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Army ‘put on alert’ after July 21 plot

ITN [1]
Wednesday, October1, 2008

The Army was put on standby across Britain after the failed July 21 attacks, the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest has heard.

Soldiers were put on alert as Scotland Yard launched a massive manhunt for those behind the London terror plot.

Senior officers feared cities such as Birmingham or Manchester could also be targeted by suicide bombers.

Details of the aftermath of the failed attacks emerged during the eighth day of the inquest into the death of Mr de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian man who was shot dead at Stockwell Tube station by police who mistook him for on-the-run terrorist Hussain Osman.

Detective Superintendent Jon Boutcher said he was responsible for identifying those behind both the July 7 and July 21 attacks.

Mr Boutcher told the inquest a series of meetings was held in the late evening of July 21 when senior officers were made aware of a number of similarities between the July 7 and July 21 bombings.

Mr Boutcher said: “My assessment was London was going through a unique period and we were trying to make contingencies to prevent further attacks elsewhere.


“So I did seek to put measures, police measures, in place for firearms capabilities outside London, including military assets.”

Mr Boutcher said two-man “fly teams” were also created so Met specialists could be sent quickly to any location in Britain.

He said the officers could travel to other cities if they were attacked.

Mr Boutcher said their role would be to use their experiences of July 7 to improve co-ordination of the police response.