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Terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow

NEWS SECTIONS: World news | Election news | News from Europe | News from North America | News from Latin America | News from Asia and Australia | News from Africa | Urban events | NEWS SPECIALS: The 2010 Love Parade tragedy | Latest news story | London and Glasgow terrorist attacks 2007 | Terrorist attack on London 2005 |


Brown orders security checks
on foreign health service staff

London, 5 July 2007:
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered a review of the recruitment process of foreigners to the country's health service after the arrest of a number of doctors following last week's bomb attacks. Mr. Brown told parliament authorities would also expand background checks on immigrants entering the country to fill skilled jobs.

All eight suspects detained following car bombing attempts in London and Glasgow last week had ties to Britain's National Health Service. Six of the suspects are in custody in London's Paddington Green police station. A seventh, Khalid Ahmed, is in a Scottish hospital being treated for severe burns suffered in the attempt to crash a jeep into the Glasgow airport terminal.

The eighth suspect, an Indian national named Muhammed Haneef, was arrested Monday in Australia as he tried to leave the country. His family has told reporters he was trying to fly home to India to be with his wife and newborn child. British authorities say he once worked at the same British hospital where another suspect worked. (Report by VoA News)

British Muslims condemn
attempted terror attacks

London, 4 July 2007:
British police have stepped up security operations throughout the country and have broadened the search to other nations in their attempt to unravel what they believe is a cell of Muslim extremists suspected of involvement in three attempted car bombings. At least eight suspects are now in custody, one arrested in Australia.  British media have identified the second man believed to have driven an explosive laden jeep into Glasgow airport on Saturday.  They say he is a doctor named Khalid Ahmed and is hospitalized with severe burns.

As British police continue their investigation into the bomb plot, the list of suspects in custody is growing. British media are calling it the "doctors' plot" because at least four of the suspects are physicians, and news reports indicate all of the suspects may have worked in some capacity in the medical field.  The suspects are believed to be of non-British origin and include doctors from or trained in Jordan, Iraq and India.

Police made the first arrests Saturday, apprehending the two men who rammed their burning four-wheel drive vehicle into Glasgow airport in Scotland. One of them has been named as Bilal Abdulla, an Iraqi physician. The other occupant of the car was taken to a local hospital with severe burns on his body.

That attack came just a day after two abandoned vehicles, laden with gas canisters, gasoline and nails were found in central London.

A third doctor, Mohammed Haneef, 27, from India was detained at the airport in Brisbane, Australia late Monday as he tried to board a plane. "The man has been taken into custody and questioning is under way," said Australian Prime Minister John Howard.  "There is a second person who is currently assisting the police with their inquiries."

Police believe they are dealing with a terror cell either linked to or inspired by al-Qaida.The main British Muslim umbrella organization has strongly condemned the attempted bombings. Speaking at a news conference in London, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari, said no cause can justify such actions.

"Those who engage in such murderous actions and those that provide support for them are the enemies of all, Muslims and non-Muslims, and they stand against our shared valued in the UK," he said.

Security in Britain remains tight. A terminal at London's busy Heathrow airport was evacuated Tuesday as police checked out a suspicious package and all flights to and from Terminal Four were temporarily halted. In Glasgow, police carried out, what they term, "controlled explosions" on a car linked to the bomb plot investigation although they stress the car did not contain explosives. (Report by Sonja Pace, VoA News}

Three more suspects arrested
in search for UK terrorist cell

London, 3 July 2007:
British police have arrested three more men in connection with attempted car bombings in central London and Glasgow Scotland, bringing the total number of suspects in custody to eight. The latest suspect was arrested in Australia. The manhunt continues for additional suspects. Police arrested the two men, said to be in their 20s, near Glasgow. Four others are already in custody and one suspect remains in a local hospital near Glasgow with severe burns on his body. The search continues for additional suspects.

Early Friday police found two abandoned cars in London, filled with gas canisters, gasoline and nails. They say had the explosives been detonated, hundreds of people might have been killed.

A day later, two men tried to ram their burning sport utility vehicle into the entrance of the Glasgow airport terminal. The two men were subdued and taken away - one to jail and one to a local hospital.

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told members of the House of Commons Monday about additional security measures being taken.

"The police have substantially stepped up protective security measures, including high visibility patrols, including armed response vehicles, the increased use of stop and search powers for vehicles and pedestrians, an increased physical protection around airport terminal buildings, including tighter control on access roads and installation of new barriers," said Smith.

The terrorism alert level remains at its highest stage of critical.

British media reports quote police sources as saying one of the men apprehended at Glasgow airport is Bilal Abdullah, an Iraqi-trained medical doctor.

Another man, detained with his wife on a motorway near the city of Liverpool, is being named as Mohammed Asha and described as a physician, trained in Jordan. Both are said to be registered as medical practitioners in Britain.

Police believe they are dealing with a terrorist cell either linked to or inspired by al Qaida. "Let us be clear, terrorists are criminals whose victims come from all walks of life, communities and religious backgrounds," said Home Secretary Smith. "Terrorists attack the values shared by all law-abiding citizens. As a government, as communities as individuals we need to ensure that the message of the terrorists is rejected."

This coming Saturday, Britain marks the second anniversary of the July 7 bombings, in which four Muslim suicide bombers set off explosions on London's transport system that killed 52 bus and subway passengers. (Report by Sonja Pace, VoA News)

More arrests and searches after
three terror attempts in Britain

London, 2 July 2007:
British police have arrested five people in connection with an attempted car bombing at Glasgow airport in Scotland on Saturday. The security alert level throughout Britain is at its highest stage and the search continues for other suspects involved in the Glasgow attack and two attempted car bombings early Friday in central London.

Police confirmed the arrests on Sunday and said a search is underway for other suspects. Police were searching several houses near Glasgow airport and stepped up security around other airports and public places.

Interior minister Jacqui Smith called for continued vigilance. "With the threat level raised to critical it is obviously very important that people remain vigilant and they carry on reporting suspicious events to the police," Smith said.

There have been three attempted car bombings in two days. On Saturday two men tried to ram their four-wheel drive vehicle through the entry way of the terminal building at Glasgow airport. The car burst into flames and the occupants got out, were subdued by police and passers-by, and arrested. One of the men in the car sustained severe burns and remains in critical condition in a local hospital.

Early Friday, two explosive laden cars were found in central London. One had been abandoned near a nightclub in the city's popular Haymarket district; another was left in an underground parking garage and towed to an impound lot, where police later discovered gas canisters, gasoline and nails inside.

British authorities and terrorism experts say all indications are this is the work of Muslim extremists linked to or inspired by al Qaida.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been meeting with members of his cabinet, security and police officials. "The police have made it clear that they regard these as similar investigations and that there are features in what has happened in both Glasgow and London that lead them to mounting one set of investigations into this incident," Mr. Brown said.

It has been a rough beginning for Mr. Brown who took over as Britain's prime minister last Wednesday. He urged continued vigilance and also understanding for delays and inconveniences that will be caused by the security operations. (Report by Sonja Pace, VoA News)

Five people arrested after three
attempted terror attacks in Britain

London, 1 July 2007:
British authorities have raised the terror alert to critical after three attempted terrorist attacks in two days - one in Scotland on Saturday (30 June) and two in London on Friday. It has also been announced that British police arrested five people – two in Glasgow, two in Cheshire and one man in Liverpool. Houses in Staffordshire, Liverpool and near Glasgow were also being searched.

The alert was raised Saturday after two men crashed a four-wheel drive vehicle into the terminal building at Glasgow airport in Scotland. The vehicle caught fire on impact. Two men in the car were subdued and arrested, one of them was taken to a local hospital with severe burns. Police also say they found what they describe as a suspicious item on the man, which was then removed to a safe place.

Chief Constable Willie Rae of the local police would provide no further details, but did say this was part of a series of attempted terrorist attacks. "I can confirm that we believe the incident in Glasgow airport is linked to the events in London [Friday]. There are clearly similarities and we can confirm that this is being treated as a terrorist incident," he said.

Early Friday morning a Mercedes car laden with gas canisters, gasoline and nails was found abandoned near a nightclub in London's popular Haymarket district. Later another car, illegally parked in an underground garage was towed to an impound lot where police discovered similar explosive materials.

Terrorism experts say indications are the attempted bombings are the work of Islamic extremists either linked to or inspired by al Qaida.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been meeting with members of his cabinet and security services. "I want all the British people to be vigilant and I want them to support the police and all the authorities and difficult decisions they have to make. I know the British people will stand together united, resolute and strong," he said.

Mr. Brown has only been prime minister since Wednesday when he took over from Tony Blair.

British police hunt for drivers of cars
packed with nail and petrol bombs

London, 30 June 2007:
British investigators are examining images from security cameras in central London where two unexploded car bombs were found Friday, 29 June. The detectives are trying to identify the people who drove the cars full of gasoline cans, propane canisters and nails into London and left them in the busy entertainment district near Piccadilly Circus.

British intelligence sources say the police did not have any advanced warnings about the threat of car bombs. The head of London's anti-terrorism police, Peter Clarke, said the first car bomb was found outside a crowded night club, where a blast could have resulted in many fatalities and injuries.

A second vehicle parked illegally in the area was towed to an impound lot near Hyde Park, where police discovered it also contained fuel canisters and nails. Clarke said the two incidents are clearly linked.

Britain's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown convened an emergency security meeting. Mr. Brown said Britain faces a serious and continued security threat, while Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urged citizens to be alert and vigilant.

Next week, Britain marks the second anniversary of the July seventh London transit bombings, in which four Muslim suicide bombers set off explosions that killed 52 bus and subway passengers. (Report by VoA News)


Terrorists linked to
car bomb in London

London, 29 June 2007:
British police have defused a bomb found in an abandoned car parked in London's busy theatre district. The device was discovered early Friday (29 June), just hours after Britain's new prime minister, Gordon Brown, announced his cabinet. Witnesses report seeing a man driving erratically down a street near London's Piccadilly Circus intersection. They say the driver then ploughed into garbage cans outside an American Express foreign exchange office and fled into the night.

At least one gas cylinder was found inside the vehicle and the bomb squad was called in to examine the car. In a statement, London police said officers discovered what they called "a potentially viable explosive device" that they then defused. Anti-terrorist and forensic teams then closely examined the vehicle before it was taken away from the scene.

Early morning traffic was severely disrupted in parts of west London as the investigators gathered evidence from the cordoned-off area. On Friday, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown chaired an emergency security meeting where the latest details were discussed.

The first duty of a government is the security of the people and as the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continued security threat to our country," he said. "We should allow the police to investigate this incident and then report to us. But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents.

Security experts said the size of the bomb indicated international connections. “An involvement by al-Qaida cannot be ruled out.” Next week, Britain marks the second anniversary of 7 July 2005 London transit bombings, in which four Muslim suicide bombers set off explosions that killed 52 bus and subway passengers, as well as themselves. (Report by VoA)



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Prime Minister Brown orders security checks on foreign health service staff

British Muslims condemn attempted terror attacks

Three more suspects arrested in search for UK terrorist cell

More arrests and searches after three terror attempts in Britain

Five people arrested after three attempted terror attacks in Britain

British police hunt for drivers of cars packed with nail and petrol bombs

Terrorists linked to London car bomb