Bomb Attacks: Bombers are prepared to die, police warn: Round-the-clock armed guard for Jewish targets in London - Iran accused of sponsoring guilty groups

SCOTLAND YARD warned yesterday that the terrorist attacks on Jewish targets are virtually unpreventable because the bombers are prepared to risk killing themselves.

Sir Paul Condon, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said precautions taken in London for the past decade have assumed terrorists would make sure they gave themselves time to escape after planting a bomb.

He also announced immediate round- the-clock armed police security for more than 100 key buildings associated with Israel and the Jewish community in the wake of the two car bombings in two days in the capital. This protection includes surveillance and parking bans for more than 100 buildings, and increased security for hundreds of other sites.

Sir Paul said the police now faced a 'new dimension' given the power and ferocity of the two bombs. Both were estimated to be 30 pounds of high explosive. He said a terrorist prepared to trigger a device within moments of delivering it to the target, as occurred at the Israeli embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, central London, and in Finchley, north London, was a 'potential suicide bomber'.

He also defended his force against criticism of its failure to stop the second bomb only 13 hours after the first.

Brigadier-General Azriel Nevo, Israel's military attache to London, said on Israeli radio that authorities in Britain had 'blundered'. He said that after the embassy bomb 'our people gave their evaluation to the British authorities that there was a danger now to the Jewish institutions and, here you are - there was a (second) blast in the middle of the night'.

However, Sir Paul insisted: 'We are at one with the Israeli agencies involved, and we are working in partnership with them to prevent any further terrorist attacks in London.'

He said the warnings had been proved correct 'with hindsight', but his information was that all requests from the Israeli government, but not other Jewish groups, had been acted on.

Security sources revealed last night that M15 had carried out a 'threat assessment' on the risk of attack by Islamic extremists on targets in London and concluded that there was a real possibility of a terror campaign in Britain.

The warning, which was part of a continuous programme of surveillance and assessment, would have been sent to the Metropolitan Police and government departments, including the Home Office.

Suggestions that the security services believed Islamic groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah would not carry out attacks in London because of the potentially disastrous repercussions were dismissed as untrue.

However, it is understood that neither MI5 nor MI6 were aware of any immediate terror threat in the capital, or that an active unit intended to bomb the Israeli embassy. It became clear yesterday how a terrorist had managed to penetrate one of the most sensitive streets in London to plant the Israeli embassy bomb. Guards who control barriers at either end of Kensington Palace Gardens had been given no advice to be more vigilant over recent days.

The Metropolitan Police, and the Crown Estate which employs them, say the barriers are not there for security. Guards have no power to stop anyone; even after the two bombings in the past two days these rules have not changed.

The freeholds to all the buildings on the private street belong to the Crown Estate, which employs private security guards from the Corps of Commissionaires, a non-profit making company which employs personnel who have been in the forces, the fire or services.

Jack Peck, area manager for the Corps, said: 'We always record the registration number, the time, and where the visitors say they are going.' The only security role is to report anything suspicious to the Diplomatic Protection police. 'It is difficult to define what we would pass on. You know if something is not quite right.' The woman who bombed the Israeli embassy was not reported as suspicious. Her number plates were false.

The guards let through unquestioned any car with diplomatic number plates, and allow in any driver who says he or she has come to collect a visa from an embassy. No check is made to see if they went where they said they would.

Leading article, page 17

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen