London, Apr.23 : At least 15 terrorist plots have been foiled in the three years since the London bombings of July 7, 2005 in which 52 people lost their lives.
Senior British police chiefs have demanded an extension to the time limit that suspects can be held without charge, but Metropolitan Police Commissioner ir Ian Blair believes the current 28-day limit is sufficient
he police officers have said publicly for the first time that Britain is the primary target for Muslim extremists, ahead of America and other European countries.
The Telegraph quoted Blair as telling Members of Parliament that because of the escalating threat, officers needed more time to detain terror suspects, who were emerging from "left field" and moving "very fast" to carry out their plots.
The plots were not detailed individually. They were likely to have included the case of Dhiren Barot, a British al-Qa'eda fanatic who plotted to murder thousands of people on both sides of the Atlantic, striking at major buildings and railway stations with gas bombs in cars, detonating a radioactive dirty bomb and blowing up a train under the Thames in London.
Sir Ian said that the complexity of planned attacks and extensive use of computers by extremists meant that longer pre-charge limits were necessary.
The Government's controversial plan to extend pre-charge detention of terror suspects to 42 days was savaged last night by Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, who left the Cabinet last year.
Giving evidence to the Commons' Counter-Terrorism Bill standing committee, he said: "The case has not been made out for that extension and I can't personally support it.
"It is also counter-productive because it sends a message to particularly the Muslim communities that we are down on them."
He said young Muslims could use it "as justification for taking up arms".