British minister says new attack "inevitable"
NICOSIA, July 4 (Reuters) A new guerrilla attack on Britain is inevitable, a British junior minister responsible for counter-terrorism said.
Speaking days before the first anniversary of the July 7 attacks in London which killed 52 people and four suicide bombers, junior Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said he did not believe al Qaeda focused simply on anniversaries.
''I don't think they care a great deal about anniversaries.
They care much more about success,'' he said in Cyprus yesterday.
But asked if he thought more attacks were inevitable, Howells said: ''Yes, I do think it is inevitable, yes. We have already foiled since the London bombings a number of very, very serious would-be attacks.'' He said one planned attack foiled by authorities, which came into the public domain last week, involved individuals handling ''a big sack of agricultural chemicals'' which were identical to bombs used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
''Al Qaeda is a lot more imaginative than simply to try to bomb on anniversaries. They chose very soft targets, they chose them very judiciously, they try to make them as public and as massive as possible,'' Howells told a media briefing in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.
Howells, whose remit covers counter-terrorism and the Middle East, was on the east Mediterranean island to address an international conference designed to foster inter-faith dialogue which started last evening.
''We need to be able to exchange ideas and start to address some of what looked like almost insoluble contradictions about discussions between religions,'' Howells said.
''...And that is not easy really when there are some exponents of some religions that believe that its their job to kill all infidels.'' Reuters DH VP0450