Second Bomb-Rigged Car Tied to First in London Police safely defused a bomb in a parked car in central London on Friday, then found a second explosives-rigged car, fueling fears of a coordinated attack. Officials said the bombs were powerful enough to have caused "significant injury or loss of life."
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Second Bomb-Rigged Car Tied to First in London

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Police in London say that they have found a second bomb packed into a car. That car had been parked near another car containing a bomb, which police defused overnight in the heart of London's theater and entertainment district.

Peter Clarke, the head of London's anti-terrorism command, made the announcement at a news conference just a short time ago.

Mr. PETER CLARKE (Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Counterterrorism Command, Scotland Yard): The vehicle was found to contain very similar materials to those that have been found in the first car in Haymarket earlier today. There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters. As in the first vehicle, there's also a substantial quantity of nails. This, like the first device, was potentially viable and was made safe by the explosives officers. These vehicles are clearly linked.

BLOCK: NPR's Rob Gifford is following developments in London. And Rob, what else did police say about this second bomb and how it was found?

ROB GIFFORD: Well, in fact, it was in vehicle that was towed away from a street near to where the first vehicle was found in this mall as of the morning. Police have been fairly quiet all day after that first morning news conference. And in fact, they closed the section of London by Park Lane, by Hyde Park where they were investigating another car.

Now they've come out and said that these - this second car was found not on Park Lane but near to the Haymarket where the first one was found. And I think people are even more worried, of course, now because it looks like something much more coordinated than just the single car that we saw this morning.

BLOCK: And back up just a little bit to that earlier, that first car containing the bomb, how was it discovered and what was inside?

GIFFORD: It was discovered at about one o'clock this morning and it was actually completely by luck, it seems. And that's a very, very important thing to say about this whole situation. This has not been an intelligence-led investigation. The first car was found because an ambulance crew nearby who'd been called out on a completely unrelated issue saw smoke inside this first car, called the police, the police came along, defused the bomb, found 15 gallons of fuel and some propane gas canisters and a lot of nails in this car.

BLOCK: We heard the anti-terrorism command - they're saying that these two incidents are clearly linked. What are authorities saying about any possible links to al-Qaida?

GIFFORD: Well, that's the big question now and listening to what sources and, indeed, experts here in London are saying just in the last half hour, I think there's a clear sense that this now looks much more likely to have some kind of international linkage.

One expert I just heard say that this is sort of memo to Gordon Brown on his first day in office. Gordon Brown, of course, took over from Tony Blair just two days ago. He formed his cabinet yesterday. In a way, this was his first day to meet with his newly shuffled cabinet and this happens. And certainly some very respected experts here are saying, you know, this could be something like that to say to Gordon Brown, look, we're here, we're coming at you.

BLOCK: Rob, describe for us the neighborhood where these bombs have been found and what the climate is now, if they have found two, they must be looking for more, I would think?

GIFFORD: Oh, I think they are. And Inspector Clarke, who you just heard, was stressing very, very clearly that he needs the general public to be the eyes and ears of the country. The police, of course, are out in force. They closed down a whole 10-block section around the Haymarket this afternoon. They closed the other area near Hyde Park. This is deep in Theatreland. People at pubs and bars and there's hundreds and thousands of people in the center of London. And it's really a very dangerous situation indeed.

BLOCK: Okay, Rob. Thanks very much. That's NPR's Rob Gifford in London.

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