UK police foil plot to kidnap Blair's son
Updated: 2006-01-18 09:42
British police have foiled a plot to kidnap Prime Minister Tony Blair's
5-year-old son Leo, the Sun newspaper reported in its Wednesday edition.
Citing an unnamed security source, the tabloid newspaper said people on the
fringe of a group which campaigns for the rights of divorced fathers had planned
to snatch the child and hold him for a short period.
The paper gave no details of how the group planned to evade the tight
security which surrounds Blair and his family to carry out the kidnapping.
Minister Tony Blair gestures as he addresses a news conference at the
European Parliament in Brussels in this file photo from December 20, 2005.
Police have made no arrests and think they disrupted the supposed plot in its
early stages, the Sun's source said.
The BBC said police sources had confirmed that they were aware of a possible
plot but were not convinced those involved had the ability to carry it out.
A spokesman for Blair's Downing Street office had no comment. A London police
spokeswoman said: "We don't comment on security matters."
The newspaper said detectives uncovered the plan while monitoring people on
the fringe of the Fathers 4 Justice campaign group just before Christmas. The
group has staged a series of high-profile stunts to highlight the plight of
fathers who are denied access to their children.
Its campaigners have scaled the walls of Queen Elizabeth's London residence
and thrown colored flour at Blair while he addressed parliament.
The group's founder, Matt O'Connor, 38, said his group was not behind the
However, he said about 30 former members had been expelled last year for
talking about carrying out extreme stunts.
He said police had told him that anti-terrorist officers had visited former
members of the group over Christmas.
"We were aware that there were more extremist elements and we acted within
our organization to clean the undesirable element out," he told Reuters.
The Sun said security services had reviewed the protection given to Blair and
his wife Cherie and their four children. Armed police guard them round the
"Appropriate steps have now been taken," the Sun quoted a security source as
saying. "They were naturally very concerned.
"It was good intelligence work. Fortunately we think we have nipped this
thing in the bud."