Blair Gets Gas-Proof Armoured Jaguar
As the following report makes clear Britain’s political leadership are increasingly concerned about personal security. The danger posed by Al-Qaeda looms large, or so they would have us believe. However, such threats allow Blair and co the perfect excuse for beefing up security when in fact they perceive the real threat as coming from somewhere else altogether. Could it be that this is being done in anticipation of a threat posed by the British people themselves? Could it be that they see a threat looming, not from supposed terrorists, but from the British people as they realise how they have been mislead and deceived by their own government? Whatever the case the supposed threat posed by Al-Qaeda provides the perfect excuse to prepare for just such a possibility – without alerting anyone to the real cause
David Leppard – The Sunday Times 2003-03-09TONY BLAIR is to get a new armour-plated Jaguar custom-built to protect him from ambush by Al-Qaeda terrorists using poison gas, rockets or high explosives.
The government has placed an order for three of the "mobile fortresses" — each said to cost £200,000. They are fitted with compressed air systems to enable Blair and his entourage to breathe in a poison gas attack.
Three cars are now under production at a conversion specialist in Walsall, West Midlands. The number of personal protection officers around Blair and his family has more than tripled and the complex of bunker-style rooms under Downing Street has been upgraded.
A wall of concrete blocks — each weighing 2½ tons — has also been erected in a semi-circle around the back of Downing Street to prevent a truck or car bomb being driven into the prime minister's residence.
The James Bond-style Jaguars feature the latest "ultra-security" gadgets. Although each will weigh more than three tons, they have specially adapted suspension systems so they can travel at 150mph.
The core of the car, designed around the passenger compartment, can withstand the blast of a Nato-standard hand grenade and bullets from high-velocity automatic rifles. Devices fitted to the wheels will allow it to continue moving at speed even if the tyres have been shot out.
The cars' security system will detect whether anybody has tried to interfere with or enter the vehicle. An intercom with speakers under the car allows those inside to talk to people outside without having to open the windows.
Along with the Queen, Blair is considered to be the top target for assassination by Al-Qaeda. The cars may also be used by senior ministers such as Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and David Blunkett, the home secretary.
American and British athletes competing at this week's world indoor athletics championships in Birmingham will be protected by armed guards. Police have also received training to cope with a chemical, biological or nuclear attack. The championships open on Friday at the National Indoor Arena
Last updated 11/03/2003