Friday, June 29, 2007

Home Secretary - UK 'faces serious threat'

Speaking outside No 10, Jacqui Smith the new Home Secretary announced Sir Admiral Alan West as the new counter-terrorism and security minister. She reiterated the need for vigilance in the light of the new terror threat and urged the media not to speculate on the events. In her short statement she said, “As the government has made clear… we are currently facing a sustained threat from international terrorists”. She maintained that the government and security services were making all efforts to reduce this threat.
Besides her request for media to avoid speculation, such discussions persisted on many news channels. CNN and Sky News have both reported on a possible suspect having absconded from the vehicle. Reports also suggested the vehicle may have been abandoned after crashing into a litter bin. There is speculation that the night club may not have been the intended target and that the vehicle may have been left due to the device malfunctioning prior to arrival at its final destination. Many commentators have liked the potential attack as being similar to attacks that take place daily in Iraq. However, to place this into perspective, Baghdad sees car bombs almost daily. This was one failed attack. It certainly sends a clear message, and would have created massive devastation, but it is not the sustained attack seen in the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. But for many members of the public it adds to the fear of uncertainty. Many Londoners may shrug off the threat having experienced similar threats from the IRA over many years in the past. However, the effect on tourism may seriously affect the economy as Americans particularly avoid visiting the city.

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