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Tokyo-style toxic plot in London
Plan linked to 7/7 milestone

London, June 4: Extremists were planning a chemical attack in London similar to the outrage on the Tokyo underground, according to police and the security services.

MI5 operatives suspect that al Qaida sympathisers intended to produce a nerve agent ' probably sarin ' and release it in a confined space, such as a tube carriage, to maximise the number of casualties.

The sarin attack on three railway lines in the Japanese capital killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000 in March 1995. It was the world’s first major chemical attack and used sarin, which attacks the respiratory system.

Security sources suspect that a new atrocity was planned on or close to the anniversary of the July 7 attacks on London, when four persons killed themselves and 52 others, and injured more than 700 people. This would have provided a rallying call to al Qaida sympathisers to carry on their jihad against the West.

Officers were last night continuing to question two men after a raid on a house in Forest Gate, east London. The men arrested are brothers: Mohammed Abul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20. The lawyers for the arrested have denied the allegations.

The elder brother was shot in the shoulder during a police raid at 4 am on Friday. He was later arrested under the Terrorism Act after being treated for the gunshot wound in the Royal London Hospital, where he is still recovering.

Senior police sources said they were searching for an “improvised device rather than a sophisticated weapon" capable of releasing chemicals. The Daily Telegraph has learnt that intelligence obtained by MI5 suggested that terrorists were trying to acquire material via the internet which could be used to develop a nerve gas capable of killing and injuring thousands of people.

Security sources say the terrorist threat facing Britain has developed into a “covert conspiracy” involving hundreds of men and women living ordinary lives in the nation’s suburbs.

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