2007 London car bombs

2007 London car bombs

Infobox terrorist attack
title=2007 London Car Bombs

caption=The Mercedes-Benz on Haymarket covered by a tent
location=London, England
Park Lane
date=29 June 2007
timezone=|type= remotely triggered car bombs
injuries= 0
type=car bomb
injuries= 0
perps=2, alleged to be:
Bilal Abdullah
Kafeel Ahmed
On 29 June 2007, in London, two car bombs were discovered and disabled before they could be detonated. The first device was left near the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket at around 01:30, and the second was in Cockspur Street, in the same area of the city.

The first car was reported to the police by an ambulance crew attending a minor incident at the nightclub when they noticed suspicious fumes. [cite news|url=http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1272962,00.html | title=Bomb Attempt: Police Briefing |date=2007-06-29| work =Sky News]

About an hour later, the car containing the second device was ticketed for illegal parking, and an hour after that, transported to the car pound at Park Lane.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6255960.stm | title=Two car bombs found in West End|date=2007-06-29| work =BBC] Staff noticed a strong smell of petrol, and reported the vehicle to police when they heard about the first device.cite news|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/29/nbomb1029.xml | author=Duncan Gardham and Sally Peck
title=Second car bomb found in London's West End|date=2007-06-29| work =The Daily Telegraph

Both vehicles were made by Mercedes-Benz, the first a light green metallic 300E saloon, registration number G824 VFK, and the second a similar model in blue.

The cars and their devices were recovered intact for forensic examination and both were found to contain petrol cans, gas canisters and a quantity of nails, with a mobile phone-based trigger.

Although this event coincided with the appointment of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister two days earlier, Downing Street dismissed suggestions of a connection [cite news|title = Airport attack nothing to do with Brown's Scottish roots, says No 10|publisher = The Scotsman|date = 2007-07-03|accessdate = 2007-07-06|url = http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=1033262007] , although a close link was quickly established to the attack at Glasgow Airport the following day.


First bomb

The vehicle has been reported to have contained 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders, and nails. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6253802.stm Q&A: Car bomb investigation] , July 29, 2007] Scotland Yard has reported that while the gas contained in the canisters and the quantity of the canisters remains unknown, they do not wish to increase speculation and that further details will be given after they have been analysed by forensic experts. The head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command said, "It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life." However, the device could not have detonated, because it lacked an oxidizer, according to a columnist for The Register (UK). [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/29/more_fear_biscuits_please/] [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/02/terror_idiocy_outbreak/] This information may have originated from an interview of former CIA counter-terrorism officer Larry Johnson, conducted by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC on 29 June.

According to "Sky News", the gas cylinders contained propane gas, used for patio heaters.cite news|url=http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1272910,00.html | title=Two Bombs Were Set To Blow In London |date=2007-06-29| work =Sky News]

econd bomb

A second bomb was later found in a blue Mercedes-Benz 280E believed to have been left in the same area at around the same time. The illegally-parked car received a parking ticket in Cockspur Street at 02:30. At about 03:30 the car was transported to the Park Lane car pound. Staff left the car in a public area after smelling petrol fumes and alerted police on hearing about the first bomb.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6255452.stm | title=Police hunt for London car bomber
date=2007-06-29| work =BBC News


U.S. officials told NBC News that three men have been identified and are believed to be from Birmingham. Furthermore, the network reported that one of the three men could be an associate of Dhiren Barot, an Indian convert to Islam who was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for plotting to fill limousines with explosives similar to those found in these incidents and park them in garages beneath hotels and office complexes. Bharot, whom police described as a high-level al-Qaeda operative, also planned to attack five financial landmarks in the United States: the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup Center in New York City; the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, both in Washington, D.C.; and the Prudential Building in Newark, New Jersey. Scotland Yard are denying claims from a report by ABC News that police had a "crystal clear" picture of one suspect from CCTV footage. [MSNBC and NBC News: [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19516724/ U.K. police hunt for London car bomb plotters] , June 30, 2007]

A 27-year-old doctor from India, Mohammed Haneef was arrested at Brisbane Airport in Australia on 2 July in connection with the bombings in the UK. He was arrested while trying to board a flight with a one way ticket to Bangalore, India, apparently to visit his newly born daughter. The arrest followed information received from the UK. [Daily Telegraph July 5 [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/05/nterror205.xml] ] As the case against him collapsed, Dr. Haneef was released with all charges dropped. [The Age July 27 [http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/terror-charges-dropped/2007/07/27/1185339250715.html] ] A second doctor was detained at the Gold Coast Hospital by police on 3 July 2007 and was later released.Fact|date=July 2007


A spokesperson for Pride London stated that the route of their gay pride march, set for 30 June 2007, would be unchanged although extra precautions such as removing bins would be implemented. [cite news|url=http://www.pridelondon.org/ | title=Car bomb found in London |date=2007-06-29| work =Pride London] The police do not think the attacks were targeted at the event. Other suspicious vehicles in Park Lane and Fleet Street [cite news|url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKL2919779720070629 | author=Peter Graff and Mark Trevelyan| title=Police find two car bombs in central London |date=2007-06-29| work =Reuters UK] were investigated by police, as well as reports of suspicious cars in other areas of the UK, such as Warrington, [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/6253720.stm | title=Police lift town exclusion zone |date=2007-06-29| work =BBC News Online] which suffered a 1993 bomb attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Office workers, students and tourists were still enjoying a Friday night out in London only hours after the discovery of the bombs. Bars and clubs remained open and London mayor Ken Livingstone urged the capital's communities to work together to defeat the terrorism threat. [Rupert Neate, Rachel Williams and Helen Pidd: [http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,2115283,00.html Bomb alerts and travel chaos fail to deter West End revellers] , "The Guardian", June 30, 2007]

Security at Wimbledon was increased as a result of the incident. [cite news|url=http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=89624 | author=AP| title=Security increased at Wimbledon due to terrorist threat |date=2007-06-29| work =Tennis.com] Whitehall sources later stated that "international elements" were believed to be involved with the bomb. Police claim to have a "crystal clear" picture of the driver of the first car and suspect he may be an individual formerly detained in relation to the case of convicted terrorist Dhiren Barot.Brian Ross and Richard Esposito: [http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/06/terror-plot-inv.html Terror Plot Involves Islamic Extremists; Police Have 'Crystal Clear' Picture of Suspect] , "ABC News", June 29, 2007] Barot was connected to an earlier "limousine bomb" plot, which also involved cars packed with propane gas cylinders. [Dominic Casciani: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6756619.stm The men who made a plot possible] , BBC, 2007-06-15] One senior law enforcement official called the event a "terror plot involving Islamic extremists."

CBS News has reported that a message appeared on the widely used jihadist Internet forum Al-Hesbah at 08:09, June 28 2007, stating: "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. [cite news|url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/29/terror/main2997517.shtml | author=Tucker Reals |title=Was London Bomb Plot Heralded On Web?|date=2007-06-29| work =CBS News]

The following day, in another incident, a Jeep Cherokee was set on fire and driven into the main departure terminal of Glasgow International Airport causing minor damage. Two men, believed to be of Asian appearance, were arrested at the scene. One, who had been on fire, was taken to a nearby hospital and the other to a police station. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that the attack is being treated as a terrorist attack and that the United Kingdom terrorism threat level has been elevated from "Severe" to "Critical", meaning "further attacks are expected imminently". In a press conference Glasgow police said this attack and the car bombs in London are believed to be linked. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/6257194.stm Blazing car crashes into airport] , June 30, 2007] [UK Home Office: [http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/security/current-threat-level/ Current Threat Level] ] [Mark Townsend, Jo Revill and Paul Kelbie: [http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,2115693,00.html Glasgow attacked as terror threat spreads] , "The Guardian", June 30, 2007] . The BBC reported that a mobile phone found after the arrest of the Glasgow suspects contained the numbers of those involved in the London bombing attempts. The Metropolitan Police say this is the first evidence they have linking the events.Fact|date=July 2007

In the United States White House press secretary Tony Snow said "There is no specific or credible evidence of any threat of any kind against the United States of America." Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said there were no immediate plans to raise the U.S. national threat level, now at yellow, or elevated. In New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said police would work extra hours in more locations. The police department increased patrols at high profile tourist areas such as Times Square, as well as the subways. Officers were told to give extra attention to parking garages and any suspicious vehicles. After the Glasgow attack patrols were increased at some airports. [
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19503746/ U.S. urges vigilance after U.K. bomb defused] , "MSNBC", June 29, 2007
] [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19524699/ U.S. ‘comfortable’ with terror alert status MSNBC] ]

At approximately 21:30 on 30 June, officers of the Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police arrested two people at junction 16 on the northbound M6 motorway near Sandbach in south Cheshire, blocking the motorway for about 40 minutes. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6257606.stm UK terror threat now 'critical'] , July 1, 2007 ]

Gordon Brown stated on July 1 that " [it is] clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda." [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6258062.stm "PM defiant over "al-Qaeda threat"] , July 1, 2007; retrieved July 1 2007]

On July 4 a suicide note was found that police said belonged to two of the suspects. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/07/04/london.investigation/index.html UK terror police find suicide note] ]

On December 18, gallantry awards for two of the police officers involved in defusing the devices were gazetted. Paul Humphrey received the Queen's Gallantry Medal (the third highest such medal in the UK honours system), and Gary Anthony Wright received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery. [LondonGazette|issue=58544|supp=yes|notarchive=yes|startpage=18305|endpage=18306|date=18 December 2007|accessdate=2008-01-10]


See also

* 2007 UK terrorist incidents
* 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack
* 21 July 2005 London bombings

External links

* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/gallery/070629/GAL-07Jun29-79723/index.html "Washington Post Photo Gallery"]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6253418.stm In pictures: Car bomb discovered] (BBC)
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6253778.stm London mayor calls for vigilance] (BBC)
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6255960.stm Metropolitan Police press conference (video)] (BBC)
* [http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1272910,00.html Public On Alert As Car Bombing Foiled] (Sky News)
* [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/546BFEB3-352D-488C-97BD-F0E08351DE68.htm Al-Jazeera News coverage (in English)]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6265674.stm] BBC News, Heathrow T4 Suspect package

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