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Jun 30, 2007 | 17:38 GMT

2 mins read

U.K.: Burning Car at Glasgow Airport Raises Suspicions

Summary
Two men described by witnesses as South Asian are in custody June 30 after trying to drive a burning Jeep Cherokee into the main terminal building at the airport in Glasgow, Scotland, at 3:15 p.m. local time. Flights have been canceled and the airport has been evacuated as a precaution because of the purported car bomb attack. Airport officials report that emergency vehicles are on the scene to contain the burning car and fire and smoke damage to the terminal building. It is unclear at this time if this was an attempted militant attack, but at this point, it looks like the incident was not completely innocent.
Eyewitnesses June 30 reported that two men of South Asian decent drove a green Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle (SUV) into security barriers at Glasgow's international airport, 8 miles from the British city's center. Although the British government is not treating the incident as a national security event at this time, just one day after British police foiled two attempted car bombings in central London, the Glasgow incident would appear to feature the same poor tradecraft as the London incidents. The reported South Asian background of the two men in the SUV raises the question of a connection to the United Kingdom's growing radical Islamist community. After the SUV collided with security barriers, the two men inside jumped out. One was on fire and was wrestled to the ground by bystanders who put out the flames. An eyewitness said the other individual tried to open the trunk of the vehicle but was not successful. Police subsequently tried to restrain him, and he started fighting them. He was eventually taken into custody. If it was an attempted militant attack, and the fire was caused by some kind of improvised explosive device or explosive incendiary device, the device was malfunctioning. This would be consistent with the poor tradecraft we saw with the devices left in central London on June 29. It is currently unknown if the Glasgow incident was related to the London incidents, but the poor tradecraft and the use of incendiary, rather than explosive devices, may suggest that the two individuals in the SUV have some connection to whoever planted the devices in London. If it was an attempted militant attack, it was most likely an attempt to place a car bomb, and not an attempted suicide bombing. (Two drivers are not needed in a suicide bombing.) In London, there is a large outdoor concert at London's Wembley Arena to commemorate the late Princess Diana's July 1 birthday, with thousands in attendance. Security undoubtedly will be high. With the elevated tensions in London, there will undoubtedly be false alarms connected to the event, though an incident similar to bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics cannot be ruled out.

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