Wednesday, November 24, 2004

9/11-style attack on London thwarted - War on Terror -

9/11-style attack on London thwarted - War on Terror -

9/11-style attack on London thwarted
By Peter Fray - London
November 24, 2004

A September 11-style terrorist plot to fly hijacked planes into London's tallest buildings has been foiled.

British authorities believe they have thwarted an al-Qaeda attack on the country's 'triple towers' at Canary Wharf and up to five more potential targets, including Heathrow Airport.

The terrorists intended to train as pilots in a repeat of the US suicide missions in 2001.

Neither Downing Street nor Scotland Yard would discuss the reports by Britain's ITN television network and the Daily Mail newspaper. Both organisations cite unnamed, well-placed security sources and insist their information is correct and not politically motivated.

Britain has been gripped by a series of high-profile security alerts, including one in February last year that saw Heathrow ringed by tanks for several days.

Islamist extremists were believed to be plotting to use shoulder-held rocket launchers against incoming planes at the busy airport.

But the new revelations confirm recent warnings by the Government and security chiefs that Washington's staunchest ally is under constant threat by al-Qaeda and its allies.

Recent early-morning raids have netted more than a dozen suspected terrorists.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has said the extent of the al-Qaeda threat 'on our doorstep' would be revealed in coming court cases.

The Blair Government is planning to introduce harsh new anti-terrorism laws that include special anti-terror courts without juries and the use of phone-tap evidence in trials.

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