Car bomb in London defused - reports of vehicle "driven erratically" before driver ran off raises fears of suicide attack attempt
June 29, 2007
Terror threat returns to capital
The threat of terror returned to London when a car bomb was found in the heart of the capital.
Bomb squad officers defused the "potentially viable" device after police investigated reports of a suspicious vehicle in the early hours.
One police source said the bomb posed a real and substantial threat to area surrounding The Haymarket where it was found, just yards from Piccadilly Circus.
One eyewitness said door staff at the nightclub Tiger, Tiger alerted police after seeing the car being driven into bins before the driver ran off, raising the prospect of a failed suicide bomb.
It is almost two years since four suicide bombers brought carnage to London's transport network, claiming the lives of 52 innocent people on July 7.
The witness told Sky News that the car, believed to be a silver Mercedes, was being driven "erratically" before the crash.
Another witness reported seeing gas canisters being removed from the vehicle at around 4am. And there were unconfirmed reports of nails found inside the vehicle.
The Mercedes was later loaded on to a white vehicle transportation truck in Haymarket in a painstaking process which lasted for around 15 minutes.
Intelligence sources in London said they were keeping an open mind on who was responsible for the car bomb. It is understood that MI5 officers will be involved in the investigation.
The Government's emergency response committee, Cobra, was meeting at official rather than ministerial level before briefing the Cabinet on the dramatic events.