2 men crash SUV into Glasgow airport

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GLASGOW, Scotland - Two men rammed a flaming Jeep Cherokee into the main terminal of Glasgow airport today, crashing into the glass doors at the entrance in what appeared to be the third attempted terror attack on Britain in two days, witnesses said.

Britain immediately raised its security alert level to critical - the highest possible level indicating terror attacks are imminent.

Police wrestled the two men to the ground one of them engulfed in flames arresting both and taking one to the hospital.

There were no reports of injuries but the airport Scotland’s largest was evacuated and all flights suspended, a day after British police thwarted a plot to bomb central London, discovering two cars abandoned with loads of gasoline, gas canisters and nails.

Hundreds fled screaming from the terminal as one of the men poured gasoline over the Jeep and tried to force it further inside the terminal, one witness said. “One has to conclude … these are linked,” Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former head of Britain’s joint intelligence committee, told Sky News. “This is a very young government, and we may yet see further attacks.” Britain’s prime minister, Gordon Brown, a Scot who took office only Wednesday, was holding a meeting of the government crisis committee later today and was being kept updated by officials, Downing Street said. A British government security official said the incident was being treated as “possibly terrorist related at this stage.” Security officials had no direct intelligence linking the incident to the thwarted plot to bomb London but “are keeping an open mind,” the official said. President Bush’s spokesman, Tony Snow, said some airports in the United States would tighten security in response to the events in Britain but the terror alert status would not change. “The most you’re going to see right now is some inconvenience some increased inconvenience of airline passengers, more likely at large airports than small,” Mr. Snow said. In Glasgow, the green SUV barreled toward the building shortly after 3 p.m., hitting security barriers before crashing into the glass doors and exploding, witnesses said. Two men were in the burning vehicle, one of them engulfed in flames, they said. “The car came speeding past at about 30 mph. It was approaching the building quickly,” said Scott Leeson, who was nearby. “Then the driver swerved the car around so he could ram straight in to the door. He must have been trying to smash straight through.” Two men were arrested, and one of whom was taken to the hospital, Strathclyde Police spokeswoman Lisa O’Neil said in Glasgow. Police said the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in neighboring Paisley, was evacuated after the suspect arrived. The car hit the building at an angle and poked into the terminal, directly in front of check-in desks, where dozens of passengers were lined up to check in for flights, police said. Flames and black smoke rose from the vehicle outside the main entrance. Police said it was unclear if anyone was injured. Other passengers were stranded, with at least one airplane grounded on the runway, the British Broadcasting Corp. said. Mr. Bush was being keep abreast of the events in London and Scotland. “We’re in contact with British authorities on the matter,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. The crash at Glasgow airport comes exactly a week before the second anniversary of the July 7 bombings that killed 52 persons. In the London attempt, one car was abandoned outside a nightclub on Haymarket, a busy street of shops, clubs, theaters and restaurants just yards from Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. The other had been towed after being parked illegally on a nearby street and was discovered in an impound lot about a mile away near Hyde Park. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism chief, said the two devices could have caused “significant injury or loss of life.”

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