Britons on Edge
Saturday's attack at
Glasgow Airport, in which two suspects rammed a blazing
car into the terminal entrance, are said to be
"linked in some ways and, therefore, there are clearly individuals
who have the capability and intent to carry out further attacks,"
according to an unnamed British security official.
The links relate to the way the London car bombs and Glasgow
airport attack were planned, using vehicles and gasoline, the
Early Sunday, London police announced the arrest of two people
in northwest England "in connection with the events in London and
Scotland," reported The Ledger.
Those arrests were in addition to the two occupants of the
blazing car at Glasgow Airport.
BAA, the company that runs the airport, said a vehicle "drove
into a front door at the check-in area" and "caught fire on
One witness said on BBC television that one of the car's
occupants had been ablaze from head to foot, and as he struggled
with the police, "was throwing punches and shouting 'Allah,
Another witness said the Jeep had sped up to the building at
around 30 miles per hour.
"Then the driver swerved the car around so he could ram straight
into the door," the Press Association news agency quoted him as
saying. "He must have been trying to smash straight through."
And another witness told the
Press Association, "We saw a green Cherokee drive straight into the
front door of the airport but it got jammed. They were obviously
trying to get it farther inside the airport as the wheels were
spinning and smoke was coming from them. One of the men, I think it
was the driver, brought out a plastic petrol canister and poured it
under the car. He then set light to it.
"At that point a policeman came over, the passenger got out of
the car and punched him. At that point I began to run away. But
when I looked back several people had run over to try and stop the
Chief Constable of the Strathclyde Sir William Rae said one of
the two men involved with the act was wearing a "suspicious device"
at the hospital where he was being treated and the hospital was
He declined to comment on reporters' suggestions that the
assailant - said to be in critical condition - had been wearing an
An individual with knowledge of the investigation, however, said
that the device was a suicide belt and that the car contained
Although there were questions Saturday about whether the Glasgow
vehicle crashed intentionally, by Saturday night, Rae said it was
an act of terrorism.
He added that there had been no intelligence warning of an
attack in Glasgow. It's been noted that the attack was marked by
The airport in Liverpool was
also closed on Saturday, reflecting a new concern in an
increasingly jittery nation.
Saturday was the first day of school summer vacations, with
thousands of people awaiting flights in Glasgow and the sight of
the Jeep Cherokee smashing into the building and bursting into
flames spread panic and terror in the terminal. Glasgow police
spokeswomen Elisa Dunn said five bystanders were injured, according
to The Associated Press.
Hours after the attack, hundreds of passengers remained on
stranded airplanes on the tarmac; authorities said they could not
be allowed into the terminal because of potential further
The events in London and Scotland warn of Britain's new threat
of the use of relatively unsophisticated, homemade explosive
devices to spread chaos.
The attacks came as London held weekend of high-profile events,
including a concert to honor the memory of Diana, Princess of
Wales; a Gay Pride March; and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
It was just two years ago that four suicide bombers killed 52
people on London's transit system, and another set of attacks
failed two weeks later. These brought home to Britain fears of
homegrown terrorist attacks among its disenfranchised South Asian
population. Witnesses said the two men in the Glasgow attack were
In the United States,
the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement from
Secretary Michael Chertoff saying there were no plans to raise the
national threat level because there was "no specific, credible
information" suggesting any threat to the US.
But the federal government took a number of steps, given the
events in Britain and the approaching July 4 holiday, to elevate
security. On the airport front, Homeland Security officials said
they included additional bomb detection canine teams at airports
and behavior-detection squads.