British authorities may have detected nerve gas attack plans

Monday, August 22, 2005

Scotland Yard believes it has successfully identified a potential terrorist attack on the British Parliament's House of Commons being planned by an al-Qa'ida group.

The plot was discovered by authorities after utilizing an informant's abilities to decipher encrypted e-mails. British police and MI5 then identified the terrorist cell that had been video recording potential targets.

The reported plan was to involve the release of sarin gas, a highly toxic substance that the United Nations has classified as a weapon of mass destruction. As well as Parliament, the terrorists may also have been targeting the Underground system.

The ability to crack the code the terrorists were using also enabled "several other" plots to be discovered.

Security officials are also said to have stated that Parliament's security is "unacceptable". A special forces team is said to have examined existing security measures and reported that a Black Cab could be used by suicide bombers to attack, and that a forthcoming Guy Fawkes exhibition could present an opportunity for an attack.