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UK on alert after airport attack

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Author Topic: UK on alert after airport attack  (Read 40 times)
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« on: July 01, 2007, 07:28:32 am »

UK on alert after airport attack

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Great Britain at "critical" terrorism alert level

GLASGOW, Scotland (CNN) -- British police on Sunday arrested a fifth person and searched houses in connection with an attack on a Scottish airport linked to the discovery of two car bombs in London.

Passengers and staff leave Glasgow Airport after the Jeep attack.

The arrests came as Britain raised its terror alert status to the highest leval of "critical," indicating an attack is imminent and the country's prime minister warned of dangers to come.

In Scotland, officers swooped on a "number of houses" in an operation they said was linked to both Saturday's airport attack and the London bombs.

In the latest in a series of arrests, one person was apprehended in the northwest port city of Liverpool. Two were earlier seized in nearby Cheshire..

In the small Scottish village of Houston, just outside Glasgow, police combed a three-bedroom rental house.

Police sources linked the airport attack to the failed London bomb plots and said they had traced the cars found in the capital back to Glasgow.

The United Kingdom raised its terrorism threat level to "critical," the highest level possible, meaning attacks are imminent, after Saturday's incident in which a blazing car was driven into the terminal entrance at Glasgow airport.  Watch flames spew from the car

Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday said that Britons must realize the terrorist threat their country faces is "long-term and sustained" and they must remain "constantly vigilant" about security.

Brown said in a TV interview that Britons: "Will not yield, we will not be intimidated, and we will not allow anyone to undermine our British way of life."

The Glasgow attack brought the airport to a standstill, with flights grounded and many passengers stuck for hours on the tarmac. Security was raised at other airports worldwide, while another alert temporarily closed Liverpool's John Lennon airport (Read how disruptions hit Glasgow after reopening)

There was widespread panic at Glasgow as the flaming Jeep Cherokee smashed into the airport. Witnesses describe one of the Jeep's three passengers shouting "Allah" as a he fought with police and a second man set himself on fire.

"We tried to subdue the guy, but he's a bad boy, he's not for being subdued," said airport worker John Smitten, who ran to help police in the aftermath of the crash.

"He was shouting something. 'Allah,' something, ''Allah.' Every time he threw a punch, he was saying 'Allah.'"

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Smitten said the second man who was severely burned and "covered head-to-toe in flames" also tried to fight policemen after a taxi driver used a water hose to put out the fire.

Two men were immediately arrested at the airport. One was hospitalized with severe burns; early reports that he had died were erroneous.

Although witnesses earlier said a third man who died inside the burning SUV, police on Sunday said a closer examination of the burned-out vehicle showed that no one was dead.

In a further incident Saturday, part of Glasgow's Royal Alexandria Hospital was evacuated after a suspicious device was found on the injured suspect. The device was safely taken away and is being examined.

In Washington, President George W. Bush was briefed on the situation, but officials said there was no information on increased threat to the United States and no plan to raise threat levels, although security was tightened at major airports.

In announcing the UK's raised threat level, Gordon Brown said, "The first duty of the government is the security and safety of all the British people."

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Brown, in office just three days, said Britons stand "united, resolute and strong."

In London, police were examining two cars filled with fuel, gas canisters and nails and studying CCTV footage for clues about the identities of those behind a suspected terrorist plot that could have killed hundreds.  See photos of the investigation in action

Officers have a "crystal clear" CCTV image of a man "staggering" from the first car after parking it outside a West End nightclub, ABC News in the United States reported. Scotland Yard refused to comment.

British officials said hundreds of people could have been killed if the devices in the cars had been set off.

The first car was discovered parked near Piccadilly Circus; the second was found about an hour later, less than a kilometer away near Trafalgar Square.

London was hosting the Wimbledon tennis tournament, a gay pride march and a memorial concert for the late Diana, princess of Wales, this weekend.

The weekend's incidents come days before the second anniversary of July 7, 2005, when four Islamic extremist suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transport system in the deadliest strike on the city since World War II.
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2007, 07:30:15 am »

Police examine a house in Renfrewshire, Scotland following Saturday's airport attack.

Images from Glasgow airport showed the vehicle ablaze next to the terminal building.
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"The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it can be comprehended." - Albert Einstein
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