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Homeland Security

VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-326129 London/Bombings (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=7/23/2005

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=LONDON BOMBINGS (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-326129(CQ)

BYLINE=MICHAEL DRUDGE

DATELINE=LONDON

CONTENT=

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HEADLINE: London Police Question Two Bombing Suspects

INTRO: London police have arrested two men in connection with failed bombing attempts on the city's transport network. But as VOA Correspondent Michael Drudge reports police now confirmed the man they killed Friday had nothing to do with a series of bombing attacks on the transit system.

TEXT: The men are being held under anti-terrorism laws for questioning in connection with the attempted bombing of three subway trains and a bus on Thursday.

The arrests occurred in the Stockwell area of South London, near one of the bombing attempts. The Stockwell subway station was also the scene of a police shooting Friday when a man was killed after trying to run away from undercover officers.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has confirmed police have shoot-to-kill orders in dealing with potential suicide bombers, in order to protect themselves and the general public.

Tensions are high among London commuters following the latest incidents, which came just two weeks after four suicide bombers and 52 other people were killed in explosions on three subway trains and a bus.

London Police Commissioner Ian Blair says nervous members of the public are reporting many suspicious packages, and that is tying up his officers on false alarms.

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"We need people to be vigilant, of course, but we also need them to go on about their ordinary business. And, if there is one small message I could give, it is, 'would you please look after your bags,' because there are too many security alerts from people who have left things around, and that's very difficult."

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Blair says the terrorist threat is the greatest operational challenge his police force has ever had to meet, exceeding even the decades-long Irish Republican Army bombing campaign.

A group claiming links to the al-Qaida terrorist network, the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade, says it carried out Thursday's bungled bombing and the July Seventh attacks. Police have not confirmed the authenticity of the claim, but say the July Seventh bombings had the hallmarks of an al-Qaida-style operation.

NEB/MWD/TW



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