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Bomb scare has echoes of earlier plots

  • Story Highlights
  • Friday's bomb scare has parallels with another major plot foiled in 2004
  • Dhiren Barot planned to create deadly car bombs powered by gas canisters
  • Omar Khyam plotted to use chemical fertilizer in an attack on a nightclub
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The apparent attempt to detonate a bomb in central London has clear parallels with another major plot which was foiled by police in 2004, security experts say.

Briton Dhiren Barot planned to use gas canisters in car bombs.

Briton Dhiren Barot was found with detailed plans to create deadly car bombs powered by gas canisters. He planned to use limousines and pack them with gas and shrapnel.

In a statement on Friday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said there were some aspects which "resonated with previous plots." But he refused to draw any firm links or conclusions.

Clarke also specifically mentioned nightclubs as a potential target.

Plotters in another terror cell -- known as the "fertilizer bomb plotters" or the "Bluewater plotters" -- were convicted earlier this year. They had discussed targeting the Ministry of Sound nightclub with an explosive device.

Clarke noted that thousands of people were leaving West End nightspots at the time the vehicle was found in Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus, on Friday.

Central to Barot's plans was the "gas limos project," the main part of which was uncovered in Pakistan.

Edmund Lawson QC, for the Crown, told Barot's sentencing at London's Woolwich Crown Court in November: "There were various possible methods of attack.

"They included parking limousines packed with explosives next to or underneath the target buildings, arson, by means of hijacked petrol tankers, or igniting gas cylinders and even possibly the use of an aeroplane."

He said Barot traveled to Pakistan in early 2004, with the "obvious inference" being that the purpose of the trip was to present the plans for approval and funding.

He said: "The principal attack involved packing three limousines with gas cylinders, explosives, shrapnel and the like and then detonating the devices in underground car parks."

Barot, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder, wanted to "emulate" the Madrid train bombings, which killed almost 200 people, Lawson told the court, adding: "The gas limos project might be seen as the culmination of Barot's murderous plans."

Barot also planned to detonate a dirty bomb and to cause an explosion on a tube train while in a tunnel under the River Thames.

The gas limos project document was found following a raid by the Pakistani authorities in Gujarat, Pakistan, in July 2004.

Barot, a 34-year-old Muslim convert, from north London, was jailed for a minimum of 40 years.

Omar Khyam led the fertilizer plotters in a plan to use more than half a ton of chemical fertilizer in an attack.


The plan was foiled by intercepted Internet chatroom conversations, surveillance and the discovery of the fertilizer in a storage depot in west London.

One of the five plotters was heard to say that blowing up women at a nightclub would be fair game because no-one could be blamed for killing innocent people, only "those slags dancing around." All five were jailed for life in April. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Dhiren BarotOmar KhyamTerrorism

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