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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Terrorism: What they've said
High ranking officials, from the Prime Minister down have been warning of the threat to London from al-Qaeda for several months. Below are some key quotes on the likelihood of an attack on the UK's capital city.


Tony Blair
Some form of attack is inevitible according to Tony Blair

"I think it's inevitable that they will try in some form or other and I think we can see evidence from the recent arrests that the terrorist network is here, as it is around the rest of the world."
Tony Blair, January 2003

"We are faced with the realistic possibility of some form of unconventional attack from Osama bin Laden, or one of the Islamist networks loosely affiliated to him."
Eliza Manningham-Buller, Head of MI5, June 2003

"We know that renegade scientists have cooperated with al-Qaida and provided them with some of the knowledge they need to develop these [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear - CBRN] weapons. My conclusion, based on the intelligence we have uncovered, is that we are faced with the realistic possibility of some form of unconventional attack...it will only be a matter of time before a crude version of a CBRN attack is launched at a major western city."
Eliza Manningham Buller, Head of MI5, June 2003

"The suicide threat is there and we have to take account of that. We are at the highest level of alert, I think, that we have ever been."
Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, September 2003

"The prime minister says an attack's inevitable and... I think that's probably right. When it happens, we have to have everything in place."
Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, September 2003

"The CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) threat must be taken seriously and different scenarios have got to be tested.
Beverley Hughes, Home Office Minister, September 2003

Ken Livingstone
Inconcievable that an attack wouldn't get to London

"It would be miraculous if, with all the terrorist resources arranged against us, terrorists did not get through, and given that some are prepared to give their own lives, it would be inconceivable that someone does not get through to London."
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, March 2004

"As the prime minister and the home secretary have said, there is perhaps an inevitability that some attack will get through. It's my duty to make that difficult, if not impossible."
Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, March 2004

"Of course we are all frontline targets [of terrorism] - that's why we have been adopting the preparations we have now for over a number of years. The point I am making is that these terrorists will strike against anything that threatens their extremism."
Peter Hain, Leader of the Commons, March 2004

"We must be prepared for them to strike, whenever and however they can."
Tony Blair, March 2004


SEE ALSO:
London under attack
06 May 04  |  Panorama
Wall of silence over terror threat
16 May 04  |  Panorama
How the attack unfolded
16 May 04  |  Panorama
UK advice not up to scratch
15 May 04  |  Panorama
Terror timeline
15 May 04  |  Panorama
The role of the police
15 May 04  |  Panorama
The cost of terrorism
15 May 04  |  Panorama
Preparing for a crisis
15 May 04  |  Panorama
The panel
15 May 04  |  Panorama
Gaps in the system
15 May 04  |  Panorama
Your comments
14 May 04  |  Panorama


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