Scroll for updates.
3:48pm Eastern update. Peter Clark, head of anti-terrorist command, is giving a press conference to announce the discovery of the second explosive device and second vehicle. Similar materials found in second car as in first Mercedes–fuel, “substantial quantity of nails.”
3:31pm Eastern update. New developments…2nd explosive device found, also in Mercedes…Accomplice of AQ henchman Barot suspected in car bomb; tried to detonate twice
1:15pm Eastern. The manhunt is on; the car bomb has been dismantled. Analysis from ThreatsWatch.
I wonder if these guys had anything to do with it. From June 21:
UK Minister of State for Security, Counter Terrorism, and Police Tom McNulty [official profile] told Parliament Thursday that an Iraqi suspect subjected to a UK government control order [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] is believed to have absconded [statement] Monday evening, making him the seventh UK terror suspect to have disappeared while under the controversial measure authorized by the Prevention of Terrorism Act [text]. McNulty said the individual, who cannot be identified pursuant to an anonymity order, has been under a control order since November 2005 and has been subjected to the strictest controls, adding that the government was forced to relax the control order following legal setbacks in the courts
11:16am Eastern. Police robot searching another suspect car near Hyde Park.
We’re nearly the second anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London. And now, another terror scare. One rigged car has been discovered near a nightclub. At least one other suspect vehicle has closed down Park Lane. Fox News is reporting that police have stopped an open top bus there.
And here’s a reality check for anti-Bush, anti-Blair moonbats:
One of the great delusions of our time is that once Blair, in the UK case, and Bush, in the American one, stepped down from office the terrorist threat would disappear. The news that a car bomb attack was foiled in London last night illustrates just how wrong this belief was. Although, the fact that the vast bulk of planning for the 9/11 attacks was done during the Clinton presidency should have shown people how wrong-headed this idea was in the first place.
We do know jihadis never rest. Neither does Allahpundit, who has a massive round-up on the news from London of the first bomb-packed car–whose trunk was reportedly filled with nails–found smoking near Piccadilly Circus. “International elements” are suspected:
This type of car bombing plot is typical of other British Jihadist car bomb plots in the past, including both the July 2005 bomb plots, and the Dhiren Barot Jihadist group bomb plots.
— In July 2005, a number of bombs and components, some packed with nails to cause death and maximum injury, were recovered from a car parked by the July 7 bombers at Luton station.
— British Jihadist Dhiren Barot pleaded guilty to plotting a series of attacks, including detailed plans to explode limousines packed with gas cylinders, explosives and nails after leaving them in underground London parking garages or hotels.
The Times of London reports: Police expected Baghdad-style attack.
Jeffrey Imm at The Counterterrorism Blog has more:
Police said they had no warning of an attack. “The police did not have any advance intelligence of this which is worrying,” said Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. “They will be concerned there might be other devices in the area or elsewhere in central London because if it is al-Qaeda one of their characteristics is to set off coordinated devices.”
This came on the second day of Gordon Brown’s role as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who has urged Britons to remain vigilant following the discovery.
Authorities are calling on citizens to remain vigilant:
Britain’s new home secretary, Jacqui Smith called an emergency meeting of top officials, calling the attempted attack “international terrorism.”
“We are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism,” she said afterward. “This reinforces the need for the public to remain vigilant to the threat we face at all times.”
Police planned to examine footage from closed-circuit TV cameras in the area, Clarke said, hoping the surveillance network that covers much of central London will help them track down the driver of the rigged Mercedes.
More on the prior “gas limos” plot:
British police investigating a car bomb, packed with petrol, gas cylinders and nails, found in London on Friday said the incident echoed the “Gas Limos Project”, a major al Qaeda plot foiled in 2004.
Convicted Islamist militant Dhiren Barot, who was jailed last year, admitted he had been planning to explode gas and explosives packed into limousines or other large vehicles in underground car parks in co-ordinated attacks across Britain.
Details of the plan, known as the “Gas Limos Project”, were found on a laptop computer during a search in Pakistan, and were thought by police to have been compiled to present to senior al Qaeda leaders for a proposed attack.
Peter Clarke, head of London’s Counter Terrorism Command, agreed there were some apparent similarities between Barot’s scheme and the gas-fuelled car bomb defused on Friday.
“In the Barot case, sometimes referred to as Operation Rhyme, we saw reference to vehicles being filled with gas or fuel in order to create an explosion,” Clarke told a news conference.
“So obviously we are aware of that but at this stage it’s far too soon to draw any conclusions.”
Details on the computer outlined exactly how such an attack would be carried out and estimated there would be “hundreds” of casualties. The project had even been costed at 60,000 pounds ($120,000). “Since in much of the Western world it is not always possible/feasible to obtain real destructive ingredients e.g. common explosives, from the very beginning the project was based on being an improvised destructive device, hence the choice of gas,” the plan said.