Monthly Archives: June 2007

UK Terror Threat at Highest Level – Critical – Attacks Expected Imminently

Sky News reports:

The Government has raised the national terror threat level to “critical” after a burning Jeep was rammed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport.

The country is now at its highest threat level and means further attacks are expected “imminently”.

Authorities haven’t said if there is specific intelligence that points to another attack, for example information gained from the two subjects arrested in the Glasgow incident, or if this is just the wisest course of action given the events of the past few days. You can’t argue with it either way.

Glasgow Airport Attack – Local Resources

The airport’s official update:

At 15.11 today (Saturday 30th June) a vehicle drove into a front door at the check-in area of Glasgow Airport’s terminal building.

The vehicle caught fire on impact with the building and is currently outside the terminal building. A police investigation is underway and emergency crews are at the scene.

Glasgow Airport is now closed and a motorway cordon has been established by the police. We are advising passengers NOT to attempt to travel to the airport. All flights are suspended until further notice.

Following the incident, the terminal was evacuated in line with our emergency procedures and those people still on campus are sheltering in buildings near the airport. Further details will be provided over the course of the day.

Media
BBC News Scotland
The Evening Times
Scotsman.comThe Daily Record
The HeraldGuardian Unlimited
Sky News

Burning Jeep Driven Into Glasgow Airport Terminal

Terrorism seems certain:

Hundreds of shocked holidaymakers were in the area at the time, and witnesses said some of them removed gas cylinders from the jeep before it caught fire.

There are reports the occupants – described as Asian males – were trying to pour petrol on the flames.

Scott Gleeson said he saw the jeep speed up and swerve towards the terminal at an angle to hit the door.

“They were obviously trying to get through to cause as much damage as possible,” he said.

Holidaymaker Stephen Clarkson said he knocked one of the men to the floor before police intervened.

He said: “There was an Asian male. He was lying on the floor and he was on fire, the Jeep was on fire as well.

“The fellow got up and started fighting with police. I managed to knock the Asian fellow to the ground and four police officers got on top of him.”

He added: “His whole body was on fire. He was quite a big fellow and was disorientated otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to knock him down.”

What next? Is this a coordinated series of attacks that will span days or weeks? Will we see similar attacks, in the near term, outside of the UK? Is this recent activity tied to early June’s al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation? The situation doesn’t look good:

“One has to conclude … these are linked,” Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former head of Britain’s joint intelligence committee, told Sky News. “This is a very young government, and we may yet see further attacks.”

The good news here is that the forces behind this wave apparently have limited resources. These are not impressive devices or methods. The bad news is that DIY low-grade terrorism is even more difficult to detect or prevent. You can keep terrorists out of commercial airline cockpits. You can’t keep them from acquiring Jeeps and petrol. These resource-limited attacks probably say something about post-9/11 security efforts but the long-term trends are actually in the terrorist’s favor.

The most surprising part of this story, and I’m including the unexploded cars in London, is that it’s obvious that people are still shocked by this. As if it’s truly unexpected when it most certainly shouldn’t be. Brace yourselves because, details of these recent events aside, the situation in Europe is going to degrade significantly over the next decade and beyond – think Israel or even Baghdad.