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London Car Bomb Averted

Barely one week outside the anniversary of London's 7/7 al-Qaeda bombing attacks, a car bomb was disabled before it could explode in London's Piccadilly Circus area outside a nightclub. An erratically driven silver Mercedes-Benz crashed into garbage cans outside the club and the driver fled. Responding to the scene, an "ambulance crew who noticed smoke inside it" became suspicious and alerted police.

Inside the vehicle was a bomb, described by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of London's counter terrorism command, as "petrol and gas contained in several large containers, and a large number of nails. They (also) discovered a means of detonating the gas and fuel."

Video from British public surveillance cameras is being analyzed to identify the driver. The appearance of smoke or some vapor inside the car as noticed by the ambulance crew suggests that the car bomb may have been triggered but failed to detonate. Following the 7/7 attacks, the 7/21 'sequel' attacks failed because the homemade explosive slurry in the backpacks was too old and no longer volatile enough. Today's failure may have been another form of faulty design or local construction.

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