Terror in London Watch: Explosives-Packed Car Defused; Update: UK Launches Manhunt for Failed Car Bombers; Update: A Suspect Has Been Identified on Camera; Update:3 sought after 2nd car bomb found in LondonPosted by Flap in Al Qaeda, Global War on Terror, London, Terrorists, United Kingdom
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Will be posted at top of the blog throughout the day for breaking news
A British police forensic officer leaves a blue operations tent that police placed over a vehicle which contains a suspected bomb in the Haymarket area near Piccadilly Circus in central London, Friday June 29, 2007. Explosives officers on Friday dealt with a suspected bomb in a vehicle parked near Piccadilly Circus tube station in central London, making it “safe,” police said. Police did not offer any details about what they called a “potentially viable explosive device” or how they dealt with it
Explosives-Packed Car Defused in London
Police thwarted an apparent terror attack early Friday after an ambulance crew reported seeing a smoking car parked near Piccadilly Circus that turned out to be packed with gasoline, nails, gas cylinders, and a detonator.
The explosives – safely defused by a bomb squad – were powerful enough to have caused “significant injury or loss of life” – possibly killing hundreds, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said.
“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,” a British security official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
Officers were called to The Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus, after an ambulance crew – responding to a call just before 1:30 a.m. about an injury at a nearby nightclub – noticed smoke coming from the car, Clarke said.
A bomb squad was called to the scene, and manually disabled the bomb.
Early photographs of the silver Mercedes showed a canister, bearing the words “patio gas,” indicating it was propane gas, next to the car. The back door was open with blankets spilling out.
Clarke said police would examine footage from closed-circuit TV cameras in the area.
Thank God the bomb was defused. But, the investigation will continue. Was this the action of Britain’s homegrown terrorists or an outside terrorist attack.
Time will tell.
Update 9:33 AM:
Park Lane closed in London – another suspected vehicle discovered.
Update 9:53 AM
Oxford Street now closed in Central London. There is traffic mayhem. Open double decker buses are implicated.
Update 10:32 AM
London’s Hyde Park is being evacuated.
Update 10:53 AM
Fox News is reporting that Sky News is reporting: Suspicious bus on Park Lane Linked to Haymarket bomb.
Update 11:15 AM
Sky News: Remote detonator found in Haymarket Car Bomb
Breaking: Hyde Park cleared over suspicious car
Police are investigating a suspect vehicle near Hyde Park amid fears that it may be connected to a bomb defused hours earlier nearby.
A police robot is investigating a car and the eastern side of Hyde Park has been evacuated after Park Lane, which borders the park, was closed between Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner at 2.30 this afternoon. A 200m cordon was put in place, cutting off one of London’s major transport arteries and causing further traffic chaos, after reports of a suspicious vehicle.
The dramatic new development comes after an explosive device, consisting of gas cylinders and nails, was found outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub at 2am in The Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus, in the heart of London’s tourist district.
Hours before London explosives technicians dismantled a large car bomb in the heart of the British capital’s tourist-rich theater district, a message appeared on one of the most widely used jihadist Internet forums, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”
CBS News found the posting, which went on for nearly 300 words, on the “al Hesbah” chat room. It was left by a person who goes by the name abu Osama al-Hazeen, who appears regularly on the forum.
Awaiting news conference by London’s Metropolitan Police.
Recap: Two suspect vehicles – one a car bomb with a remote detonating device.
Update 11:47 AM
Suspicious second car being investigated as a suspected car bomb in Park Lane car park – not a bus.
Police say there was enough petrol to fill the trunk of the first car – Mercedes @ Haymarket Street.
Update 11:59 AM
Park Lane vehicle May have been getaway car; several people seen leaving Haymarket car bomb said to be detonated by cell phone remotely; police reviewing security tapes; AP is reporting that British authorities say they have found NO terrorist link.
Update: 12:14 PM
Sky News: Hero Cop May Have Saved Scores Of Lives
Sky News sources say one of the first police officers on the scene of the London West End car bomb may have saved dozens of lives by diffusing the explosives before the bomb squad arrived.
It is believed the quick-thinking cop recognised that the car was wired to blow up, jumped in and disconnected the trigger device, thought to be a mobile phone.
This backs up an eye-witness account of a police officer briefly entering the metallic green Mercedes before running for cover.
Stay tuned for breaking news.
When will the Metro police identify and arrest the miscreants?
Update: 12:27 PM
Sky News: Fleet Street has been closed due to another suspect vehicle discovered.
Update: 1:04 PM
British government: massive manhunt now under way.
The American FBI is now assisting the Brits in manhunt for failed car bomb suspects.
This type of car bombing plot is typical of other British Jihadist car bomb plots in the past, including both the July 2005 bomb plots, and the Dhiren Barot Jihadist group bomb plots.
— In July 2005, a number of bombs and components, some packed with nails to cause death and maximum injury, were recovered from a car parked by the July 7 bombers at Luton station.
— British Jihadist Dhiren Barot pleaded guilty to plotting a series of attacks, including detailed plans to explode limousines packed with gas cylinders, explosives and nails after leaving them in underground London parking garages or hotels.
But, yet no links to terrorism……..
Update 2:42 PM
â€œItâ€™s something you get used to, living in London,â€ said Andrew Fowler, a 39-year-old lawyer who was sipping coffee at an outdoor cafÃ© near Piccadilly Circus.
â€œAnd given the stance our government made on the war in Iraq and elsewhere, I think we are just getting used to being a target,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s something we have to live with.â€
Of course, it is Iraq. As if Islamic or Irish terrorists were not using car bombs before the Iraq War. Now Flap awaits some Brit to blame President Bush.
And, of course, these weapons are from Iraq – that is where they learned how to make them.
Gad, man, these Iraqi IED’s in Iraq are made in Iran and exported there.
A second car found on a London street on Friday contained possible bomb materials, sources told CNN, hours after police disarmed an explosives-filled car in the city’s busy theater district.
The second car was towed from Trafalgar Square to Park Lane overnight, because it was illegally parked, the sources said.
At the Park Lane garage, workers called authorities when they became suspicious after news of the first incident, because the car smelled of gas.
Police and security sources say the car was found to contain components very similar to the first car — definitely fuel, and possibly much more.
They said the car is of grave concern, and could potentially be a second car bomb.
A senior U.S. official with knowledge of the London investigation told CNN the car was linked to the vehicle outside the club, and that some materials found inside the car were very similar to explosive materials found in the car near Piccadilly Circus.
A section of Fleet Street was also cordoned off briefly, then reopened without incident.
OMG it might be a plot! But, by whom?
Update 3:33 PM
Awaiting Scotland Yard Newser on London Car bombs.
Accomplice of AQ henchman Barot suspected; tried to detonate bomb twice.
Sky News:Second bomb found on Park Lane; strengthens case that Al Qaeda was involved.
Update 3:48 PM
Scotland Yard explains about second Mercedes car bomb. Fuel and Nails. The two vehicles are clearly linked; there will be more police patrols; public needs to be alert and shall dial 999 if they see any other suspicious vehicles; no questions only the statement.
A second car bomb has been defused in the heart of London sparking fears that others could be primed and parked around the capital.
The petrol, gas and nail bomb was discovered in a Mercedes apparently towed into a car park pound beneath London’s Park Lane after being found illegally parked in the West End of the city.
The discovery, in the early hours of Friday morning – at about the same time as the first car-bomb was found in Haymarket, left anti-terror detectives asking “How many more?” as thousands of officers searched the captial for other suspect vehicles – and for the terrorist cell.
Just hours before the deadly devices were found, an Islamic fanatic chillingly predicted a terror blast in London.
The chilling message, posted on a jihadist internet forum, warned: “Today, I say, Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”
Meanwhile, an international manhunt was launched tonight to find the gang – believed to be linked to al Qaeda – that came within moments of blowing up hundreds of revellers in a London nightclub.
Update 3:59 PM
Police expect search for suspects to extend outside London.
At Haymarket: The car, believed to be a silver Mercedes, was driven into bins and the driver ran off.
Update 4:04 PM
British authorities were seeking three men after police defused a car bomb that they said could have caused â€œsignificant injury or loss of lifeâ€ overnight in London. Late Friday, police discovered a second car carrying similar explosives, British and U.S. officials told NBC News.The three men are believed to be from the Birmingham area, a center of radical Islamic unrest in Britain, said U.S. officials who had been briefed on the developments.
Islamist terrorist suspects convicted in recent London cases have spoken of moving up to more deadly fuel-air explosives, authorities said. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair said earlier this year that â€œvehicle-borne weaponry is the greatest danger that we can face.â€
Britainâ€™s domestic spy agency, MI5, was examining possible connections with two other foiled plots, 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, the official said.
ABC News has learned the bomb was composed of tanks of propane, butane and 125 liters of gasoline (33 U.S. gallons), roofing nails and a fuse that initial reports indicated was constructed of simple light bulb or flashbulb filaments and designed to be triggered by a mobile telephone.
London authorities investigating the case and U.S. authorities monitoring it say the Mercedes car bomb, if correctly made, could have sent a shrapnel-filled fireball into the air, maiming and killing people in a several hundred yard radius that included a popular nightclub.
Based on an initial forensic investigation, authorities say they believe the fuel-air mixture was incorrect and ultimately led the bomb to fail.
Those folks in the nightclub Tiger Tiger should consider themselves very lucky.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the London case was reminiscent of the July 2004 case, in which terrorists planned to use gas and bomb-laden vehicles to blow up financial targets in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
“This looks similar to the plans that were uncovered then. But there is no indication at this time that there is a link to al Qaeda or any organized terrorist group,” Kelly said. “Our Joint Terrorism Task Force chief is in London now, talking to British authorities, and we’re going to continue to monitor over the weekend. We will have additional resources in place until we have a better understanding of what is transpiring. “
Kelly said in the aftermath of the London discovery, New York police stepped up patrols at Times Square, Herald Square, the Theater District and inside subways and instituted vehicle stops at bridges and tunnels.
Update 5:32 PM
Fox News: Police in Britain are looking for associates of Dhiren Barot because of the methods and materials of the car bombs.
- Conspiracy to commit murder.
- Conspiracy to commit a public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and or explosives.
- Possessing detailed reconnaissance on the Prudential Building in New Jersey.
- Possessing detailed reconnaissance of the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup in New York, and two notebooks with information on explosives.
Barot admitted to plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund headquarters, and the World Bank, among other targets. His accused co-conspirators are Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, 24; Abdul Aziz Jalil, 31; Omar Abdul Rehman, 20; Junade Feroze, 28; Zia ul Haq, 25; Qaisar Shaffi, 25; and Nadeem Tarmohammed, 26, Britons of Pakistani origin, most of Mirpuri descent.
Much of the information about Barot’s role in the planning of further al-Qaeda attacks came from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a prominent al-Qaeda operative captured by the Pakistani ISI. A witness stated that he attended Camp Hudaybiyah, run by the Jemaah Islamiyah group, where he was instructed in small arms training, mortars, basic explosives handling, navigation and jungle patrolling .
The prosecution did not dispute claims from the defence that no funding had been received for the projects, nor any vehicles or bomb-making materials acquired. 
In May 2007 his sentence was reduced to 30 years. The Court of Appeal, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips, said that the 40 year sentence was for a terrorist who planned murder by a “viable” means. It was also stated that Barot’s plot did not amount to an actual attempt and it was uncertain whether they would have succeeded and what the consequences might have been.
London tonight is on tightened alert .
Update 5:42 PM
Lamine Adam, 26, his brother Ibrahim, 20 and Cerie Bullivant, 24
These are three of the seven terrorist suspects who are fugitives in Britain after walking away from so called control orders. If anyone has images of the other four suspects, please email them to us and we’ll post them here.
Via The Telegraph: The Government’s system of control orders for monitoring terror suspects was further undermined today after it emerged that yet another has disappeared.In a statement to Parliament, the police minister, Tony McNulty, said the unidentified man, understood to be an Iraqi, had not been seen since Monday night.
He had been on the control order since November 2005. He is the seventh of 17 men supposedly being monitored under the controversial system to go on the run….
….The Home Office, which imposes control orders on the advice of the security service, refused to say whether he was one of six Iraqis arrested in 2005 in what was believed to be the final stages of a plot to explode car bombs in the UK.
The Home Secretary was forced by the courts to water down the conditions of their orders, which came close to house arrest.
Could these be the men wanted by the Brits?
If anyone in Britain has seen these men call 0800 789 321 – Britsh Counter Terrorism Hotline.
Update 10:26 PM
Nightclubs across Britain were warned they could be terrorist targets just days before yesterdayâ€™s attempted double car-bomb attack in London, The Times has learnt.
Two cars packed with petrol, nails and â€œpatio gasâ€ canisters were left primed to wreak destruction among London clubbers making their way home after a Thursday night out. Only the vigilance and courage of ambulancemen and police officers prevented massive loss of life.
One car, a pale green Mercedes, had been left outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket. A second, a blue Mercedes, was left a few hundred yards away in Cockspur Street, a busy thoroughfare close to Trafalgar Square. This vehicle was towed away at 3:30am on Friday to an car pound on Park Lane by unsuspecting parking officials.
Had either device gone off it would have generated a huge fireball and a shockwave spreading over 400 yards in all directions. If, as suspected, one had been primed to detonate before the other, people fleeing the first blast could have been caught by the second.
So, in other words, one car would go off and when panic ensued and people ran then the second would be set off to burn them.
But, the nightclubs were warned two weeks ago.
The manhunt continues.
The attempted bombing in London’s Haymarket area came one week before the second anniversary of the July 7 bombings that killed 52 people on London’s transportation network.
Also Friday, a London jury was expected to hand down a verdict in the case against five young men who were charged with trying to blow up city buses and trains in 2005.
The men, all from London, were arrested after police found homemade devices on trains and buses that had failed to detonate properly â€” sending puffs of smoke from backpacks that frightened commuters, but injured no one.
Early reports from law enforcement officials indicate that the car bomb found Friday morning may also have failed to detonate properly â€” causing smoke to appear in the passenger area. It was the smoke that prompted people to call explosives officers to the scene.
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