Scotland Airport: Second verse same as the first
U.S. law enforcement officials received intelligence reports two weeks ago warning of a possible terror attack in Glasgow against "airport infrastructure or aircraft," a senior US law enforcement officials tells the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
The intelligence reports also warned that airports and aircraft in the Czech Republic could be the targets of al Qaeda-connected terrorists.
The warnings were kept secret for operational reasons, according to officials. In public, the White House and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff have continued to maintain they know of no specific or credible threats involving the United States, even though the intelligence reports specify US aircraft as possible targets.
A US official told ABCNews.com that the intelligence reports led to the assignment of Federal Air Marshals to flights into and out of both Glasgow and Prague.
Air marshals had been added to flights into and out of Germany late last month, based on similar warnings.
As for what happened, the latest update comes from the AP's "My Way":
A Jeep Cherokee trailing a cascade of flames rammed into Glasgow airport on Saturday, shattering glass doors just yards from passengers at the check-in counters. Police said they believed the attack was linked to two car bombs found in London the day before.
Britain raised its terror alert to "critical" - the highest possible level - and the Bush administration announced plans to increase security at airports and on mass transit.
One of the men in the car was in critical condition at a hospital with severe burns, while the other was in police custody, said Scottish Police Chief Constable Willie Rae. He said a "suspect device" was found on the man at the hospital and it was taken to a safe location where it was being investigated.
Rae would not say whether the device was a suicide belt. British security officials said evidence pointed toward the Glasgow attack being a suicide mission.
I can confirm that we believe the incident at Glasgow airport is linked to the events in London yesterday," Rae said. "There are clearly similarities and we can confirm that this is being treated as a terrorist incident."
Police foiled the plot Friday after two cars were found in central London packed with explosives - one outside a nightclub near Piccadilly Circus and another parked nearby.
A British government security official said the methods used in the airport attack and Friday's thwarted plots were similar, with all three vehicles carrying large quantities of flammable liquid.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
Police and MI5 had no specific intelligence warning of a plan to attack Scotland, but they have monitored a host of suspected terrorists and plots there, he said. It was not yet clear whether there was an international element to the planning or funding of the attacks, the official said.
The new terror threat presents Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot who took office on Wednesday, with an enormous challenge and comes at a time of already heightened vigilance one week before the anniversary of the July 7 London transit attacks, which killed 52 people.
"I know that the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong," Brown said Saturday in a televised statement.
President Bush was being kept informed of the situation, the White House said. "We're in contact with British authorities on the matter," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, in Washington.
The green Jeep barreled toward Glasgow's main airport terminal shortly after 3 p.m. Leeson said bollards - security posts outside the entrance - stopped the driver from driving into the bustling terminal, but the nose of the vehicle smashed the glass doors.
"If he'd got through, he'd have killed hundreds, obviously," he said.
Folks, I said it last night, and I'll say it tonight. These are sick little animals, and these two acts of terrorism in two days should serve as a wake-up call to the Left. We can't just pack up and come home because they will follow us. Remember, Britain began a drawdown of troops just a couple months ago. This is the thanks they get for pulling a few of their soldiers out of the Iraqi theater.
Given the lack of sophistication of these attacks, it's clear these guys aren't from the recent graduating class from Jihadi High (as I speculated last night.) This was amateurish, and again the bomb didn't go off. AQ likes successes, and their people do know how to make and set bombs. They're proving this in Iraq. So either these guys were nutters inspired by some cyber-jihadi websites, or these were homegrown, sympathetic jihadis that just didn't like the UK, and they were doing their part in the global struggle that Islamofascists carry out daily. Either way, Britain isn't likely to let her guard down anytime soon.
So much for that vacation weas thinking about abroad.