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MPs warned of al-Qa'ida terror threat to Commons

A warning from the intelligence services that al-Qa’ida could mount a chemical or biological attack on the chamber of the House of Commons was delivered to MPs yesterday. Peter Hain, the Leader of the Commons, told MPs that the head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, had issued “clear intelligence” warning of the possibility of an anthrax or ricin attack on the heart of British democracy, and he called on MPs to approve a permanent glass screen to prevent terror attacks on the chamber. Mr Hain said the deadly agents would cause “total contamination” of the chamber within minutes. He told MPs that Ms Manningham-Buller had made an “unequivocal recommendation” that a permanent screen capable of preventing bomb and gas attacks should be installed. In a stark description of the threat facing the Palace of Westminster, Mr Hain told MPs: “The security service recommendation for a screen is based on an analysis of threat vulnerability and the impact of possible chemical or biological attack in the strangers’ gallery. Full Story

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