        Londoners were relatively unfazed by the news. People crowded onto buses and subway trains during the afternoon rush hour, shopping streets were busy and sidewalk cafes did brisk business.

        "Sure, it's disturbing, and obviously it reminds everyone of 7/7," said Ian Hiskos, 32, eating at a cafe across the block from the police cordon on Haymarket. "I try not to think about these things."

        The terror threat level in Britain has remained at "severe" — meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely — since last August.

        On Friday, Metropolitan Police said it sent more officers on the streets of central London. Authorities also stepped up security at Wimbledon.

        One analyst said the bombers could be trying to send Britain's new leader a message.

        "It's a way of testing Gordon Brown," said Bob Ayers, a security expert at the Chatham House think tank. "It's not too far-fetched to assume it was designed to expedite the decision on withdrawal (from Iraq)."

        The U.S. government urged Americans abroad to be vigilant but officials said they saw no potential terrorist threat in the United States ahead of next week's July 4 Independence Day holiday.

        "At this time we are characterizing this as a localized incident in London," said Laura Keehner, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.

        New York strengthened its already tight security as a precaution, putting additional police in Times Square and the mass transit system.

        "We're going to ramp up a little bit, but nothing dramatic," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show. "We'll take a little bit of extra precaution. Some of you will notice, some of you won't — but we have to be cognizant."


        • #5
          Ya satter... those people that were around the area must be so shaken

          At least it wasn't at the airport... damn, that was hell


          • #6
            i hate terrorists
            look what they do to normal people!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cheba_Mami View Post
              i hate terrorists
              look what they do to normal people!
              yeah, me too...


              • #8
                yeah, they scare the whole neighbourhood and then some people say 'oh pay no attention to it, that's what they want'

                But how? if they keep in trying to blow things up...


                • #9
                  LONDON, June 30, 2007 -- Police mounted increased patrols in a jittery London Saturday as detectives conducted an intense hunt for a man seen running from an explosives-packed car in the heart of the city's entertainment district.

                  Two Mercedes loaded with gasoline, gas canisters and nails were found abandoned Friday in what police believe was an attempt to kill scores or even hundreds of people. Detectives said they were keeping an open mind about the perpetrators, but terrorism experts said the signs pointed to an al Qaeda-linked or inspired cell.

                  Prime Minister Gordon Brown was briefed on the investigation and the security threat by counterterrorism officers at Scotland Yard on Saturday, the prime minister's office said.

                  Scotland Yard would not comment on a U.S. report that police had a "crystal clear" picture of one suspect from CCTV footage.

                  CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports that in central London this morning, police cordons are for the most part down. Because of big summer sales beginning today the streets are especially crowded.

                  But where the bombs were discovered, police forensic teams are still hard at work, looking for evidence where the cars were parked and in nearby sewers and drains.

                  Forensics experts are also searching the two cars for clues. One was abandoned outside a nightclub in Haymarket, a busy street of shops, clubs and restaurants just yards from Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

                  The other was towed after being parked illegally in nearby Cockspur Street and was discovered in an impound lot about a mile away in Park Lane, near Hyde Park.

                  Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism chief, said the two devices could have caused "significant injury or loss of life."

                  "The discovery of what appears to be a second bomb is obviously troubling, and reinforces the need for the public to be alert," he said.

                  The plot rattled London a week before the second anniversary of the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters on the city's transit system, and two days after Gordon Brown took office.

                  "London on the Edge" said the front page headline in The Independent newspaper on Saturday, while the Daily Mail asked, "Where's the Next Bomb?"

                  Brown urged people to be alert, saying Britain faced "a serious and continuous security threat."

                  The Times newspaper reported that police had distributed a document to nightclubs two weeks ago warning of the threat from "vehicle-borne explosive devices" — car bombs. The document, prepared by the National Counterterrorism Security Office, took the form of general counterterrorism advice for British clubs.

                  The government's crisis committee, code-named COBRA, was due to meet Saturday and police said they were strengthening patrols in the city to reassure the public.

                  Tens of thousands of people were expected to march through central London later Saturday in the city's annual Gay Pride parade, which ends at Trafalgar Square. Security has been heightened at events such as the Wimbledon tennis championships.

                  Terrorism experts said the improvised devices discovered Friday were similar to ones used by homegrown terror cells — much like the bombs used in the July 7 attacks — although the discovery of the second device suggested a coordinated and more sophisticated attack.

                  Intelligence officials were examining a post on an Islamist Web site hours before the cars were found suggesting Britain would be attacked for awarding a knighthood to novelist Salman Rushdie and for intervening in Muslim countries.

                  The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist Web sites, said a post on the al-Hesbah forum asked, "Is London craving explosions from al Qaeda?" and added: "I say the good news, by Allah, London will be hit."

                  SITE said the message had been posted to an unmoderated, public section of the forum, and its relationship, if any, to the car bombs could not be verified.

                  The first bomb was discovered after ambulance crews were called to Haymarket to treat a man injured in a fall at 1:30 a.m. Friday. When crews arrived, they noticed smoke coming from a green Mercedes parked in front of a club, Clarke said.

                  Photographs showed a canister bearing the words "patio gas," indicating it was propane, next to the car. The back door was open with blankets spilling out. The car was removed from the scene after a bomb squad disabled the explosives.

                  Sky News television reported that a police officer seized a telephone from the first car — believed to have been a potential detonator — and an American lawmaker briefed on the investigation confirmed British authorities had found a cell phone.

                  "They found a cell phone, and it was going to be used to detonate the bomb," Congressman Peter King, a Republican representing New York.

                  Police would not comment on the claim.

                  Around 3:30 a.m., a second car parked on nearby Cockspur Street, which runs between Haymarket and Trafalgar Square, was ticketed and then towed to a lot on Park Lane, Clarke said. Police closed off Park Lane, reportedly after attendants smelled gasoline.


                  • #10
                    it was also predicted on some forum.... in a chatroom called el hesbah .


                    • #11
                      Car on fire 'driven' into Glasgow airport. Police seen struggling with car occupants, also reported on fire. Airport closed and evacuated.

                      June 30, 2007 - A blazing car crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow Airport today, police said.

                      The incident happened just a day after a car bomb attack on central London was foiled.

                      But a Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether today's incident was terrorist related.

                      The incident happened at about 3.15pm.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post
                        LONDON (Reuters) - A four-wheel-drive vehicle crashed into the main terminal at Glasgow airport on Saturday and exploded in flames, a day after police foiled a possible al Qaeda plot to detonate two car bombs in central London.

                        A witness in Glasgow told Sky News that an Asian man who had been inside the vehicle scuffled with police immediately after the incident, was wrestled to the ground and detained.

                        Another witness said a second man, also Asian, was on fire following the blaze and badly burnt.

                        "There was chaos at the airport," said witness James Edgar. "Suddenly everyone said to get out of the airport."

                        BAA, which manages the airport, was not immediately available to comment.

                        In London, police scoured hours of CCTV footage and extra squads were deployed on the streets, particularly around landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, but tourists and Londoners appeared largely unperturbed, going about their business as usual.

                        An intensive counter-terrorism investigation was launched after the discovery in the early hours of Friday of a metallic green Mercedes packed with up to 60 litres of fuel, several gas canisters and a large quantity of nails.

                        The vehicle was parked outside the Tiger Tiger night club in the busy theatreland district of London, and aroused suspicion only after ambulance workers, treating someone else, thought they had noticed smoke inside the vehicle.

                        A mobile phone, which security experts believed might have been a detonation device, was left inside the fume-filled car.

                        A second Mercedes packed with gas and nails was later found to have been parked just a few hundred yards from the first.

                        Police said the two vehicles were clearly linked. Both bombs were quickly defused but, had they gone off, would have caused significant injuries and deaths, police said.

                        The thwarted bomb plot came to light two years after a coordinated attack by suicide bombers on London's transport system killed 52 commuters. It appeared to have similarities to an earlier plot in which an al Qaeda militant planned to blow up gas-filled bombs inside limousines in London.

                        Plans for policing of public events in the coming 10 days were reviewed to ensure public security, including a Gay Pride parade in London on Saturday, the Wimbledon tennis tournament and a concert for Princess Diana on Sunday.

                        "Appropriate policing will be in place for all events," a police spokeswoman said. "Safety and security is our number one priority."

                        Despite the continuing threat, tourists were stoical.

                        "You could be safe anywhere or you could be safe nowhere. It hasn't put me off traveling here," said Ivonne Geller, 49, a tourist from Mexico strolling outside the Tiger Tiger club.

                        "I just feel angry about the methods of these people who try to harm innocent people."

                        Intelligence sources believe there is a growing probability that the plot was hatched by an al Qaeda-style group.

                        "The feeling it is Islamist, rather than the other possibilities, is very quietly growing stronger," a source said.

                        The area of London where the car bombs were left, known as Haymarket, is one of the busiest in the capital and one of the most intensely monitored by CCTV surveillance.

                        Police said they were studying hundreds of hours of footage in the hunt for possible suspects. The U.S. television channel ABC reported that a "crystal clear" image of a suspect had been found, but British police would not confirm that.


                        • #13
                          GLASGOW, Scotland, June 30, 2007 (AP) - A Jeep Cherokee trailing a cascade of flames rammed into Glasgow airport on Saturday, shattering glass doors just yards from passengers at the check-in counters. Police said they believed the attack was linked to two car bombs found in London the day before.

                          Britain raised its terror alert to ''critical'' - the highest possible level - and the Bush administration announced plans to increase security at airports and on mass transit.

                          One of the men in the car was in critical condition at a hospital with severe burns, while the other was in police custody, said Scottish Police Chief Constable Willie Rae. He said a ''suspect device'' was found on the man at the hospital and it was taken to a safe location where it was being investigated.

                          Rae would not say whether the device was a suicide belt. British security officials said evidence pointed toward the Glasgow attack being a suicide mission.

                          ''I can confirm that we believe the incident at Glasgow airport is linked to the events in London yesterday,'' Rae said. ''There are clearly similarities and we can confirm that this is being treated as a terrorist incident.''

                          Police foiled the plot Friday after two cars were found in central London packed with explosives - one outside a nightclub near Piccadilly Circus and another parked nearby.

                          A British government security official said the methods used in the airport attack and Friday's thwarted plots were similar, with all three vehicles carrying large quantities of flammable liquid.

                          The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

                          Police and MI5 had no specific intelligence warning of a plan to attack Scotland, but they have monitored a host of suspected terrorists and plots there, he said. It was not yet clear whether there was an international element to the planning or funding of the attacks, the official said.

                          The new terror threat presents Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot who took office on Wednesday, with an enormous challenge and comes at a time of already heightened vigilance one week before the anniversary of the July 7 London transit attacks, which killed 52 people.

                          ''I know that the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong,'' Brown said Saturday in a televised statement.

                          President Bush was being kept informed of the situation, the White House said. ''We're in contact with British authorities on the matter,'' said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, in Washington.

                          The green Jeep barreled toward Glasgow's main airport terminal shortly after 3 p.m. Leeson said bollards - security posts outside the entrance - stopped the driver from driving into the bustling terminal, but the nose of the vehicle smashed the glass doors.

                          ''If he'd got through, he'd have killed hundreds, obviously,'' he said.

                          AP photographs from the scene showed the car hit the building at an angle and was poking into the terminal. The Jeep struck the building directly in front of check-in counters, where dozens of passengers were lined up, police said.

                          Lynsey McBean, a witness at the terminal, said the driver kept trying to push the car forward after it got stuck, and ''the wheels were spinning and smoke was coming from them.''

                          She said one of the men then took out a plastic gasoline canister and poured a liquid under the car. ''He then set light to it,'' said McBean, 26, from Erskine, Scotland.

                          Police subdued the driver and a passenger, both described by witnesses as South Asian - a term used to refer to people from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region. The previous round of terrorist activity in Britain, in July 2005, was largely carried out by local Muslims, raising ethnic tensions in Britain.

                          Witnesses said one of the men was engulfed in flames and spoke ''gibberish'' as an official used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire.

                          Rae said one bystander was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

                          The airport was evacuated and all flights suspended. Police said Liverpool Airport and roads around Edinburgh were also closed.

                          The attack left passengers shaken and stranded on the first day of summer vacation for Glasgow schools. At the time of the crash, the airport was bustling with families heading out on vacation.

                          Meanwhile in London, police were gathering evidence from closed circuit television footage, as forensics experts searched for clues into the foiled bombings. The two Mercedes cars had been loaded with gasoline, gas canisters and nails in one of the capital's busiest areas on a night when Londoners like to go out and party. Security officials and police denied an ABC News report that they had a ''crystal clear'' picture of one suspect from CCTV footage.

                          The vehicles were found abandoned in the early hours of Friday in what police believe was an attempt to kill scores or even hundreds of people. Detectives said they were keeping an open mind about the bombers' identities, but terrorism experts said the signs pointed to a cell linked to or inspired by al-Qaida.

                          One car was abandoned outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub on Haymarket in the heart of London's entertainment district. The other had been towed after being parked illegally on nearby Cockspur Street and was discovered in an impound lot about a mile away in Park Lane, near Hyde Park.

                          Brown came to office pledging to win back the support of voters disenchanted over the Iraq war. But he backed Tony Blair's decision to send troops to Iraq in 2003 and has shown support for greater anti-terror measures that have angered Britain's some 1.8 million Muslims.

                          The airport incident carried reminders of a foiled plot in December 1999 to attack Los Angeles International Airport, when customs agents stopped an Algerian-born man in a car packed with 124 of explosives. He was jailed for 22 years and prosecutors said he was intent on bombing the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium.


                          • #14
                            July 1, 2007 -- The London car bombers could not have destroyed the Tiger Tiger club and killed people in it, experts said last night. The huge manhunt for the would-be mass murderers by police and security services was given new urgency by an attack on Glasgow airport yesterday and the fear of further incidents.

                            However, it emerged that the Haymarket gas and nail bomb was almost certainly not big enough to have brought down the building, as previously reported. It would have killed and maimed within 100 metres.

                            Security forces have two theories. The first is that a recent crackdown stopped the terrorists getting their hands on as powerful a bomb as they would have liked. The second is that al-Qa'ida - still the most likely suspect - has changed its tactics. Instead of striking at showpiece buildings it is choosing smaller, unpredictable targets that will cause fear and panic on ordinary streets. One may, of course, have led to the other.

                            Police are also believed to be urgently seeking three men who went missing while under anti-terror control orders. One of them, a 26-year-old former Tube driver of Algerian descent, is alleged to have talked about wanting to blow up a nightclub. All three were previously thought to have left the country.

                            A first bomb was found in a Mercedes outside the Tiger Tiger club in Haymarket just before 2am on Friday. An ambulance crew treating a man who had hurt his head saw vapours in the car and alerted the police. Bomb disposal officers risked their lives to defuse the lethal combination of petrol, gas and nails inside.

                            Police think that an explosion here might have been intended to draw panicking revellers out on to the streets, where they would be have been joined by the emergency services. Then another, bigger bomb in a second Mercedes among them could have been triggered, causing hundreds of deaths.

                            A blue 280E model Mercedes was illegally parked in Cockspur Street, near Trafalgar Square, but was towed to a Park Lane car pound at 3.30am on Friday. The explosive device inside did not go off. If successful, the trap would have resembled the attack on backpackers in a Bali nightclub in 2002, when a suicide bomb led those escaping straight into the path of a van packed with explosives.

                            "The danger here is that we are entering the era of the car bomb," said an intelligence source. "In the past, al-Qa'ida-style terrorists have used high-explosive bombs aimed at symbolic, high-profile targets," he said, but that might have changed out of necessity. "It's easy to make a gas and nail car bomb without raising suspicion."

                            The plot has striking similarities with one that resulted in Dhiren Barot being jailed for life last November, for conspiring to park limousines packed with gas canisters underneath high-profile buildings, with the intention of later detonating them. Another member of the gang jailed in connection with that plot had a brother called Lamine Adam who allegedly spoke of attacking clubs. Adam was put under a control order with his younger brother Ibrahim, 20, and their friend Cerie Bullivant, 24. But all three disappeared.

                            It is now known that the bomb outside Tiger Tiger would have been set off by a call to a mobile phone in the car triggering a home-made incendiary detonator. This would have set light to petrol vapour, instantly exploding petrol cans in the car and the fuel tank. As the car burned very quickly the heat would have detonated gas cylinders containing compressed gas, causing a large explosion and scattering the nails.

                            Although deadly - the ambulance crew and any revellers on the pavement would have been killed - it would not have caused serious damage to the club or brought down the building.

                            The two cars were meant to have burned in the attacks, destroying all evidence. Instead they are now in the specialist Forensic Explosives Laboratory concealed in the countryside in Kent. That is where experts pored over the double-decker bus blown apart in the 7 July 2005 attacks in London.

                            In lab X47 teams of scientists are examining the two Mercedes, looking for evidence such as hair, skin, sweat or clothes fibres. Others are examining the chemical make-up of the bombs, which may lead them to a particular part of the country, even a specific supplier.

                            There could also be incriminating documents that were meant to be destroyed by fire. Police will take the mobile phone removed by the bomb disposal team and find out whether it had been bought or stolen. They will find the numbers it has called and received.

                            Although delighted at this high-quality forensic evidence, the police hope to capture clear images of the drivers and any passengers. The London car bombers chose to strike in one of the world's most heavily filmed areas. Yesterday there were reports that the police had captured a "crystal clear" image of a suspect leaving the vehicle outside the Haymarket club, but no pictures have yet been made public.

                            Experts were last night sifting through hours of material recorded by a network of 33 street CCTV cameras in the West End. Three more cameras are located in vans that tour the area, and Westminster council has an additional 30 cameras that can be moved around and operated through laptops. Detectives were also looking to trace the routes the cars took towards their destination, using 52 cameras that monitor every road entrance to central London.

                            This so-called "ring of steel" may tell police where the cars came from, enabling them to trace their starting points.

                            Whitehall sources said there had not been any specific intelligence and no one had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombings.

                            Intelligence sources say that two rather than one car bomb points to the existence of a cell of al-Qa'ida sympathisers. The unsophisticated devices suggest a "home-grown" cell of radical British Islamists rather than a cell infiltrated from abroad.

                            Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said yesterday's attack on Glasgow made it obvious that the public should be on their guard.

                            MI5 said last year it believed Islamist radicals were plotting at least 30 major terrorist attacks in Britain and it was tracking some 1,600 suspects.


                            • #15
                              July 1, 2007 -- Britain was on maximum alert last night after a burning 4x4 Jeep Cherokee was rammed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport, triggering fears that the two failed car bombs in London marked the start of an organised terror campaign.

                              With Britain in the grip of a new wave of terror attacks, the Government raised its threat assessment to "critical", the highest level indicating that further attacks are imminent.

                              Yesterday afternoon, passengers waiting to check in for flights from Glasgow scattered as the blazing vehicle, said to have two Asian men inside, smashed into the building at speed and became jammed in an entrance at 3.11pm. According to witnesses, one man climbed out and tried to throw more petrol on the flames from a canister, while the other sought to force the Jeep further into the terminal as people ran screaming from the scene.

                              "There was absolute chaos," said a witness, James Edgar. " [The driver] was very close to getting to a place that was holding maybe 200 people. There was no emotion on his face whatsoever. The crowd were shouting at him, but he just stared straight ahead."

                              Police raced over and struggled with the two men, one of whose clothes were on fire. "He looked like something from a horror film," said Robin Patterson, from Rochester in Kent. "His skin was peeling, his hair was all burnt. You couldn't see what colour he was, just that he was a big man." According to onlookers, the man briefly struggled free and tried to open the boot of the vehicle before he was finally dragged away.

                              Police said last night there had been no intelligence prior to the incident that Scotland was about to be attacked. They said they were treating the incident as a terrorist attack and that it was linked to the failed car bombings in London on Friday.

                              Chief Constable Willie Rae of Strathclyde Police said two men were arrested following the incident. One man, with severe burns, was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. The emergency department there was then evacuated after a "suspect device" was discovered on him. The man is said to be in a critical condition. Police would not elaborate on the nature of the device, but said it was being investigated and all areas of the Royal Alexandra had later been reopened. Amazingly, only one other person, who was treated for a leg injury, was hurt in the incident.

                              At Glasgow airport, which last night remained closed, fire crews struggled to put out the fiercely burning Jeep, with the flames spreading to part of the canopy above the pavement outside the terminal. The Jeep, described by police as in a "highly unstable condition", was still at the scene.

                              Last night hundreds of passengers were left stranded at the airport, many of them on planes delayed from taking off or unable to disembark passengers after arrival. Among them was the sister of Liam Fox, the Conservative shadow defence secretary, and her family. Passengers were told they would not be allowed off the planes until police had conducted a thorough search of the building.

                              The drama worsened national jitters caused by news the previous day that two "viable" car bombs, which would have caused carnage had they exploded, had been discovered in London. Later Blackpool airport was closed by police. The set-down road to Birmingham airport was also closed and there were several other brief alarms.

                              Yesterday afternoon Scott Leeson was waiting for a colleague on an arriving flight in Glasgow. "Fortunately his plane was delayed," he said. " There were a couple of explosions. My main concern was to ring my colleague with his young family. He would have been coming out of that door had his plane not been delayed. There was a lull at that point, and there weren't as many people around. If it had happened 10 minutes earlier, there would have been fatalities."

                              Gordon Brown, confronted with a terror crisis immediately on taking office as Prime Minister, last night chaired the second emergency meeting in 24 hours of the Government's Cobra security co-ordination committee. Afterwards he said, "I know that the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong."

                              Terror analysts said the authorities' first concern would be to establish whether the Glasgow incident was related to the attempted bombings in London or was a hastily improvised attack.

                              The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, said after the Cobra meeting: "I can confirm that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has raised the national threat level to critical. Critical is the highest level of threat, and the threat level will be closely reviewed on a regular basis. Appropriate security measures have been put in place."

                              Experts believe the Government may extend police powers to stop and search members of the public in areas under possible threat, such as railway stations.

                              The last time the threat level was raised from "severe" to " critical" was in August last year, when transatlantic flights were disrupted by a terror warning. The level was reduced after four days, but restrictions on air passengers remain in place.

                              The new warning shows the security service, MI5, believes another terror attack may be imminent. But experts drew some comfort from the fact that none of the attacks had so far succeeded in causing mass casualties. Last night police were still examining a wealth of forensic material from the two Mercedes cars left in central London, packed with gas cylinders, brimming petrol canisters and, in one case, bags of nails. Both cars had incendiary devices which were to have been set off by calling mobile phones wired to the devices.

                              According to one report, the would-be bombers tried to detonate each car bomb twice, without success. Had they succeeded, experts believe they would have created huge fireballs and blasted nails and metal fragments over a 100-metre radius, killing or maiming anyone within range.

                              An explosives expert said the failure of the attempted bombings in London " shows that the security service clampdown on bomb-making materials, like buying large quantities of fertiliser, is working. These terrorists have had to resort to buying petrol and gas canisters, which would not raise any questions. As a result, the bomb may be lethal, but not on the same scale as Semtex bombs."

                              Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of terrorist legislation, urged people to be "vigilant in the extreme"."I am not the least surprised that the violent jihadists have moved on to car bombs," he added.

                              "There is a long history of car bombs in Baghdad and Israel. People must be prepared to report things they would not normally report."

                              A security analyst said the terrorists' apparent inability to carry out " spectaculars" could mean a switch of tactics to attacks aimed at " making the public feel uneasy wherever they go", causing disruption and economic damage.

                              'There were a couple of explosions. Everyone panicked'

                              Shocked witnesses described last night how a burning 4x4 smashed into the front of Glasgow airport terminal in Paisley. They said two men climbed out of the Jeep Cherokee, poured petrol on the fire and fought police. The men were taken away in handcuffs...

                              "The man was burning. His clothes were on fire. His skin was peeling as he was fighting the police. The explosion was like a pop. There were loud bangs as well. People said the men were pouring petrol as they crashed."

                              Mark McAdam

                              "I was yards away. The men were throwing petrol about, trying to cause as much damage as possible. There were a couple of explosions. If it had happened 10 minutes earlier there would have been fatalities."

                              Scott Leeson

                              "It was frightening. [The vehicle] was probably on fire for five minutes before the fire people got to it. Everybody panicked. The police were scuffling with an Asian gentleman. He looked like he had hurt his leg. He was very close to a place holding maybe 200 people. There was no emotion on his face. The crowd was shouting at him but he just stared straight ahead. "

                              James Edgar

                              "There was a man on fire. Somebody with a hose put the gentleman out. He was very agitated on the floor. Maybe he was in shock. Then he started to fight with the officers. After 30 seconds or so officers had him pinned. Another man was sort of running through the terminal."

                              Ali Robertson

                              "The men put the window down and poured a can of petrol over the flames. The passenger got out. The man was lying on the floor, on fire. I thought he was going to die. He staggered away, went to the boot and tried to open it. Then they started fighting with police."

                              Gordon, no surname given


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