France raises terror alert
07/07/2005 - The French government today raised its terror alert system to the second-highest level after the series of explosions in London, said Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. The alert level was changed immediately to red, moving up one notch on a four-level scale, the prime minister said. Scarlet is the highest warning level. Villepin expressed his "deepest solidarity" with the British people following the explosions. - iol.ie
There are also Troops on the streets in Paris
Police evacuate Birmingham centre
Saturday, 9 July, 2005 - Traffic is not being allowed into the city centre
About 20,000 people have been evacuated from Birmingham city centre amid a security alert. West Midlands Police asked people to leave Broad Street, the main entertainment hub and two other areas. Some city homes were also evacuated. No vehicles are being allowed past the inner ring road into the city centre, and there have also been reports of controlled explosions by police. West Midlands Police said it was in response to intelligence it received. It is an exodus and the lot of roads are like ghost streets, when they normally would be packed with people Police have said it was a "proportionate response" to the intelligence, but were not giving specific details.
Birmingham resident Kenneth Kelsall told the BBC: "There is a lot of confusion, there appears to be no chance of anyone moving back into the city - but people are remaining quiet."
West Midlands Police announced they had received intelligence of a possible threat to the area at about 2015 BST.
Initially people were told to be on their guard, and that bars and restaurants were being searched. Motorists were also told not to come into the city centre.
However, about half an hour later, police announced that the city was to be evacuated. The BBC's Zoe Gough said there was confusion and people were trying to find out information but there was no panic.
"Everybody is just being turned round and the main roads out of the city seem to be gridlocked, although traffic does seem to be moving," she said. "I have seen some cars just pulled up and also people walking along with suitcases away from city centre as if they have been stranded there," she said. She said people were mainly trying to continue with their nights out, but the area being evacuated appeared to be increasing. "People who have come here to have a good time have been trying to carry on with their evening, but the area being evacuated seems to be widening," she said. "I did see a massive queue outside a nightclub, Liberty's in Hagley Street, where people had gone to." "But it is an exodus and the lot of roads are like ghost streets, when they normally would be packed with people. "The traffic is moving the wrong way than it normally would be on a Saturday night, put it that way. "
[the BBC even want to know how the fear is working under the guise of a comment board:]
Have you been affected by the Birmingham security alert? Send us your comments and pictures using the form below.
BBC - Tavistock Institute division
8,000 Flee Bomb Scare
11th July 2005 - EIGHT thousand people were evacuated from a packed community festival in Sheffield after reports of a suspect package sparked a bomb scare.
Organisers and police ordered everyone out of Abbeyfield Park, Burngreave, after the force apparently received more than one warning.
Vendors were forced to abandon stalls and join thousands of revellers, many with young children, who surged towards the exits.
Eyewitnesses said some people resorted to jumping walls when a crush briefly developed but it is believed everyone cleared the park safely within half an hour of the announcement just after 4pm yesterday. Police sealed off surrounding streets causing traffic chaos.
Abbeyfield Festival is one of Sheffield's largest one-day events with 60 full-time and 30 part-time organisers working over six months, assisted by 100 volunteers. It boasts three music stages, dozens of performers and scores of stalls.
A South Yorkshire police spokesman said: "Abbeyfield Park was evacuated after reports of a suspect package. The park was searched but nothing was found. We take all such reports seriously and we have to be extra vigilant particularly in light of the attack in London last week."
Event co-ordinator Bob Worm said they received more than one warning of a suspect package at around the same time. "Our evacuation procedures were launched and I'm pleased with the way everyone left so quickly. The Bomb Squad was not called in, but sniffer dogs were used."
John Watts, who was on the Burngreave Church on the Rock stall, said people had heightened awareness of an incident after the terrorist attacks in London.
Houses searched in bomb inquiry [500 people evacuated]
12 July, 2005 - Sir Ian Blair says more attacks are likely
Five homes in West Yorkshire have been searched by police investigating last week's London bombings.
Anti-terror officers launched the raids - including at least one on a house in Leeds - about 0600 BST, but so far have made no arrests.
The move came as Sir Ian Blair, Met Police Commissioner, said another attack on London was "likely".
Some 52 people were killed and 700 injured in last Thursday's four bombings on three Tubes and a bus.
Parts of Colwyn Road and Tempest Road in the Beeston area of Leeds have been sealed off by police.
Sir Ian confirmed the raids were part of the bombing investigation.
Another attack is likely, there's no question about that
He said: "There have been a series of searches carried out in Yorkshire. Those searches are still going on.
"This activity is directly connected to the outrages on Thursday."
Speaking on BBC London, the commissioner said London, as well as New York, continued to be "major terrorist targets".
He said: "Another attack is likely, there's no question about that. When, who knows." - BBC
Note: Colwyn Road, Tempest Road in the Beeston area of Leeds are referred to as Multi cultural [Asian/Afro-Carribean] areas...Houses evacuated, a 'Pakistani' family have been targetted...Helicopter overhead...
on BBC News 24 - one house being searched is unoccupied
so what parts of the UK aren't muticultural????
Policeman hurt in Barcelona blast
12 July, 2005 - Spanish police were alerted by staff at the cultural centre
An explosion at the Italian Cultural Institute in the Spanish city of Barcelona has lightly injured a policeman and killed a sniffer dog.
The blast happened as a bomb disposal team was examining a suspicious metal coffee pot which staff had spotted at the building's entrance on Tuesday.
The Italian foreign Ministry said a home-made bomb had caused the blast.
Spanish police cordoned off the area. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
The Associated Press reports that graffiti was daubed on a wall outside the cultural institute reading "freedom for Italian prisoners" along with a circle with the letter A - the symbol for anarchism. - BBC
'Anarchists' are now beiing linked to 'Terror'
Mass arrests made in Milan swoops
9 July, 2005 - Italy has boosted anti-terror measures after the London attacks
Italian police have arrested 142 people in the course of a two-day security operation in and around Milan which was prompted by the London bombings.
Most were detained over drugs, theft or illegal immigration while 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) of explosives were found at the home of a convicted criminal.
Some 2,000 police took part in the operation in Italy's business capital. Threats have been posted on Islamist websites threatening to attack the country, which has troops in Iraq. A police official, Col Cosimo Piccino, said the sweep was meant "to guarantee greater security after the London attacks and to combat illegal immigration and street crime".
Some 7,000 people are said to have undergone preventive police checks.
Police reportedly raided several Gypsy camps and other deprived areas. Of those arrested, 83 are said to be non-EU citizens. Deportation orders have already been issued for 52 of them.
"Charges are mainly related to crimes like burglary, theft, evading home arrest and infringement of drug laws," Col Piccino was reported by daily Corriere della Sera as saying after the arrests.
In a separate development, police evacuated part of Rome's Fiumicino airport after a false alarm sparked by an unattended bag earlier this morning. Speaking from the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy would start withdrawing 300 troops from Iraq in September. But he underlined that the partial pullout had already been announced and that Italy's presence in the region would continue until the Iraqi authorities will be able to replace it with their own security forces.
"Commitments must be met," he said. - BBC
Italian parliament to hear anti-terrorism measures
12/07/2005 - Italy's interior minister was to brief parliament today on extra anti-terrorism measures proposed following the deadly bombings in London last week.
Italy has stepped up its level of alert and tightened security after the explosions, and Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu has said new legislative measures might be needed to help Italy prevent a possible future attack.
News reports have said Pisanu's plans may include allowing police to detain suspects longer without charges, quicker expulsion of illegal immigrants deemed a danger, and giving incentives for those helping investigators bring down terrorist cells.
Also among the ideas is a "super-prosecutor" to co-ordinate terrorism investigations in the same way Italy's anti-Mafia prosecutors have worked.
Internet threats - including one posted in a claim of responsibility for Thursday's bombings in London - have mentioned Italy as a target of future attacks.
London bombs: Premises searched in Poland
11/07/2005 - Security officials in Poland have searched the premises of a British citizen of Pakistani origin in connection with the terrorist bombings in London.
Security officials in the eastern Polish city of Lublin conducted the search acting on a tip, said Agata Studenny, a spokeswoman for the Lublin office of the country's Internal Security Agency.She said the man, whose name was not released, was not taken into custody. Citing the sensitive nature of the case, Studenny refused to say whether agents had searched a home, an office or some other type of property. But she indicated the tip was being taken seriously.
"In connection with information from a Lublin resident who suggested this person could be connected with the attacks in London, we have undertaken several procedural actions, including the search of his premises," Studenny said.
"He was not, however, detained and he remains in Lublin. I will not make any comments as to the results of the actions we have conducted," she added.
"If some more information emerges, we will inform the public. There are, however, justifiable suspicions."
SPAIN STEPS UP SECURITY - Foreign legion on the streets...
12 Jul 2005 - The Director General of the Civil Guard, Carlos Gómez Arruche, has said that both the Civil Guard and the National Police are currently keeping close watch on transport centres and other areas where there are large numbers of public, following the bomb attacks in London on Thursday. Also under closer guard were power stations and other strategic sites across the country, he said. Alert level three in Spain means that the armed forces can also be called on to take part in the operations. He added that there was a special alert plan in force in the Levante area of Eastern Spain, but denied that there was any indication of any immediate terrorist threat. Members of the Spanish foreign legion are to patrol the local commuter railway lines.
Meanwhile the Secretary General of the Partido Popular. Ángel Acebes, has said that the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has shown he has no idea about terrorism. It follows comments by Zapatero in which he said terrorism was the result of injustice in the world. Acebes went on to ask Zapatero what sea of injustice had led to the creation of ETA. - typically spanish [no the site really is called that!]
Strange timing: 4 blasts reported in Basque Region same day as the reports of security being stepped up:
Four explosions near Spanish power station-police
MADRID, July 12 (Reuters) - Four explosions struck near a power station in Spain's northern Basque country on Tuesday after a warning call in the name of Basque separatist guerrillas ETA, police said.
State radio said there were no injuries.
A caller to a Basque newspaper had warned earlier that four bombs would explode near the power station at Amorebieta, police said - alertnet
12/07/2005 - Four bombs exploded today near a power plant in the Basque region after a warning call from the separatist group Eta. The explosions occurred in the town of Amorebieta in Vizcaya province, Spanish National Radio said. It said there were no casualties.
Eta called a Basque newspaper and warned four bombs would go off at the power plant, the news agency Efe said. Workers at the plant were evacuated before the explosions, Efe said. It quoted witnesses as saying the explosions were small. - breakingnews
Bomb threat evacuates Warsaw underground line
12/07/2005 - Polish police ordered the evacuation of Warsaw's underground line today after receiving a threat that it could be bombed, a spokesman said.
"We are evacuating the Warsaw metro because we received information about a bomb threat," said Temistokles Brodowski, a spokesman for police in the Polish capital. - IOL
British police search for Spaniard in connection with London bombs...
ETA says government members are still targets...
Car bomb in northern Iraq kills three
12/07/2005 - A car bomb exploded today in the industrial district of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing at least three people and wounding 15. The car was parked in the southern neighbourhood when it exploded as people were passing in the street, said police Capt. Farhad Talabani.
Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qader said it was not a suicide attack. Car bombs have killed hundreds of people since the government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari took office on April 28.
The motive for the attack was unclear, but Kirkuk, a centre of Iraq's oil industry, is the scene of ethnic rivalry among Arab, Kurdish and Turkomen populations.
Whoops i'm sorry this is JUST NORMAL EVERYDAY ACTIVITY
Suicide bomber targets Israeli shopping centre
A suicide bomber blew himself up near a crowded shopping mall in the seaside city of Netanya today, killing himself and two others. Police said about 30 people were injured, two seriously.Initial reports said the bomb went off at the entrance to the mall. However, Israel Radio later reported that the bomber had struck at an intersection near the mall. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from a Palestinian militant group. It was the second such bombing since a truce declaration on February 8. Two weeks into the truce a suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad group blew himself up outside a Tel Aviv nightclub, killing five Israelis. Today's bomb went off just before 7pm (4pm Irish time) when the mall was crowded with shoppers.
Netanya is at Israel's narrowest point, nine miles from the West Bank. The city has been a frequent target of Palestinian bombers, but the frequency had dropped sharply in the past year with the completion of a section of Israel's separation barrier along that part of the West Bank.
The mall has been a target for suicide bombers in the past. On May 18, 2001, a bomber blew himself up at the mall, killing five Israelis.
The last suicide bombing in Netanya was on May 19, 2002, when three Israelis were killed on a street not far from the mall. The mall bombing in Netanya is the first suicide bombing in Israel since February 25.
The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, condemned the bombing. He said: "We understand that those who carried out this attack want to sabotage the efforts being exerted to have a smooth and peaceful disengagement from Gaza and a revival of the peace process."
Station evacuated over 'bomb link' car - MORE FEAR IN LUTON UK
12/07/2005 Police today evacuated Luton railway station and car park as they recovered a vehicle they believe may be linked to the terrorist attacks in London last week.
A 100 yard cordon was placed around the station in a major operation by Bedfordshire Police in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police.
The station was closed at 2.45pm on the grounds of public safety so that the car could be recovered.
A police spokesman said: "Police believe the vehicle may be connected to the terrorist attacks in London."
The car was being examined in the car park for safety reasons before being taken away to a secure location by the Met Police.
Bedfordshire Police said the search could take some time and a cordon will be in place for approximately three hours.
The areas affected included Luton Railway Station, the bus station, part of the Luton University campus and a number of privately owned buildings.
Trains have been prevented from passing through Luton until a safety assessment has been completed.
Police officers and staff have been deployed to the neighbouring stations to assist those commuters who have been forced to leave trains.
Bedfordshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Martin Stuart said: "We can only apologise for the inconvenience this has caused everybody but your safety is our priority, which can only be ensured by taking this action.
"We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police during this time and hope the disruption can be kept to a minimum."
Car bomb kills child, injures 4 in Bulgaria
13 Jul 2005
SOFIA, July 13 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded in a car at a tourist resort in Bulgaria's Black Sea coast on Wednesday, killing a child and injuring four others, including two German tourists, police and media said. It was the second such explosion in two days and the third since June in Bulgaria, where scores of people have died in recent years in bloody gangland violence. Police said the bomb blast killed a 2-year-old girl and injured a Bulgarian man and woman as they sat in a car in front of a hotel in Obzor, a village near the southern port of Bourgas.
The explosion also injured two German children who were nearby, news agency BTA reported, quoting the director of the Bourgas regional police. It said they were taken to hospital. It was not clear whether the dead girl and the injured Bulgarians were related. The man was the head of a private security firm and operator of the local beach.
The German embassy said it had no information about the incident. Bourgas police could not immediately confirm BTA's report on the injured tourists.
On Tuesday, a car exploded near Sofia, injuring four, and in June a bomb injured six, including a 76-year-old woman passer-by, in what officials said looked like a botched assassination attempt against a criminal figure. Diplomats say powerful crime groups control major parts of Bulgaria's economy, leading to bloody clashes that at times involve prominent business people in the poor Balkan state.
Despite making many arrests, police have been unable to secure a single conviction for an underworld murder, which analysts blame on the country's inefficient and easily corrupted investigation and judicial system. - reuters
Italian police raid suspected extremists
13/07/2005 - Italian police carried out raids against suspected Islamic extremists early today amid anti-terrorism efforts. Police carried out about 200 searches throughout Italy during the raids, the ANSA news agency reported. Italy has raised its anti-terrorism alert since last week's deadly bombings in London, and security has been tightened across the country. There were no arrests reported. Police were not immediately available to confirm the reports.
Italian judge convicts two under anti-terror law
13 Jul 2005 11:17:09 GMT
Source: Reuters(Updates with details of case. Previous story datelined MILAN)
BRESCIA, Italy, July 13 (Reuters) - An Italian judge on Wednesday convicted two Islamic extremists on terrorism charges in a case related to a plot to attack a Milan subway station and a church in the northern city of Cremona, a court official said. The official said one of the suspects, a Moroccan cleric named as Mohamed Rafik, was handed a 4 year 8 month prison term and the other man, named as Kamel Hamroui, was given a 3 year 4 month sentence.
Rafik is also suspected of involvement in bomb attacks in the Moroccan city of Casablanca in 2003 that killed 45 people, but Italy has refused requests by Morocco to extradite him. Italian media reported that Wednesday's verdict was the first time prosecutors had managed to secure convictions using tough international anti-terrorism legislation introduced by Italy in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.
A third suspect was cleared of terrorism charges, but convicted for lesser offences, while a fourth defendant was cleared of all charges. The case was heard by a court in the northern city of Brescia using a fast track process that cuts through Italy's notoriously slow legal process and allows for shorter sentences in the event of convictions.
The prosecution based much of its case on testimony from a Tunisian informant, who told magistrates in 2002 that a terrorist cell was planning attacks in Milan and Cremona. Magistrates say during their investigation of the suspects they discovered leaflets calling for a holy war and a document allegedly signed by Osama bin Laden, as well as cash payments meant for a training camp in Iraq. Earlier on Wednesday, Italian police launched a nationwide crackdown on suspected Islamic militants, raiding houses across the country. The security sweep came a day after the Italian interior minister warned that terrorism was "knocking on Italy's door" following last week's attacks in London, and urged parliament to strengthen security laws to curb the threat. - reuters
Manchester Bomb scare causes traffic chaos [UK]
Wednesday, 13th July 2005 - A BOMB scare caused massive disruption to motorists today after a main route in and out of Manchester was closed.
Police and a bomb disposal squad were called just before the rush hour when security guards saw an abandoned suitcase in a car park on Oxford Road under the M57 Mancunian Way flyover. Nearby Manchester Metropolitan University was evacuated as a precaution. The short stretch of motorway goes from London Road near Piccadilly Station to the Chester Road roundabout and Regent Road, Salford. It was closed shortly after 7am between the Cambridge Street roundabout in Hulme and Ashton Old Road. Oxford Road was closed between Grosvenor Street and Whitworth Street.
After a controlled explosion by bomb experts at 10.22am, it took some time for the congestion to clear because queues stretched back for miles. At the Piccadilly station end of the motorway, police reported standing traffic as far back as the City of Manchester Stadium. Oxford Road was also extremely busy with traffic trying to get into the city centre. Among those facing delays were United Utilities engineers trying to get to Salford to fix a burst which left scores of homes near to Salford Cathedral off Salford Crescent without water during the scorching heat this morning. Before the controlled explosion today police said they did not think the suitcase posed "a specific threat" but that it was being treated with caution in light of the bombings in London. - Nicola Dowling>
Bomb scare at Nelson police station [New Zealand]
14 July 2005 - A bomb scare sparked a partial evacuation of the Nelson Police Station after a suspicious package was brought into the main counter.
Senior Sergeant Tony Bernards said the package, which was the size of a packet of cigarettes, was wrapped in masking tape and was brought into the police station by a man working for a government department, which he would not identify, about 8.15am. Mr Bernards man found the package on his car and had concerns that it may have been planted by someone bearing a grudge about his work. Mr Bernards would not say what type of work the man was doing.
He said the package was suspicious and police were taking the threat very seriously. "One of our guys had a look at it and we're not going to take any risks." Mr Bernards said the majority of the main police station building had been evacuated and the main entrance cordoned off. "It doesn't appear that it will do a lot of damage. My main concern is if someone picks it up and the thing decides to go bang."
The incident would not interfere with routine police activity, Mr Bernards said. Explosives experts from the New Zealand Defence Force had been called in to deal with the package. The Motueka Police Station faced a bomb scare when a suspicious parcel was found on its the doorstep in August 2002, closing part of High St for about 10 hours. - stuff.co.nz
LONDON ATTACK: Bomb scare halts train journey [UK]
14th July -
A RAILWAY station had to be evacuated after a suspect package was found on a busy train. More than 100 people fled the WAGN train when it pulled into Huntingdon station at 7.12pm, yesterday.
The suspect package was found on the Peterborough to London train and was reported to rail staff by a passenger.
The station was evacuated while a 200 metre area was cordoned off around the train, to ensure public safety.
A Colchester-based specialist explosives unit, along with British Transport Police, used X-ray equipment to discover the package was no danger to the public. Police believe the package was a small bag.
Passengers were given water by rail staff and offered alternative forms of transport to get to their destination.
The train was allowed to continue its journey to London shortly after 9.30pm. No trains were allowed to pass through the station from 7.12pm to 9.30pm.
Cambridgeshire police spokesman Neil Franklin said: "We would advise people not to leave belongings or personal possessions unattended. After last week's London bombings, security levels have increased.
"If anyone sees a suspect package they should not hesitate to contact police."
- huntingdon today
Fake bomb at Jerusalem bus station placed by Israeli soldiers
Tuesday 19th July, 2005 -
A suspected bomb at the central Jerusalem bus station last week was allegedly placed there by two Israel Defense Force soldiers.
The bomb turned out to be a hoax but resulted in the bus station being closed for more than an hour, a court was told this week.
The soldiers, Meir Bartel and Arie Katz, both 20, arrived at the station in uniform with one carrying a military backpack which allegedly contained a 12 kilogram gas canister which in turn contained a gas balloon, a clock, and some wires. The soldiers met on the third floor men's toilet where they placed the bag and then left. Police were alerted by passers-by, noting the unattended bag, who immediately sealed off the area.
Both soldiers were arrested after they were identified on closed circuit TV cameras which showed the men entering the station, meeting up, and placing the fake bomb in the toilet. They appeared in court where they were remanded for 8 days. The two are maintaininbg their right to remain silent, Jerusalem police said in a press release on the case.
It is alleged the soldiers were protesting the Gaza disengagement. A note accompanying the 'bomb' said "the disengagement will blow up in our faces."
Big News Network.com
Police seal off M6 in bomb scare drama
Jul 26 2005 - By Helen Cotterill
Motorists were caught up in a huge bomb scare yesterday when police sealed off one of the region's busiest motorways. Warwickshire Police closed the M6 between junction two, at Walsgrave, Coventry, and junction one, at Rugby, as well as a section of the A4455 Fosse Way where it crosses the motorway, at about 1.30pm because of the security alert.
It was sparked when a motorbike and a bag were found abandoned on the embankment of the southbound carriageway. An Army bomb disposal team was called in to help officers from the Warwickshire force and the Central Motorway Police Group to deal with the alert.
A Warwickshire Police spokesman said the bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion on the bag "as a precautionary measure".
It was found to be harmless. Police inquiries established that the abandoned motorbike had been reported stolen in north London on May 29. It has now been recovered by police for forensic tests.
The affected roads were eventually reopened to drivers by 4.20pm, missing most of the rush hour. But at its worst, the shutdown caused a tailback for motorists travelling south from Coventry towards Rugby and the M1 south, with jams reaching as far back as junction three at Foleshill and Bedworth. And commuters using the M1 and M69 were unable to get on to the M6 to continue their journeys after entry slip roads were blocked off.
But a spokesman for Trafficlink, which manages traffic information, said the effects of the closure were not as bad as they could have been, adding: "Because the roads were closed on the first day of the school holidays and during the day, travel wasn't affected as much as it could have been."
Yesterday's scare came just weeks after Coventry city centre's Pool Meadow bus station was closed off amid a similar security alert on the same day as the London tube bombings of July 7. - iC coventry
India: Blast on train kills 10
NEW DELHI, India -- At least 10 people were killed and dozens more were wounded in an explosion aboard a crowded passenger train Thursday in the central Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, according to the railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadavsaid.
The blast occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) as the train neared the small village of Sigramou. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Officials said the death toll could continue to rise.
The train was traveling from the eastern city of Patna to New Delhi.
Medical teams have been rushed to the scene of the explosion, near the town of Jaunpur, about 640 kilometers (400 miles) east of New Delhi, officials said. R.K. Singh, the top official for Indian Railways, told reporters that the explosion had been caused by a bomb, but he gave no further details, The Associated Press reports.
Earlier Thursday, police found a suitcase packed with 18 small bombs inside a passenger train car in eastern Bihar state, Uday Kant Jha, a railway official in Patna, the state capital, said. He said those bombs did not appear to be linked to the train blast, though he gave no details, The AP reports.
The suitcase, which was apparently being used to transport the bombs, was found while the train was sitting in a station, he said.
Four people had been detained in connection with the suitcase and were being questioned.
Police investigating smoking bus
Streets near King's Cross were cordoned off
Police are investigating a security alert on a bus in central London, near King's Cross. There are reports of a smoking bus on Gray's Inn Road, which has been closed in both directions as has Euston Road.
Police and fire services are attending, and a bomb disposal unit is due but it is unclear if there was a suspect package on board. A cordon has been put in place as a precaution, but at present there are no reports of an explosion, police said.
Some passengers were reported to have suffered from smoke inhalation and London Ambulance has sent two ambulances to the scene.
Frankfurt-Paris train evacuated after bomb scare
5 August 2005 - REIMS - A train headed to Paris from Frankfurt was stopped and evacuated in eastern France Thursday after a false bomb warning onboard the train. The 250 passengers were transferred to another train and arrived in Paris with a delay, the French railroad organization SNCF said.
The train, which left Frankfurt at 10:43 a.m., was stopped and searched at the station in Epernay, but nothing was found. The incident caused delays in other train connections between Germany and France, but traffic had normalized by evening. - expatica.com
nuclear terror scenario announced
1 week before Hiroshima/Nagasaki rememberance day?
Exercise to focus on nuclear terror scenario
Posted Jun 29, 2005 at 1:00:PM MDT
FORT MONROE, Va. -- Here's the scenario...A seafaring vessel transporting a 10-kiloton nuclear warhead makes its way into a port off the coast of Charleston, S.C. Terrorists aboard the ship attempt to smuggle the warhead off the ship to detonate it. Is this really a possibility?
Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) here is planning its next exercise on the premise that this crisis is indeed plausible.
Sudden Response 05 will take place this August on Fort Monroe and will be carried out as an internal command post exercise. The exercise is intended to train the JTF-CS staff to plan and execute Consequence Management operations in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV's response to a nuclear detonation.
Some of this year's objectives for SR05 are to refine nuclear incident Concept of Operations, produce a CM Operation Order, refine command post set-up procedures and maintain situational awareness of multiple CM incidents.
The Sudden Response exercise has been held at Quantico, Va., in the past, but has been moved to Fort Monroe to maximize command post training time. The senior leadership felt that it was more important to accomplish training instead of losing up to a day and a half in travel time, said Paul Deflueri, J7 Lead Exercise Planner. "This will allow us to still meet our training objectives," he said.
Some external participants may work with JTF-CS during the exercise.
"We're trying to get representatives from FEMA Region IV as well as representatives from South Carolina Emergency Management Division and active duty soldiers from the (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) Consequence Management Response Force to play the role of task force units," Defluri said.
"Each time we do one of these internal exercises, we try to make it more robust and try to add in fidelity," Defluri said. "That's what we're trying to do for SR05: create a good scenario and be able to replicate the effects as best we can. That way we can give the command a really good CM exercise."
Bomb scare sparks panic
05 August 2005 - AN EXPLOSION on a double-decker brought Sidcup to a standstill as fears of a terrorist attack hit the borough. A 'small explosion' was heard from the rear of a 229 bus travelling from Bexleyheath to Sidcup at 3pm today, Friday, August 5, write Lisa Jarvis and Scott Sinclair.
The bus driver quickly raised the alarm and evacuated dozens of passengers on board. Hundreds of commuters travelling through Sidcup were forced to take alternative routes as a cordon stretching a quarter of a mile was thrown around the bus.
Superintendent Martin Bagg who was supervising the police operation said: "There was a loud bang and lots of smoke coming out the back of the bus. "You have got to be safe in the current climate so we got everyone off. "It would be possible to go on the bus and search. You could lift the back seats and check everything but we have called in an explosives officer to investigate."
One officer quickly ushered the driver off the bus into the back of a police van , saying that the employee could not be interviewed as he had 'been the victim of a very serious crime.'
Four friends had just got off the 229 bus in Sidcup and were quickly ushered by police away from the area as they expanded their cordon.
Charlotte Baker, 15, said: "We were told that there had been a small explosion on the bus. We are so glad that we got off when we did."
Explosive officers and engineers arrived at the scene and revealed the 'explosion' was the result of 'an engine malfunction'. Chislehurst Road was closed for over an hour while investigations on the bus were carried out.
Shoppers on high alert during bomb scare in town centre
8:26am Friday 5th August 2005 - A BOMB scare at the Octagon Centre in High Wycombe turned out to be nothing more than a small fire. Shoppers were evacuated from the centre at 11.40am on Friday, July 29, as rumours of a suspect package circulated.
The real cause of the emergency was an electrical fault at Littlewoods in the centre. Faulty wiring had caused an air-conditioning unit to smoke.
Two fire engines and four police officers were called to the scene as the store shut down. Station officer Dean Elliot, from High Wycombe Fire Station, told Midweek: "Staff noticed an electrical smell in part of the store and set off the alarm.
"All the alarms are linked in the shopping centre. "That's why everybody was evacuated. "We used a thermal imaging camera to find where the burning was coming from. "We isolated it and vented the building."
Staff were let back into the building first about an hour before shoppers could re-enter the store. Clare Reynolds, a shopper who had been in the complex, said: "In this current climate they were right to do this.
"Everyone has been very professional.
"No one has been complaining."
Czech Music Festival ends in chaos - 1 death...
The annual Czech 'CzechTek' (also known as Technival) is one of the biggest free festivals in Europe. With over 6000 people attending this year, it has met with severe police hostility. Police blocked access to the legally rented festival site and later attacked it, resulting in over 50 injured people. One man has been confirmed dead. Police has stated he was killed in a "normal car accident". The Czech League of Human Rights have called upon Interior Minister František Bublan to immediately resign. A large demonstration against the police brutality, in Prague on Sunday July 31th was attended by over 5000 people and was supported by the former Czech President Vaclav Havel. The demonstration in the capital ended in a streetrave. Solidarity actions have been taking place throughout Europe.- IMCUK
Pentagon Advisor warns The Netherlands for terror attacks
August 5th, 2005 - HILVERSUM - There is a risk of terror attacks in The Netherlands between August 15th and the first half of September by al-Qaeda. The target would be the public transport network in Amsterdam. This was said by an advisor of the US State Department last friday in the NOVA television program.
Pape made an analysis for secretary Rumsfeld of the terror threat posed by Abu Hafs al-Masri, a group linked to the al-Qaeda network. The group warned The Netherlands on Juli 16th to cease it's support to the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan and withdraw it's troops, facing inferno in Dutch cities if it failed to comply to the group's demands. - nu.nl/news
|August 6th - Hiroshima/Nagasaki rememberance day
Nuke arms ban urged on Hiroshima anniversary
August 08, 2005 - Tens of thousands of people from around the world gathered in Hiroshima on Saturday to mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city and to renew calls for the abolition of nuclear arms.
Under a blazing summer sun, survivors and families of victims assembled at the Peace Memorial Park near "ground zero," the spot where the bomb detonated on the morning of August 6, 1945, killing thousands and levelling the city. At 8:15 am (local time), the time when the US B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped the bomb, people at the park and throughout the city observed a minute's silence in memory of those who perished.
Bells at temples and churches rang and passengers on the streetcars that run throughout the city bowed their heads in remembrance of the dead, including those incinerated by the bomb 60 years ago while riding the streetcars.
"This August 6... is a time of inheritance, of awakening, and of commitment, in which we inherit the commitment of the bomb victims to the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of genuine world peace," Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba told the gathering.
The Hiroshima bomb unleashed a mix of shockwaves, heat rays and radiation. By the end of 1945 the toll rose to some 140,000 out of an estimated population of 350,000. Thousands more succumbed to illness and injuries later. A further 5,375 names were added to the list of Hiroshima's dead, bringing the total to 242,437.
Referring to moves to revise the pacifist constitution that Japan adopted after the war, Akiba said it was an obligation of the present generation to uphold the principle "thou shalt not kill." "The Japanese Constitution, which embodies this axiom forever as the sovereign will of a nation, should be a guiding light for the world in the 21st century," he said.
Earlier this week, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party released a draft containing a drastic change to the constitution, proposing that the military be allowed to act not only in self-defence but also to take part in global security efforts. Although support for revising the core pacifist clause remains short of a majority, some Japanese right-wing politicians have talked of Japan having nuclear weapons, which shows that some ultra-nationalists have not realized Hiroshima's tragedy was caused by Japanese war criminals themselves.
Survivors, whose average age is now over 73, worry that as many of them pass away, so will memories of the bombing.
"Passing on the experience is our greatest concern," said Sunao Tsuboi, an 80-year-old survivor of the bombing who heads a group of victims. "As we get old, even among victims the anger, that raging feeling towards the A-bomb, has waned ... August 6 is being played up this year as it's the 60th anniversary, but I wonder about next year."
Source: China Daily
Imperial America On The Move
With 12 battle carrier groups and hundreds of military bases spread around the world, the US currently will spend $455 billion on its armed forces in 2005, with another $82 billion to be spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is more than the total sum spent by the next 32 countries down the list, and is close to 50% of total world military spending. US military doctrines have shifted away from deterrence to pre-emption, unilateral military intervention, and simultaneously fighting several local wars overseas. The US military has put in place a 2004 "Interim Global Strike Alert Order" from Donald Rumsfeld requiring it to be ready to attack hostile countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction, specifically Iran and North Korea. The military claims to be capable of carrying out such attacks within "half a day or less" and to use nuclear weapons for this purpose.[viii]
There are demands from the US Air Force for authority to put weapons in space. A former Secretary of the Air Force explained 'We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space... nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities."[ix] Full spectrum dominance -in land, sea, air, and space - is necessary to achieve the goal of total planetary control.
US foreign policy in the Post Cold-War world owes much to "The Project for the New American Century" (PNAC), a Washington-based neo-conservative think-tank founded in 1997. PNAC was clear that the US must rule the world: " [the new world order] must have a secure foundation on unquestioned US military preeminence ...The process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."[x] That serendipitous Pearl Harbor-like event came on 11 September, 2001.
A Revolution in Military Ethics? RALPH PETERS
After 911 there was no lack of spokesmen for the American Empire. In unabashedly imperial language, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who initiated the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, writes that the US should seek to "prevent collusion and maintain dependence among the vassals, keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together"[xi].
Zbigniew Brzezinski with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan
To keep the "barbarians" at bay, Pentagon planners have been charged with the task of assuring American control over every part of the planet. Major (P) Ralph Peters, an officer responsible for conceptualizing future warfare in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, is clear about why his country needs to fight[xii]:
We have entered an age of constant conflict.
We are entering a new American century, in which we will become still wealthier, culturally more lethal, and increasingly powerful. We will excite hatreds without precedent.
There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.
excerpt from Bin Laden And Hiroshima by Pervez Hoodbhoy ZMag
Fire in Paris Metro causes some light injuries
Sat Aug 6, 2005 6:37 PM BST PARIS (Reuters) - A fire in the Paris Metro on Saturday caused light injuries to about 15 people, most of whom suffered from smoke inhalation, a fire official said.
"Two carriages were hit by a fire which gave off a large plume of smoke," captain Laurent Vibert, spokesman for the Paris fire department told LCI television. "We have about 15 light injuries, mainly people who inhaled the smoke." "The fire is under control," he said, adding that more than 200 firefighters had been called to the scene.
The RATP, which runs the Metro, said the fire was probably caused by a short-circuit and that there was no panic among passengers. It said only three people suffered minor injuries. The incident comes amid heightened security in European capitals after attacks on London's transport system last month.
Four suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 other people on three London underground trains and a bus on July 7. On July 21 four bombers failed in their attempt to explode devices in London's subway system and on a bus.
The fire was spotted by the driver of a train traveling in the opposition direction, who alerted other Metro workers, the RATP said. The train carrying the fire stopped at the Simplon station in northern Paris. The station was closed. - reuters.co.uk
Bomb scare in theatres turns out a hoax
Posted on 08 Aug 2005
Chennai, Aug 7 : The city Police personnel were on tenter hooks after an anonymous caller informed the office of a city based leading Tamil daily that bombs had been planted in four major cinema theatres of the city and they might go off at any moment.
Police said however, much to their relief, the threat turned out to be a hoax.
Police said the caller said that he was speaking from Mumbai and told the Tamil daily office that it was his duty to inform the matter.
The authorities of the newspaper informed the matter to the police, following which police held a thorough check up in all the four theatres. But nothing was found, police added.
- new kerala
US drafts plans for responding to terror attacks: report
Mon Aug 8, 9:03 AM ET - WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military has reportedly devised its first war plans for responding to terrorist attacks in the United States that envision 15 potential crisis scenarios, including simultaneous strikes around the country.
Citing officers who drafted the plans, the Washington Post said the plans developed by the military's Northern Command assign as many as 3,000 ground troops to handle each attack, a number that could easily grow depending on the extent of the damage.
The possible scenarios range from relatively modest crowd-control missions to full-scale disaster management after catastrophic attacks such as the release of a deadly biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device, the report said.
Some of the worst-case scenarios involve three simultaneous attacks, according to The Post.
The paper said the war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement.
Defense officials continue to stress that the troops will play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups, the report pointed out.
But several senior officers acknowledged the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources, The Post said.
"In my estimation ... the Department of Defense is best positioned -- of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved -- to take the lead," the paper quotes Admiral Timothy Keating, head of Northcom, as saying.
The plans come at a time when senior Pentagon officials are engaged in a year-long review of force levels and weapons systems, attempting to balance the requirements of homeland defense against the demands of overseas deployments, The Post pointed out.
Keating expressed confidence that existing military assets are sufficient to meet homeland security needs.
French intelligence warned of threat of attack on London: report
PARIS : A confidential report by France's intelligence service that was finalised days before the July 7 London bombings pointed to the threat of an Al-Qaeda attack on Britain, the French daily Le Figaro said on Monday.
The conservative daily said the report by the DCRG intelligence agency also highlighted the need to closely observe France's Pakistani community with a view to preventing an attack on French soil.
Le Figaro said the report, which focused on France's Pakistani community, was finalised just days before the July 7 attacks on London in which 56 people were killed, including the four suicide bombers.
According to the report quoted by Le Figaro, "the United Kingdom remains under the threat of plans decided at the highest level of Al-Qaeda".
"These (plans) would be put into practice by operatives, with support of Jihadists within the large Pakistani community in Britain," it said.
"France is not immune from this kind of violent group", the report said, adding "observation of the Pakistani community" was essential to prevent any acts of violence on French territory.
The report pointed to "the multiplication of passages through France by Pakistani activists from south Asia or London and the setting up of underground or official representations of the main extremist groups".
In particular it named the Lashkar-e-Taiba, an organisation which is linked to Al-Qaeda, adding that several hundred Pakistanis living in France "have chosen the path of terrorism and salafism to express their hatred of the West." Salafism is one of the most radical expressions of Islam.
Le Figaro said that in April 2005 France had refused entry to a Pakistani Islamic senator who was a member of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation in Europe "because of his membership of an Islamist group linked to the Taliban".
The hardline Islamic Taliban, which had ties with Al-Qaeda, ruled Afghanistan until it was ousted in a US-led campaign in late 2001.
Another Islamist senator managed to stay in France in November 2004, even though he had been banned from French soil, the report said.
After he left, police arrested the people who had helped him stay in France, Le Figaro said.
The report said that the refusal to deliver visas had unleashed strong criticisms against France from "Pakistani extremists".
Intelligence chiefs warn of UK insurgency
Big News Network.com Monday 8th August, 2005 (UPI)
Intelligence chiefs have warned Prime Minister Tony Blair that Britain may be facing a full-blown Islamist insurgency rather than a sporadic terror campaign.
Fears of a third attack on London remain high, based on evidence supplied by an intercepted text message and the interrogation of a terror suspect being held outside Britain, according to U.S. reports.
And while prior to the July 7 and 21 bombings, security services concentrated on the threat from British-born militants trained abroad, attention is now focusing on the pool of migrants to Britain from the Horn of Africa and central Asia.
A well-connected source told the Independent newspaper Sunday that there were more than 100,000 people in Britain from completely militarized regions such as Somalia and Afghanistan. Every one of them knows how to use an AK-47, said the source. About 10 percent can strip and reassemble such a weapon blindfolded, and probably a similar proportion have some knowledge of how to use military explosives. That adds up to tens of thousands of men.
There has been a debate on whether Britain is facing an insurgency or terrorism, said the source, and the verdict is on the side of an insurgency.
France warned to watch its Pakistani community
PARIS: The Central Directorate of General Information (DCRG) has warned that several hundred Pakistanis in France have terrorist links and recommended surveillance of the community, said French newspaper Le Figaro newspaper on Monday.
According to the newspaper, the report said that while most Pakistanis aspire to integrate into French society, several hundred "have chosen the path of terrorism and Salafism to express their hatred of the West." An Interior Ministry official confirmed the existence of the report, but cautioned that it was "a very technical study on the Pakistani community in France." He said it was not aimed at lecturing Britain on what might happen on its own soil.
The report quoted by Le Figaro said that people plotting an attack could count on the "support of jihadists within the large Pakistani community in Britain" and warned: "France is not immune from this kind of violent group."
The DCRG report, a French intelligence service, said that radical Pakistani activists from southern Asia or Britain had visited France more frequently in recent years. It said that militant groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba had set up outposts in France. "Monitoring the Pakistani community is essential in preventing any violent act," said the report.
The DCRG also warned that Britain was at risk from radicals within its Pakistani community, said Le Figaro, noting that the report was completed in late June, soon before London's July 7 attacks.
Louis Caprioli, a former anti-terrorism officer with France's DST counter-espionage agency, said the Pakistani community in France "in so far as it has elements practising Islamic fundamentalism, has always attracted the attention of intelligence services." "That started in the 1990s, when it emerged that Pakistan was a transit point for jihad training in Afghanistan," he said. agencies - dailytimes.com
SAUDIS RELAYED INTERCEPTS OF LONDON BOMBERS
LONDON [MENL] -- Saudi Arabia has asserted that it relayed a warning of an Al Qaida plot against Britain.
Saudi officials said the kingdom's intelligence agency relayed the intercepts of phone calls between senior Al Qaida commanders and the head of the insurgency cell that carried out the July 7 bombings of London's mass transit system. The officials said the London strikes were coordinated with or directed by the same Al Qaida commanders who planned major suicide attacks in Casablanca and Riyad in 2003.
Saudi ambassador to London, Prince Turki Al Faisal, said Riyad transferred information of the Al Qaida intercepts to Britain in April 2005. Turki said the intercepts were of communications between the suspected head of the London cell, Mohammed Siddiqui Khan, and Abdul Karim Al Mejati and his senior aide, Yunis Mohammed Al Hayari. Al Mejati and Al Hayari were killed by Saudi security forces before the London strikes.
"There was certainly close liaison between the Saudi Arabian intelligence authorities and the British intelligence authorities some months ago when information was passed to Britain about a heightened terrorist threat to London," Turki said in a statement over the weekend. -menewsline.com
Businesses watch, wait during bomb scare
Lincoln Museum and malt shop were only two establishments that were evacuated. By SETH GOLDSTEIN - Evening Sun Reporter
As a bomb scare unfolded on Lincoln Square in Gettysburg Saturday afternoon, most of the nearby businesses remained open. Around 3 p.m. a driver reported seeing a suspicious package sitting by the Lincoln statue in front of the Wills House.
Gettysburg Police aided by Cumberland Township and the Pennsylvania State Police bomb squad roped off the square and began investigating what turned out to be a suitcase full of men's and women's shoes. Although most businesses stayed open, the Lincoln Museum, the building closest to the suitcase, and the Cannon Ball Old Tyme Malt Shop on York Street were evacuated.
Malt shop owner Greg Bair said he was told by State Police to close up shop. "At 4 p.m. a trooper came in and told my wife we had to evacuate the building," Bair said. "She told the trooper that she had customers to serve. But after the trooper insisted everyone evacuated. You don't argue with the police. They say get out you get out."
Some of their customers didn't even have a chance to pay for their ice cream, he said. It wasn't until after 6 p.m. that they were allowed back into their building. The Seven Valleys Wine Shop on the square was bustling with customers when someone came in and said the police had roped off the square because of a suspicious package.
"We weren't evacuated," said Marilyn Schelling, an employee at the wine shop. "We watched from our front windows as the events happened."
It was interesting to see how the State Police dealt with the situation and the technology they used, she said. At one point, a bomb robot approached the suitcase while from a safe distance troopers analyzed the close-up video images it provided.
"They did a good job," Schelling said. "It's always better to be safe than sorry. The technology they used was really interesting - especially the robot. Thank God it was nothing."
The police can never been too cautious in today's world, she said. "As I was watching, I was thinking about the countries that have bombs going off in their towns on a regular basis," Schelling said. "We're lucky we haven't had to deal with that."
The police told everyone to stay in the store, said Pat Gillin, assistant manager of 17 on the Square, recalling the events of the other day. "It wasn't the best time for business," said Melinda Davis, the owner of 17 on the Square. "Most of our customers had finished shopping and just stood around and waited for it to end. No one could leave until it was safe."
Betsy Bender, owner of the House of Bender on the square, wasn't worried or panicked. "The police told me to stay away from my windows as a precaution," she said. "Definitely exciting. I ended up closing up shop after things died down."
The Plaza Restaurant on the corner of Baltimore Street on the square was not evacuated either. The general manager of the Gettysburg Hotel and the manager of the Pub & Restaurant were unavailable for comment. Police said Sunday they are still investigating the incident, which closed the square to traffic for more than three hours, and have no new leads. - eveningsun
Western missions issue Saudi terror warning
By Guy Dinmore in Washington - Published: August 8 2005 18:34 | Last updated: August 8 2005 23:44
Saudi Arabia's new leader-ship confronted its first security crisis on Monday as the US closed all its diplomatic missions in the kingdom for two days and the UK and Australia warned they had "credible reports" that terrorists would soon strike again.
"There are credible reports that terrorists are planning further attacks in the near future," the UK embassy in Riyadh said in a travel warning on its website. "There is a continuing high threat of terrorism in Saudi Arabia. We continue to believe that terrorists are planning further attacks, including against westerners and places associated with westerners in Saudi Arabia."
It urged a high state ofvigilance and said specifically that aviation interests remained a possible target.
In a co-ordinated warning, Australia urged its citizens not to travel to the kingdom as militants might be planning attacks on "housing compounds". It also cited "credible reports".
The warnings were prompted by a US decision to close all three of its diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia in response to threats against buildings used by its staff.
The US had also warned Americans on July 25 of the danger of new attacks. The US State Department has repeatedly advisedthe American business community to leave thecountry.
A US official said the Bush administration had credible and specific information that "western facilities" were targets.
The suspected attacks were also seen by the US as directed at challenging the new Saudi leadership and its close relationship with the west. US diplomatic missions could stay closed longer than the announced two days, the official added.
In June last year Saudi extremists linked to al-Qaeda killed three American defence contractors as their tactics shifted from indiscriminate car bombings to more targeted attacks. A month earlier, 22 foreigners were killed in an attack on a compound in the oil centre of Khobar.
Only last week world leaders gathered in Riyadh for the funeral of King Fahd to demonstrate their continued support of his successor, Crown Prince Abdullah.
Dick Cheney, US vice-president, and George H. W. Bush, the former US president, led the US delegation.
Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, said during her visit to Riyadh in June that the kingdom's crackdown on suspected terrorists gave the US confidence it was tackling counter-terrorism.
King Abdullah on Monday pardoned four prominent reform advocates and a university professor jailed for terms ranging from five to nine years meeting expectations that the new Saudi ruler would move quickly with political reforms.
King George School Gets Bomb Scare
Students Evacuated, Nearby Road Closed - BY JEANNE MILES, Staff Writer - Monday August 8, 2005
SUTTON -- As if the beleaguered King George School didn't have enough on its plate with an upcoming bankruptcy auction, a bomb scare prompted an evacuation there Sunday.
A telephone message left at the King George School late Sunday morning warned of a possible bomb somewhere on the private school's campus.
Head of School Karen Fitzhugh said Sunday afternoon the caller claimed to be from the U.S. Postal Service and warned that an "incendiary device" might have been delivered to the school. The caller also advised to call 911, which was done around 11:30 a.m.
"The good news is there was no bomb and our emergency procedures worked very well," Fitzhugh said.
- caledonian record
Aug 8th 2005 - Well, there I was at 3.30pm this afternoon, travelling down the Nottingham Road, passing the junction of Gregory Boulevard, when four police cars including the heavy mob, and some Armed Responce Units, pulled over a bus. I didn't know what was going on to start with, but like most citizens, am quite concerned to be confronted by guns on the streets. - IMCUK
Bomb scare drama
Aug 9 2005 By Sarah Clark - SHOPPERS were evacuated from Princess Square shopping centre in Bracknell last week after a suspect package was found in a bin.
A member of the public alerted security staff after seeing a locked black briefcase dumped in a bin near the middle of the shopping centre just before 3pm on Wednesday. Princess Square was closed for nearly half an hour while police officers investigated.
Michael Bentley, retired pastor of Great Hollands Free Church, who was in Princess Square when the alert was raised, told Midweek: "Everyone was bewildered and when that ringing bell started everyone thought this isn't just any ordinary sort of thing. Then a voice said 'This is an emergency, everyone please leave the building.' "I saw this concertina-shaped briefcase by the escalators; it was just sticking out of the bin. "First of all I thought 'why has someone put a brand new briefcase in there?' and then I thought it must be a sick joke. "Everyone left quietly. There was no running, no hurrying. It was quite commendable really."
Thames Valley Police spokeswoman Rebecca Webber said a policeman acting on the advice of senior officers had opened the briefcase and found it was empty. The case was taken away by police.
Helen Barnett, marketing officer for Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) which owns Princess Square, said: "A locked briefcase was left in a dustbin, so security cleared the area as quickly as possible." She added: "In the current climate we have to take all the precautions necessary to ensure that people in Brack-nell can shop safely." And she urged shoppers to keep all their personal items on them at all times.
Many shoppers waited out-side the entrances until the all-clear was given. The scare is the second in Bracknell town centre in recent weeks. The Bracknell News reported in July how a man had been arrested under the Terrorism Act after hoax bomb threats were made in town centre shops.
- ic berkshire
Hundreds evacuated after bomb scare
GEORGE TOWN, Aug 9: Hundreds of people were evacuated after police received two SMS messages that bombs had been placed at three places here tonight.
The messages, which were sent to the State police operations centre, warned the authorities of explosive devices placed at Level 10 of the landmark Komtar building, along Persiaran Gurney and at the Burmah House commercial complex in Pulau Tikus.
The two SMS were sent at 8.10pm, leading police to rush to all three sites.
The roads leading to the sites were closed to traffic before people in the buildings and surrounding areas were evacuated.
State police chief Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said bomb squads sent to investigate did not find any explosive device in all three areas.
Police believe the SMSes were sent by the same person.
He said police acted fast to evacuate the areas as a precautionary measure.
"This is no laughing matter. We view such irresponsible acts very seriously. "A thorough investigation to find the person who sent the false warnings will be conducted," he said.
Wan said there was a possibility that the Internal Security Act could be invoked against anyone found to have been involved in the hoax. Police declared all three areas safe at 10.20pm before reopening the roads and allowing people back to the affected areas.
Two Indons nabbed in connection with bomb scare in Penang
By Aaron Ngui and K Kandiah - GEORGE TOWN, Wed 10th Aug 2005: POLICE have arrested two Indonesians in connection with the bomb scares here last night, which resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people and several road closures.
The two suspects, both aged 25, were arrested as they were about to board a flight to Medan from the Bayan Lepas International Airport at about 11.30am today.
State police chief Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said police managed to get a breakthrough in the case after following up on several leads after receiving six SMS messages about the bomb threats last night.
Package near courthouse sparks another bomb scare
By SHANNON OLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER - Published August 10, 2005
TAMPA - A suspicious package outside the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa on Tuesday turned out to be nothing more than a cardboard box filled with papers, but it caused a scare nonetheless. It was the second time in less than a week that a suspicious package disrupted life downtown. Jurors in the Sami Al-Arian trial were sent home early Tuesday afternoon, but were not told the reason.
Law enforcement officers shut down the streets surrounding the courthouse for nearly 11/2 hours while the Tampa Police Department bomb squad used a robot and a high-powered water cannon to dismantle the package and determine its contents. U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Lisa Alfonso said Federal Protective Services officers, charged with securing the courthouse's perimeter, noticed the cardboard box about 2 p.m. near a bus stop on the southeast corner of the courthouse, at E Polk Street and N Marion Avenue.
The box was about 24 inches by 6 inches, Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said. The U.S. Marshals Service contacted Tampa police officers assigned to the courthouse, and those officers called in the bomb squad. The courthouse was not evacuated, Alfonso said. But police shut down surrounding streets while the bomb squad's robot inspected the package, which contained nothing more than papers, Durkin said.
Detectives will sift through the papers to try to determine who they belonged to, Durkin said. Friday during the morning rush hour, about 3,000 HARTline passengers had their buses rerouted as authorities investigated a suspicious backpack left in a trash can at the bus terminal on Marion Street. The police bomb squad determined the bag contained personal items, including clothes and a shaving kit.
A similar incident occurred last March when a suspicious backpack was found outside the U.S. District Courthouse garage entrance on the same day that the parents of Terri Schiavo were asking a federal judge to have their daughter's feeding tube reinserted. It, too, was found to be harmless.
Police send it riot squad to deal with 4 protesters
11 Aug 05 "This section go to the right! The rest go left! No one is to come through!" barked the corporal to his men, clad in full riot gear – truncheons, shields, head gear, and shin guards.
The threat? Four (yes, 4) activists who had assembled outside the Central Provident Fund Building in downtown Singapore to protest against the non-transparent and non-accountable nature of the way the Singapore Government deals with public funds. Two of the protesters were women.
The number of police officers numbered at approximately 40.
Mr Charles Tan, Ms Chee Siok Chin, Ms Monica Kumar, and Mr Yap Keng Ho were wearing T-shirts with the words: "NKF" (National Kidney Foundation), "HDB" (Housing Development Board), "GIC" (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation), "CPF" (Central Provident Fund), "Financial Reserves" - "Be Transparent Now!"
These state-run organisations (NKF is closely associated with the Government) are run in a secretive manner. For example, the GIC (chaired by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister and paramount leader of Singapore) uses the country's financial reserves in investments all the world but refuses to give an account for its dealings. - IMCUK
Power cut sparks bomb scare at Selfridges
By Neil Craven - 12/08/2005
A "loud bang" today at London department store Selfridges followed by a loss of power to some parts of the store sparked a scare today.
Shortly after 2.30pm the bang was followed by the loss of electricity on the lower ground floor. The area of the store around the young fashion Spirit department has been cleared while the problem is solved.
A source at the store said of the incident: "Some people thought it was a bomb, but it wasn’t it was an electrical problem and they are trying to fix it now."
The source said the store had remained open throughout the incident. - retail-week.com
Truck Explosion Leaves Huge Crater On Highway
Crater Is 80 Feet Wide
UPDATED: 2:22 pm CDT August 11, 2005
SPANISH FORK, Utah -- A truck carrying more than 35,000 pounds of explosives overturned and exploded on a Utah highway.
A huge crater marked the spot on Highway 6 where Wednesday's explosion took place. Utah Highway Patrol officials said the crater is about 30 feet deep and 80 feet wide. The driver was able to get out of the truck and warn other motorists to stay away before the blast happened.
The rig had just left a commercial explosives maker in the area. - nbc5.com
Leaked US intelligence document warning of terrorist attacks
on London and America using fuel tankers
(Fuel Laden VBIED)
New York State Office of Homeland Security
August 11, 2005
This communication from the New York State Office of Homeland Security is Sensitive. The New York State Office of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Upstate New York Regional Intelligence Center,
issues the following advisory to the Oil, Gas, and Transportation sectors:
Governor James Kallstrom Advisor on Counter-Terrorism
The United States Intelligence Community has repeatedly advised of threat streams suggesting al Qaeda and affiliated groups have considered using a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in a US-based attack.
There are numerous historical and current threat streams to suggest the terrorist use of tanker fuel trucks, among other vehicle types, to facilitate a major explosion targeting critical infrastructure and designed to create mass casualties or economic destruction.
Senior al Qaeda operational planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, captured in Pakistan in March 2003, has told interrogators that he had developed terrorist plots targeting gas stations due to their apparent vulnerability and the potential destructive force of a fuel-driven explosion. Terrorists in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq have effectively used large fuel trucks as VBIEDs against military and civilian coalition targets.
The following tear line information, provided by the Intelligence Community, identifies a possible threat to the United States involving the use of fuel tankers as Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices. This tear line has been widely disseminated throughout law enforcement channels, generating numerous inquiries regarding the imminent nature of the threat.
Although this report makes an attack appear imminent, no other intelligence exists to corroborate this specific threat stream. This scenario represents just one of many possible methods of attack known to be considered by terrorist organizations.
Begin tear line:
1. (FOUO) Al Qaeda leaders plan to employ various types of fuel trucks as vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) in an effort to cause mass casualties in the US (and London), prior to 19 September. Attacks are planned specifically for New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It is unclear whether the attacks will occur simultaneously or be spread over a period of time. The stated goal is the collapse of the US economy.
2. (FOUO) Some of the vehicles used will be hijacked. The type of vehicle may be anything from gasoline tanker trucks to trucks hauling oxygen and gas cylinders. Water trucks filled with gasoline or other highly combustible material may also be used. The detonation of the vehicles will be carried out by driving them into gas stations or ramming explosive-laden vehicles into the trucks carrying the fuel.
Fuel Laden VBIED
3. (FOUO) The attackers will be members of small Al Qaeda cells which are spread throughout the US. The cell responsible for the specific attack will execute the plan upon receipt of an order.
4. (FOUO) It is possible that the tape recently released on television by Zawahiri was meant as the activation signal to the cells and not so much as an indictment to Bush or Blair.
End tear line:
In light of a potential VBIED threat in the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has disseminated bulletins incorporating the advantages for terrorists in using large, official looking vehicles, and suggested measures for owners and operators of facilities where large vehicles are housed.
Excerpts of FBI Bulletin #166, dated May 10, 2005 are included below:
VEHICLES AS VBIEDS
On January 12, 2005, DHS and the FBI published Joint Bulletin 162, titled "Terrorist Tactics: Analysis of the Surveillance Notes Concerning Certain U.S. Financial Buildings." This bulletin provides information on VBIED attacks using a limousine, to which security personnel provide some degree of deference, or in a service/delivery vehicle, because they do not attract unwanted attention. Exploding a device in an underground parking lot, VIP area, or near the main entrance or a support column were the main attack options offered in the notes. Terrorists have shown creativity in their VBIED platforms, ranging from tanker trucks (Khobar Towers in 1996) to rental trucks (World Trade Center in 1993). A delivery vehicle acquired through a legitimate source could provide the following advantages when deployed as a VBIED:
Heavy/large payload capacity.
Vehicle interior and contents are not visible.
Vehicle, due to its size, could ram security barriers.
Access to high value symbolic or economic targets.
Can fit in parking garages (based on the size of the vehicle).
Easy licensing procedures (based on the size and purpose of the vehicle).
Delivery vehicles can typically remain stationary for extended periods without drawing suspicion.
Public perception as a recognized entity (recognized company delivery van).
Rigging vehicle for VBIED use in privacy (e.g. at night, in a private garage after hours).
Fuel Laden VBIED
POTENTIAL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES
The Office of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Upstate New York Regional Intelligence Center, encourages owners and operators of fuel depots, truck companies and gas stations to report any of the following activities to the UNYRIC Counter Terrorism Center at 1-866-SAFE-NYS.
Individuals videotaping or photographing premises for no apparent reason.
Suspicious individuals apparently surveilling delivery of fuel from tanker-trucks.
Inquiries regarding the frequency of fuel deliveries to your business.
Any information regarding the loss, theft or attempted theft of any tanks, vehicles, or driver's license credentials or licenses used in the transportation of bulk fuel to your station.
Theft of fuel or unexplained loss from your business inventory or tractor-trailer-tanker.
Customer requests to purchase unusual amounts of fuel, not typical of most transactions, or an unusual method of payment.
Unusual inquiries from strangers concerning how to store bulk fuel or handle it on premises.
SUGGESTED PROTECTIVE MEASURES
The following are the recommended general protective measures that apply to facilities with both controlled and uncontrolled access, and specific protective measures recommended for soft targets with controlled access.
General Protective Measures for Controlled and Uncontrolled Access:
Security personnel and private citizens should be advised to remain vigilant in ensuring that large vehicles of any kind in the vicinity of critical infrastructure facilities are viewed as a security risk until proven otherwise.
Ensure all personnel are provided periodic security briefings regarding present and emerging threats.
Specific Protective Measures for Soft Targets with Controlled Access:
Be alert to the necessity for thoroughly checking large vehicles of any kind attempting to gain access to controlled critical infrastructure facilities.
Review existing vehicle bombing prevention procedures to incorporate thwarting the use of a moving vehicle bomb, and consider adjusting buffer zones further from potential targets.
Fuel Laden VBIED
Adjusting buffer zones further from potential targets.
Periodically rearrange exterior vehicle barriers, traffic cones and road blocks to alter traffic patterns near facilities.
Limit the number of access points and strictly enforce access control procedures.
Approach all illegally parked vehicles in and around facilities, question drivers and direct them to move immediately; if the owner cannot be identified, have vehicle towed by law enforcement.
Provide vehicle inspection training to security personnel, and institute a robust vehicle inspection program to include checking the undercarriage of vehicles, under the hood and in the trunk.
Deploy explosive detection devices and explosive detection canine teams.
Institute/increase security patrols varying in size, timing and routes.
Increase perimeter lighting and maintain/remove vegetation in and around perimeters.