Report says al Qaeda notebook outlines attack on London
Sunday December 16, 9:48 PM
LISBON (Reuters) - A notebook found in an al Qaeda base in Afghanistan contains apparent details of a planned bomb attack on London, the Portuguese weekly newspaper Expresso reported.
The newspaper said on Saturday that the handwritten notes outlined plans to explode a 480-kg remote-controlled bomb "to be left in a van parked preferably" in the Moorgate district of the City of London financial district.
Expresso said its reporter had found the notebook in a hastily-abandoned house in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. The building had apparently been used as a training site for al Qaeda fighters.
The guerrilla group is headed by Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born millionaire the United States accuses of masterminding the September 11 attacks on Washington and New York that killed more than 3,300 people.
A spokeswoman for London's Scotland Yard police headquarters told Reuters they had no reason to believe there was a specific threat against the capital.
"There is no specific information to suggest an attack in a particular place at a particular time," she told Reuters, declining to give further details.
Expresso said that neither the author of the 82 pages of handwritten notes nor when they were written were known. It added that it also was not known if the document was "simply a theoretical exercise".
The only indication of a timetable was the phrase "primary strategy: 1-2 weeks".
The alleged plans to attack the British capital were written in English, with Arabic interspersed. Expresso said the handwriting was uniform, "thus suggesting it was written by one person only".
The notebook contained a detailed inventory of equipment for assembling the device in 12 40-kg boxes, each with three detonators, plus full instructions for making and detonating the bomb.
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