Date: 3/30/2004


.............Al-Qaida Plot to Blast London Foiled

An al-Qaida plot to blast London has been dramatically foiled by police.

Seven hundred police swooped in a series of 6 a.m. raids in the capital and the Home Counties.

They found half a tonne of fertiliser explosives - enough for a series of terror 'spectaculars'.

Eight terrorist suspects arrested by police are believed to have chosen 'soft targets' for bombings, including pubs and clubs. One of the suspects being held had a job at Gatwick Airport, immediately raising concerns over airlines and passengers.

The ammonium nitrate explosives were discovered in a self- storage warehouse in Hanwell, west London and have now been made safe.

They are the same explosives that al-Qaida used in attacks in Bali, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The raids came only two weeks after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens warned that an attack on London was "inevitable" and that the targets could include pubs, clubs and shopping centres.

Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke said today: "I must stress the threat from terrorism is very real and the public must remain watchful and alert."