Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Thursday, 8 December 2005

Bomb threat was real say police

People wait outside their city centre hotel
People were evacuated from their city centre hotels

Police believed there was a genuine terrorist threat to Birmingham's entertainment zones two days after the London bombings, documents reveal.

About 20,000 people were forced to leave the Broad Street and China Town areas on the evening of 9 July.

Papers obtained by the BBC show West Midlands Police were given credible information that terrorists planned to plant a bomb that night.

The documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

The source of the intelligence has been withheld and many of the passages in the document blacked out by a marker pen.

But the information shows the police control room received a threat to a pub or club.

Another document warns of terrorist activity in Broad Street or China Town.

Police searched the city centre but did not find anything. They said they would take the same action given the same information.

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Anil Pataki told the BBC Birmingham was a huge, diverse city which presented terrorists with a target and that they would be fools not to prepare for such an event.

"One of the issues for us is that wherever we have information in terms of our vulnerability, and we have some information regarding the threat that's posed to us, we need to make a professional judgement and assessment and each time that happens we would have to make a call to protect the people of Birmingham," he said.

Firework led to city evacuation
11 Jul 05 |  West Midlands
In Pictures: Birmingham evacuates
10 Jul 05 |  In Pictures

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