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June 30, 2007

Car driven into Glasgow International Airport

Car driven into Glasgow International Airport

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Glasgow International Airport in Renfrewshire, Scotland was evacuated after a green Jeep Cherokee struck the airport’s terminal building and burst into flames at 1511 BST.

An eyewitness told the BBC that “[A] man was on fire.” All flights are grounded, and two men have been arrested and the United Kingdom has raised the national threat level to “critical” which means another terror attack is imminent.

Eyewitnesses described a Jeep speeding toward the building with flames coming out from underneath. They also reported seeing two Asian men in the car, one of whom was on fire.

Cquote1.svg We saw a green Cherokee drive straight into the front door of the airport but it got jammed. They were obviously trying to get it further inside the airport as the wheels were spinning and smoke was coming from them. One of the men, I think it was the driver, brought out a plastic petrol canister and poured it under the car. He then set light to it. Cquote2.svg

—Lynsey McBean, 26

The BBC quoted an eyewitness as saying that two attempts were made to ram the Jeep through the wall, and that the passenger was holding a lit Molotov Cocktail and made several attempts to throw the bottle.

The front of the building where the attack took place

The Strathclyde Police Chief announced that the event is being linked to the earlier attempted car bombings in London, and as such is being treated as a terrorist investigation.

Eyewitnesses are now saying that one of the two men was pouring bottles of petrol into the car’s interior and onto himself, before running from the car, on fire, into the main terminal building. Witnesses have also reported that gas cylinders were removed by bystanders from the burning vehicle.

According to the BBC, the driver of the vehicle put up a violent struggle before being overpowered by the police and public. One person who tackled him was Stephen Clarkson, a member of the public.

Richard Gray, an eyewitness to the event, stated “There was an Asian guy who was pulled out of the car by two police officers.”

Seven people have been taken to local hospitals with injuries.

Police said that this incident was a deliberate attempt and not a road accident. Officials have also said that the incident is connected to earlier attempted car bombings in London the day before.

Two people have been arrested, one of whom was badly burned. Seven known casualties, including the Asian male have been taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley.

While the suspect was being treated in the hospital, a suspect device was discovered in the hospital, resulting in the partial evacuation of the building while the device was moved to a safe area. This object later turned out to be mundane, although initial reports believed it to be a suicide belt.

Cquote1.svg The first duty of the Government is the security and safety of all the British people, So it is right to raise the levels of security at airports and in crowded places in the light of the heightened threat. I know that the British people will stand together: united, resolute and strong. Cquote2.svg

—Gordon Brown

The BBC announced that the Prime Minister is being kept fully informed. He chaired a meeting of Civil Contingencies Committee (COBRA) at 1900 (BST), after which the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, announced that the national threat level been elevated from “Severe” to “Critical”, meaning another attack is expected “imminently.”

Officials at Edinburgh Airport have said that all cars are being turned away from the airport, and at Heathrow in London, passengers are being advised not to bring private cars near to the terminal buildings. Some passengers were kept waiting in planes while the area was secured.

The first bomber, who was taken to Govan high security prison, has now been interviewed, though no further statements from Strathclyde police have been forthcoming. The second bomber, who was taken to the Royal Alexandria hospital in Paisley, is listed in critical condition tonight, and is being kept under 24-hour guard.

2,300 passengers who were due to set off from Glasgow Airport today have been driven by coach to a conference centre, where a reception area has been set up for them.

Two people were arrested by The Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch on the M6 motorway in Cheshire in connection with the Glasgow International Airport attack and attempted London car bombings.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to hold another COBRA meeting with other members of the Cabinet today. This will be the fifth COBRA meeting in 48 hours.

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Police Incident Room
The public inquiry number for the Strathclyde Police is: 0800 056 0944
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Anti-Terrorist Hotline Number
For providing information to authorities about terrorist activities, contact the anti-terrorism hotline at: 0800 789 321

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June 29, 2007

Car bomb defused in central London

Car bomb defused in central London – Wikinews, the free news source

Car bomb defused in central London

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The Mercedes-Benz on Haymarket covered by a tent
Image: Snapper Jack / Eye Spy Mag.

A car containing an large explosive device has been defused in the Haymarket, London. A second device was later found in a car park in Park Lane.

A car, a light metallic green Mercedes-Benz E Class saloon (produced 1984-1995), parked near the nightclub ‘TigerTiger’, contained petrol, gas cylinders and nails. Police described it as a “potentially viable explosive device”.

Police carried out a controlled explosion at 2:00 a.m. BST and the car has been taken to a forensic explosives laboratory for further investigation.

Eyewitnesses saw the car driving “erratically” and colliding with bins before being abandoned. An ambulance crew in the area alerted police after seeing smoke inside the car.

Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Clarke said there could have been “significant injury or loss of life”.

A meeting of COBRA, chaired by new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was held about the incident.

Police say it is too early to tell who is behind the threat. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the country faces a “serious and continued security threat” and urged people to “be vigilant at all times”.

Disruption has been caused to transport in the area with roads closed and bus routes diverted. Piccadilly Circus tube station has reopened after an earlier closure

Police are reviewing major events to be held in London over the weekend.

CBS News has reported that a message appeared on the widely used jihadist Internet forum Al-Hesbah at 8:09 a.m. June 28, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.” The message went on to mention the recently announced knighthood of Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.

Following an incident at Glasgow airport, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced the elevation of the UK’s national threat level from “Severe” to “Critical”, indicating that an attack could be expected “imminently”.

Two people have been arrested in Cheshire in connection with the Glasgow International Airport attack and attempted London car bombings.

Park Lane

Park Lane was closed to the public due to a suspicious car parked in the underground car park beneath Hyde Park. Police, who believed the two incidents to be linked, cordoned off Park Lane and Hyde Park to allow the bomb disposal unit access to the vehicle. The car was illegally parked on Cockspur Street and was towed to the pound on Park Lane, it was then discovered that the car contained an explosive device.

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2007 London car bombs


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March 25, 2007

British sailors detained by Iran \”to be tried for espionage\”

British sailors detained by Iran “to be tried for espionage”

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

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2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel
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  • 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel

The Australian has reported that an internet website “run by associates of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” states that the 15 British sailors who were arrested by Iranian Revolutionary Guards could face charges of espionage. The source website for this claim remains unknown; however, Rajanews.com, a news website run by some of supporters of Ahmadinejad said on their website: “If the charges of espionage is brought against them the result would be heavy punishment by current law.”

“If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offenses,” said the news report which also called the sailors “insurgents.” Individuals who are tried and found guilty of espionage or spying would be penalized by death, according to Iranian law.

An inflatable British patrol boat similar to the two seized by Iran on March 23, 2007. (File photo: Patrol boat assigned to HMS Cardiff seen in Iraq in 2002)

The Iranian government initially gave the position of the incident as being outside Iranian territorial waters. General Alireza Afshar, Iran’s top military general, then stated that the sailors were engaged “in illegal and suspicious activities” inside Iranian waterways at the time of their detention and that the sailors “have admitted to violating the territorial waters of the Islamic republic”. After the UK queried the statement by General Alireza Afshar, the Iranian government gave a revised position for the incident, now placing it inside Iranian territorial waters.

Reports also say that the sailors are being held until five Iranian guards, detained in Iraq by the United States early in 2007, are released to the Iranian government.

Cquote1.svg They should not be under any doubt at all about how seriously we regard this act, which was unjustified and wrong. Cquote2.svg

—Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“As soon as the corps’s five members are released, the Britons can go home,” an unnamed source close to the command of Qods Force, who also said that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei approved of the trade off.

The sailors and marines, from the frigate HMS Cornwall, had been inspecting, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1723, a ship that was believed to be smuggling cars into Iraq, though it was subsequently cleared after inspection when Iranian gunboats surrounded the sailors and arrested them at gunpoint.

Reports also say that the sailors were taken to the Iranian capital of Tehran where they are allegedly going to appear before a court. It is not known when they will appear before the court in Iran or when the hearing will be held.

As a result of the detention of the sailors, the United Kingdom has activated their “COBRA emergency committee“, which is Britain’s crisis management team as the U.K. denies that the sailors were in Iranian waters. Tony Blair, the U.K.’s Prime Minister, calls the situation “unjustified and wrong.”

“This is a very serious situation and there is no doubt at all that these people were taken from a boat in Iraqi waters. I hope the Iranian government understands how fundamental an issue this is for us. They should not be under any doubt at all about how seriously we regard this act, which was unjustified and wrong. It is simply not true that they went into Iranian territorial waters,” Blair claimed during a news conference today who also stated that the situation could be resolved within the next couple of days.

“The quicker it is resolved, the easier it will be for all of us,” added Blair.

In a press release March 25, Foreign Office Minister Lord Triesman stated, “We’ve been insisting that [the sailors] should be released immediately – there is no reason to hold them – that they should be released unharmed and that we should be in a position to assure their families that they are in good health and that they’re safe.”

Triesman indicated that meetings have taken place with Iranian officials over the release of the seized British sailors, and that “they’re delicate discussions.”

Related News

  • “15 Royal Navy sailors captured at gunpoint by Iranian guards” — Wikinews, March 23, 2007

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November 24, 2006

Former Russian spy Litvinenko dies, radioactive poisoning suspected

Former Russian spy Litvinenko dies, radioactive poisoning suspected

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Mr Alexander Litvinenko, reputed to have been an Ex-Russian spy who had defected to Britain, died last night in mysterious circumstances. He had alleged many associations between people in high places and organised international crime, implying that President Putin and Romano Prodi among others had been involved personally. He had sought political asylum in UK in 2000 and became a naturalised citizen in October this year, just weeks before his death.

Mr Litvinenko was said to have been investigating the shooting of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, a well-known critic of Russian activities in Chechnya, in her apartment in Moscow October 7, 2006. It is reported that he had met two Russians in an hotel room, one said to be former member of the KGB in conneciton with the affair and he went on to meet Mario Scaramella at a sushi bar in Piccadilly where some papers were exchanged. Some hours after this he was taken ill.

Mr Litvinenko was admitted to Barnet General Hospital, north London on November 1, 2006 complaining of feeling sick. By November 11, he was said to be suffering from serious poisoning. A week later he was transferred to University College Hospital in central London. A week later he was said to have been poisoned by ingesting thallium, once used in rat poison, but, in the opinion of some doctors, there were signs of radioactive poisoning, including loss of weight and shedding of hair. Various explanations of his condition were offered. Last night he suffered a heart attack, after having left a message blaming President Putin for having him killed.

The radioactive isotope polonium-210 was found in his blood and urine as reported by the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency. The post-mortem was cancelled. Subsequently the Agency examined conditions in the hospitals in which Mr Litvinenko has been treated. Police visited the Itsu sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, his home in Muswell Hill and the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square where the meeting on November 1 had been held. Traces of radiocactivity were found in all three places. It is speculated that the polonium was probably eaten by Litvinenko as a substance that could be combined with a salt-like substance, such as polonium nitrate.

It was reported that a meeting had been held in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA) used for high level emergency planning and control, to consider the implications of these events. The Foreign Office asked Moscow for a response to the accusation of Russian involvement and President Putin himself dismissed the allegations saying (before the cause of death had been established) that there was no proof of an unnatural death and that the case was being used as a “political provocation”.

Related news

  • “Traces of radiation found where Litvinenko ate” — Wikinews, November 25, 2006
  • “Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead” — Wikinews, October 7, 2006

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July 21, 2005

Four small explosions strike London\’s transport system

Four small explosions strike London’s transport system

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

The location of Shepherd’s Bush on the Hammersmith and City Line

London Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair has confirmed that there have been three small explosions on tube trains at Warren Street, Oval and Shepherd’s Bush stations, and another small explosion on a No. 26 bus on Hackney Road in Bethnal Green.

The London Ambulance Service has not found any injured people, but one person has reported themselves to a local hospital. It is not yet known if this is connected with the blasts.

The location of Warren Street and Oval on the Northern line

All the devices were “conventional” but possibly faulty, and contained no chemical or biological agents. Not all the bombs exploded fully; Bomb Squad officers are working on making them safe. There are no reports of the deaths of suspects who attempted to set the explosives off.

Incidents

A spokesman for Stagecoach said the driver of the number 26 bus travelling through Shoreditch had heard a bang on upper deck, gone upstairs and seen the windows were blown out. The bus driver was very shaken but is said to be fine. Reports of the windows having been blown out have been denied by a police officer on the scene. “I have seen the bus. There were no windows blown out,” the officer told Reuters.

One injury sustained at Warren Street tube station has been confirmed by authorities. There have been no other reports of injuries, and authorities are reporting no casualties.

At around 15:25, a man was arrested by armed police in Whitehall, which is cordoned off. A second man was arrested in the Whitehall area around 16:15, but Police have confirmed that this arrest is unconnected with the explosions.

Armed police were deployed at UCL Hospital, near Warren Street tube station, after reports of a suspect entering the hospital. There was speculation that one of the bombers may have been injured and sought treatment at the hospital. A Scotland Yard spokesman had said “We are dealing with an incident at University College Hospital and we have armed officers deployed there. We cannot go in any further detail at this stage.” A UCL spokeswoman confirmed that an email had been sent to staff asking them to be on the lookout for the suspect. At 16:00 a spokesman for the Metropolitan police confirmed that the incident was over, but armed police returned to the hospital 30 minutes later to search the premises. Police have now also confirmed this is unrelated to the explosions.

Responses

A picture of the Holborn area, where traffic has been suspended due to the events

Prime Minister Tony Blair has cancelled a visit to an east London school and a photocall with visiting Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, instead heading to a COBRA committee emergency meeting. Australian Prime Minister John Howard is in London and is involved in discussions with Tony Blair as this unfolds.

In a public press conference, Blair said that “there appear to have been no casualties”, and that he wanted people to “React calmly, and continue with our lives”. John Howard also stated that Australia stood by Britain and that people should “beware the minds of terrorists.”

Police initially advised against unnecessary travel in London, asking Londoners to keep travel to a minimum and avoid the public transport system. At 15:52 Sir Ian Blair of the Metropolitan Police has asked Londoners to return to their normal activities, including travel. He also stated that some public transport services are not yet functioning.

A release from Scotland Yard stated that there was no chemical agents found after checking the Oval. Investigations at Shepherd’s Bush station also confirmed no chemical agents.

Closures

The Northern line, the Hammersmith and City Line, the Piccadilly Line, and the Bakerloo Line have been suspended. Victoria Line and the Waterloo and City Line were suspended but reopened shortly after. Whitehall had been sealed off but reopened shortly after, only to be closed again after armed police surrounded and arrested a man outside the Ministry of Defence, however at a press conference at 17:45 Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said that this arrest was unconnected with the explosions.

Unconfirmed reports

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Various news sites are reporting a minor explosion in a passenger’s backpack. A BBC correspondent, claiming to have sources working in the London Underground, suggested the explosions were only detonators and that the bombs contained no explosives. It is also believed that reports of gunshots being heard at the stations are mistaken, passengers simply mistaking the sound of the detonators for the sound of gunshots.

A spokesman for London Underground has stated the nature of the incidents is unknown.

Eyewitness reports from Warren Street say that something happened towards the front of the train. The passengers all headed towards the back of the train. As the train pulled into the station somebody pulled the emergency alarm and all the passengers got off the train. There are reports of a ‘burning rubber’ smell from eyewitnesses.

25% of Shepherd’s Bush / Uxbridge Road and all of Shepherd’s Bush Green is sealed off.

Eyewitness report of “bang” in a carriage at Oval station. No injuries. After being spotted the suspect fled the station, leaving the suspect package unexploded in a carriage. (BBC News 24)

London Police are not regarding this as a major incident yet. (BBC News 24)

British Transport Police report there has been one injury at Warren Street Station. No details as to the cause and nature of this injury are available, although BBC News are speculating that the injury is to the person who set off the device.

There are reports of problems sending text messages or making calls from mobiles phones on some networks. (O2 confirmed, Orange is fine, occasional text service but no calls on Vodafone) O2 provide communications services for emergency teams across the UK and have previously prioritized their network usage for this use.

Emergency Numbers

Police evacuate the area near St Paul’s Cathedral after the explosions. Photo: Adam Randall

Note: Please don’t call these numbers just because you can’t get through – some of the mobile networks are temporarily down or disrupted. At the moment the services are saying there are no mass casualties from these incidents (see below).

  • Central emergency number: 0870 156 6344 (Metropolitan Police)
  • Metropolitan Police: 020 7766 6020 (UK)   +44 20 7766 6020 (International)
  • British Transport Police: 020 8358 0101 (UK)   +44 20 8358 0101 (International)
  • Those outside the UK should see the list of Foreign Ministry contact details.

Sources

Wikipedia
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21 July 2005 London explosions
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