June 29, 2007
It's London's most popular area and Friday morning, with hundreds of people nearby, police managed to defuse a homemade car bomb before it could do any damage.
"If the device had detonated, there could have been significant injury or loss of life" said Anti-Terror Police Chief Peter Clarke.
Police say an ambulance crew responding to another call in the haymarket area noticed smoke inside a Mercedes parked near a crowded nightclub.
"We saw the car angled at the main entrance with all four doors open and the lights were open which we though was a bit odd" said witness Rajeshree Patel.
Bomb squad experts found significant amounts of gasoline propane and nails in the car and it didn't take long for people to suspect terrorists.
"We're currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism" said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Forensic teams are combing the region around Piccadilly Circus, much of which remains cordoned off. Normally the area would be packed with people, but for now it remains a crime scene.
Investigators will scour the car for clues and they'll examine surveillance video hoping to identify its driver.
There are reports that terrorists intended to set of the bomb remotely in London's busy theater district. Authorities reportedly think bombers intended to use a cell phone.
New York Republican Congressman Peter King, who has been briefed on the investigation, says a cell phone was found and was going to be used to detonate the bomb.
All this comes just before the 2-year anniversary of the London transit
bombings and just as Great Britain has installed a new Government.
Put to the test during his first week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown says his nation faces a serious and continued security threat and he reminded citizens to remain vigilant at all times.