Scotland Yard confirmed tonight that a second car bomb had been found in central London close to the first car bomb that was discovered outside a packed nightclub in the early hours.(Story here.)
Senior police and Whitehall sources said that the failed attempt to inflict mass murder in the capital was the work of al-Qaida or those inspired by its ideology.
"You only have to read past cases of those convicted for terrorism to realise they have been plotting to blow up nightclubs and putting gas cylinder bombs in cars," one senior source said. [Wow, such stunning detective work. I’m convinced!]
Counter-terrorism sources said the devices found in two Mercedes cars - which contained gas cylinders, petrol and nails - were similar to car bombs used in Iraq.
The first device was found overnight in Haymarket - one of London's main nightlife districts.
That Mercedes had been left outside the Tiger Tiger club, near Piccadilly Circus, which had hundreds of people inside. More were milling around on the street.
Peter Clarke, the Scotland Yard head of counter-terrorism, confirmed in a short statement at 8.45pm that a second Mercedes also had a "considerable amount" of explosive material and nails.
The second car was found in nearby Cockspur Street, just a few hundred yards for the first and the two were "clearly linked", he said.
The discovery of a second device increased the need for the public to be vigilant, Mr Clarke said. [Not to mention, the traffic police, as you'll see in a few sentences...]
The incident began when an ambulance was called to a nightclub at around 1am to treat a person who had fallen ill. The ambulance crew noticed a Mercedes parked outside the club, and saw that the vehicle appeared to have smoke inside it.
Witnesses said they had seen the light metallic green saloon car being driven erratically earlier. It then crashed into bins before the driver ran away.
A parking ticket was put on the second car at 2.30am and it was impounded an hour later at a lot. The device was made safe by specialist officers, Mr Clarke said.
[Emphasis and snarky comments all mine.]
As you might be able to tell, I’m having many reactions to this story. First, relief that the no one was hurt. It sounds like there could have been a serious loss of life.
That said, WTP! One of the bombs was discovered because smoke was filling a car that had been driven erratically then crashed into some rubbish bins, with the driver fleeing?! Way to be stealth!! While the other bomb was in a car that was ticketed and then effing towed away?!!
The ineptness of the would-be terrorists is matched only by the utter cluelessness of the forces paid and supposedly trained to protect us.
Maybe this latest act will turn out to be the work of “Arab terrorists,” I don't know. I’ve also heard rumours it was Irish Republican extremists. Which, while it kinda makes more sense to me (considering a night club was targeted) the situation in Northern Ireland seems eons beyond such violence. Moreover, as an Irish man I remain extremely wary of suspicion cast this way, given the UK’s history of framing Irish Republican activists and its former propensity to blame the IRA for everything until al-Qaida came along.
So far, the only evidence police seem to have that the bombs were linked to al-Qaida are, as the BBC reports, “echoes of other terror plots.” Excuse me if I don’t jump on the band wagon, considering these are the same security forces who shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder an unarmed Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, in Stockwell Tube station in South London two years ago because they mistook him for an Arab terrorist.
My conviction that force is the wrong way to deal with terrorism, borne of having lived in Israel for a brief stint back in 1974, only grows stronger with each passing year.
In a rather strange coincidence, explosions and hand grenades have been going off in a nearby Dublin neighbourhood all week—linked, according to the Irish police, to a fatal stabbing in Mountjoy Prison on Monday. Which is code for, it’s all part of the drug wars.
'Course, I don't have the greatest confidence in the word of the scandal ridden and corrupt Irish police force, either. Moreover, I want to know, how are people getting a hold of hand grenades in the first place?! We're supposed to have strict controls on such weapons here.
Short story here.