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Hijack threat in Britain?

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by AlbertB, Feb 13, 2003.

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  1. AlbertB

    AlbertB Thread Starter

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    Any news from your end concerning the chap on the Venezualan flight who brought Gatwick airport, (South of London), to a halt for five hours today? Caught with a live grenade in his bag!

    The craziness starts.
     
  2. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    So far, only the fact that he is in police custody. Don't ya know, everyone now a days travels with a hand grenade in their carryons :rolleyes:
     
  3. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    LONDON, England (CNN) -- With authorities on heightened alert for terrorist attacks, police Thursday arrested a Venezuelan man with a live grenade in his luggage soon after he arrived at Gatwick Airport, prompting the north terminal of Britain's second busiest airport to be evacuated, authorities said.

    The incident was one of two airport security scares Thursday; near Heathrow Airport, authorities arrested two men under Britain's Terrorism Act as a precaution, but further details were not released.

    In the Gatwick incident, the 37-year-old man was arrested after his luggage was searched and the grenade was found. He had arrived at the airport aboard a British Airways flight from Bogata, Colombia, via Caracas, Venezuela.

    "The item has been examined by explosives officers, and it appears to be a live grenade," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

    The man was taken into custody under Britain's Terrorism Act and transferred to Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist detectives for questioning. The Metropolitan Police will be leading the investigation.

    Gatwick's north terminal remains closed, with incoming flights being diverted to the south terminal, which continues to operate normally.

    The developments came hours after Home Secretary David Blunkett told the House of Commons that Britain faces "a real and serious threat," especially to the country's transportation infrastructure.

    "We know that al Qaeda will try to inflict loss of human life and damage upon the United Kingdom," he said.

    Sussex police said they evacuated Gatwick's north terminal Thursday afternoon due to security concerns. Police combed the terminal and set up roadblocks outside, and all outgoing flights were canceled. Officials later said a man had been arrested under Britain's Terrorism Act.

    The primary carrier of the north terminal is British Airways. Incoming flights were continuing, as were outgoing flights from the south terminal.

    Gatwick is London's second busiest airport and the sixth busiest international airport in the world, according to its Web site. It handles about 40 million passengers annually, the site said.

    Security has been significantly increased at British airports in recent days, most noticeably at Heathrow, where tanks, armored military vehicles and hundreds of troops have taken up position in and around Europe's busiest airport.

    Heathrow serves about 64 million passengers a year, according to its Web site.

    British officials have faced criticism in recent days for not being more forthcoming about the nature of the threats.

    British news reports have said the threats may relate to an al Qaeda missile attack on a plane similar to the one attempted by al Qaeda terrorists in Kenya last year. In that attack, two shoulder-fired missiles were fired at an Israeli airliner but missed.

    The Metropolitan Police has said it is possible al Qaeda would use the end of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday to mount attacks and that the heightened security "relates to a potential threat to the capital."

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair defended the way the government has handled the threats Thursday, saying releasing specific information could undermine police efforts.

    "We cannot and shouldn't start disclosing details of everything we know or may know," Blair said.
     
  4. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    Well golly! Pull the pin to be sure! :)
     
  5. ComputerFix

    ComputerFix

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    What is odd is that he was getting off the plane when it was found (the flight had concluded).....

    Wonder what it was for, since it obviously wasn't intended for blowing up or hijacking that flight......
     
  6. $teve

    $teve

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    everyday......someone gets stopped with a knife or gun or.......in this case a grenade...............he was from venezuela so he must be on saddams orders:rolleyes:

    this is propeganda for that dimwit we have as prime minister......an idiot none the less..............its getting so you cant take a live grenade to the mile high club:D
     
  7. AlbertB

    AlbertB Thread Starter

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    "The developments came hours after Home Secretary David Blunkett told the House of Commons that Britain faces "a real and serious threat," especially to the country's transportation infrastructure. "

    A threat to our transport infrastructure? Don't make me laugh. They'd have to get up pretty early in the morning to get in there ahead of our gallant leaders!
     
  8. ComputerFix

    ComputerFix

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    OK, I realize that the "arms control" on that side of the pond is different then here (I live in the "old west" of the US, where people don't flinch at the fact that the guy in the booth next to them at the local diner has a 9mm on his hip), but I think that a grenade is a touch different than a knife or a gun.

    "Oopps, did I forget to declare that?"

    C'mon.
     
  9. slipe

    slipe

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    Venezuela must have great airport security.
     
  10. joe2cool

    joe2cool

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    FEARS AS BRITAIN IS PUT ON HIGH STATE OF ALERT





    BRITAIN was fearful last night after Labour chairman John Reid warned the country faced a September 11-style terror attack.

    Cabinet hardman Dr Reid said: "This is not a game. This is about a threat of the nature that massacred thousands of people in New York."





    As he spoke, Heathrow was guarded by hundreds of troops in armoured vehicles for the second day running and 10 other airports nationwide were on full alert.

    Hundreds of extra police guarded Westminster, Whitehall, foreign embassies, and dozens more "symbolic" targets. The Defence Ministry refused to comment on suggestions military jets were patrolling skies over London.

    Home Secretary Mr Blunkett said: "We hope we can get through the next few days without an incident. I hope we can."

    As the country was left to wonder just how serious was the threat No.10, fearing mass public panic, moved swiftly to dampen fears.

    Slapping down Mr Reid's remarks as hyped, Tony Blair's official spokesman said: "John Reid was dealing with the very offensive suggestion that this is in some way got up by the Government and security services."

    Referring to the troops at Heathrow Airport, he added: "This is isn't a movie, they aren't extras on a film set.

    "They are there to protect the public and the decision to deploy them was taken with that end solely in mind.

    "The threat to us from international terrorism is real and present and we will deal with it as appropriate."

    Later, Dr Reid said his remarks were "misinterpreted". He said: "I was attempting to make clear this is not some sort of PR exercise."

    Claiming he did not mean to compare the current situation to the Twin Towers disaster of 17 months ago, he said: "We are not giving a scale of the threat - this is an operational decision."

    Yesterday's clamp followed an FBI warning it had "credible intelligence" of an al-Qaeda attack this week.

    The most likely is thought to be a lightweight missile strike on a US or Israeli passenger aircraft. Other possibilities are a poison gas attack on London's crowded rail network, a huge car bomb or attempted assassination. Mr Blunkett said latest intelligence concerned the type of attack outlined in a Home Office document issued, then withdrawn, in November which talked of strikes on railways, airports and possible use of a "dirty bomb".

    The Home Secretary said Tony Blair had considered closing Heathrow. But he added: "For those who are threatening us, it would have been a victory."

    It would also have been "catastrophic" for the country. Mr Blunkett added: "The immediate threats are not verifiable. We are working on finding out more information."

    Anxious to calm growing fears, Mr Blair told the Commons: "Occasionally we have to take measures we'd prefer not to take but which are necessary to give people the protection and safety they need."

    Opponents attacked the Government for adding confusion to the crisis. Shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin told the Premier: "Get a grip."

    At Heathrow, hundreds of troops were deployed along flight paths and around the 16-mile perimeter.

    They feared terrorists were poised to down a jumbo with either shoulder-held American Stinger or Russian Strela surface-to-air missiles to mark the end of the Muslim festival Eid. Spot checks on vehicles also continued on approach roads in towns and villages surrounding the airport.

    Asked if military jets were on patrol, the Defence Ministry said: "A number of prudent measures are in place to deal with the threat to security."

    Police said al-Qaeda could launch the missiles from anywhere within a range of 40 square miles.

    A Special Branch source told the Mirror: "We are covering all the approaches and take-off flight paths.

    "But the amount of ground to be covered is vast. We are talking about a weapon that could easily be carried inside a large car or medium van.

    "The missile could stay hidden in a car until 20 seconds before it was fired. However, there are so many potential places it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack."

    Police SWAT squads also mounted road blocks and stepped up perimeter patrols at Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, Bristol, Stansted and Luton airports.

    With Heathrow, Stansted is one of only two UK airports used by the Israeli airline El Al. In Scotland Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick airports were under armed guard.

    Seven American airlines use British airports every day.

    A senior Anti-Terrorist source said: "If there are terrorists out there with a missile they may respond to the security blanket at Heathrow by trying to find a less defended target. " In the capital the Bank of England, Stock Exchange, Lloyds of London and scores of banks and insurance giants were ordered to be vigilant.

    Dozens of London's most famous hotels and restaurant chains and the offices of computer companies, oil conglomerates and airlines were also warned they could be targets.

    Around Parliament and Whitehall, armed police patrols were trebled while helicopters scoured the Thames and London parks looking for a boat or van that could contain explosives, mortars or rocket launchers.

    Met Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens revealed: "This is a pan-London operation. It's the largest operation of its kind. There'll probably be a need for more of these operations in future."

    Sir John said he could not rule out troops being drafted in to London, although that stage was "not near".
     
  11. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Come on, slipe, he did have a stop over in Bogata :D He had a rebel friend who met him in the airport :p
     
  12. Moby

    Moby

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    They probably mistook it for a small pineapple.
     
  13. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Not ripened yet, of course ;)
     
  14. $teve

    $teve

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    CF...........guns get smuggled into the uk everyday from eastern europe without much problem..........but if you bring in 1 packet of cigarettes or an extra bottle of beer more than allowed,they come down hard on you and can even confiscate and crush your vehicle.........i $h1t you not.

    thats the level of security here.:rolleyes:
     
  15. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    I hear you......I had 2 pair of contact lens confiscated at customs.......now THOSE are really dangerous items :confused: :confused:
     
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