By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

"Security alert" in central London

I'm writing this slightly before 9 a.m. London time, i.e. a little before 4 a.m. East Coast U.S. time, from my temporary office at the London School of Economics. (I'm in London through Tuesday and come home to watch the fireworks with my family on the 4th.) At around a quarter to seven this morning, the BBC Today show on television announced that police had closed the Piccadilly Circus "tube" (Metro) station, in the heart of tourist London, for a "security alert." Then a bit after 7:30 a.m., a Breaking News bar came on the TV and the anchors (or "presenters" as they're known in the United Kingdom) announced that police had disarmed a "device" found in a car parked right near Piccadilly Circus, on Haymarket (through the route my Number 6 bus takes from where I'm staying in Kensal Rise over to the London School of Economics in Aldwych -- for those who know London). Apparently, either the police or a member of the public -- from first reports, it wasn't clear -- had noticed a car parked in a peculiar place, and then the police found a device there. The initial reports gave no indication of the size of the device.

I decided to take the tube rather than the bus in, assuming that central London streets would be chaotic. A calm conductor's voice on the tube announced two stops before Piccadilly Circus that the station was closed until further notice because of a "security alert." Everything and everybody was very calm.

Britain got a new Prime Minister, and a new Home Secretary (in charge of counter-terrorism among other things) yesterday, so this seems to be timed to that.

Haven't heard any further reports, so I'm writing sort of as this is breaking. Don't know whether this was a big bomb or not, or anything else really.

Is this getting attention in the United States?

Posted by Steve Kelman on Jun 29, 2007 at 12:08 PM


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