Police were last night hunting a suspected al-Qaida-inspired terrorist cell after the discovery of two “Iraqi style” car bombs, which UK officials said were designed to cause mass murder. One was outside a London nightclub, and a second nearby.
Only luck and probable faults in the bombs’ construction meant that the first device, inside a metallic green Mercedes, could be disarmed, while the second, in a blue Mercedes 280E, failed to explode. Police say both were capable of causing severe casualties and were intended to have been detonated remotely, most likely by a mobile phone.
Counter-terrorism officials said the first device – made up of 60 litres of petrol, several propane gas cylinders, nails and a detonation mechanism – was similar to those used by al-Qaida in Iraq.
The second car, containing similar lethal materials, was given a parking ticket at 2.30am before being towed to a car park in Park Lane, central London