By Fintan Dunne, Editor
July 11th, 2005 5pm ET
Radio host, Alex Jones is spreading misleading, false and overblown claims linking Peter Power, a crisis management consultant and former member of Britain's anti-terror police, to a 'terrorism drill' which Jones alleges was used to provide cover for State perpetrators of the multiple blasts.
The wild allegations leave others presenting so-called "conspiracy theories" about these attacks open to ridicule --because of false claims by the most reknowned radio show on these topics.
The weekend article by Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones was published on the PrisonPlanet.com website.
They claim that in a BBC Radio 5 interview on July 7th, Peter Power admitted that his Visor Consulting firm: "was running a 1,000 person strong exercise which drilled the London Underground being bombed at the exact same locations, at the exact same times, as happened in real life."
The article goes on to claim that the Visor Consulting drill: "acts as a cover for the small compartamentalized government terrorists to carry out their operation without the larger security services becoming aware of what they're doing, and, more importantly, if they get caught during the attack or after with any incriminating evidence they can just claim that they were just taking part in the exercise."
Jones and Watson then equated this drill with drills reported to have taken place on the morning of 9/11/2001. They wrote: "The CIA was conducting drills of flying hijacked planes into the WTC and Pentagon at 8:30 in the morning. It is clear that at least five if not six training exercises were in operation in the days leading up to and on the morning of 9/11."
The article gives the clear impression that up to 1,000 personnel were involved in a London drill -including field agents who were active in the London Underground and providing cover for those planting the bombs.
That couldn't be more wrong.
In fact, Power's consultancy firm was running a small "corporate wargame" drill for the management team of a British company with 1,000 employees. Here's the BBC transcript of the interview Power gave [our emphasis]:
POWER: "At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now." [mp3 Audio]Clearly, the figure of 1,000 refers to the size of the company whose managers were being drilled - and not to the number of participants in the drill.
Furthermore, any savvy investigator knows that these types of private-sector "risk management" drills never use field staff. Neither do these low-level corporate drills have active involvement of police or other security forces.
Despite Jones and Watson's claims, this drill was in no way comparable to U.S. drills and wargames on 9/11 -which were being run by active-duty security forces in the U.S. military, federal agencies, the FAA and various emergency services.
The London corporate drill was just a glorified administration seminar where managers get to use security buzzwords --while seated around an office table guessing how they would respond to loss of available staff for call centers, power outages, or travel restrictions, etc..
Bear in mind that Peter Power was doing a bit of hyping too, playing up the idea that his firm was so well attuned that it was running a terror drill about bombs at "precisely at the railway stations where it happened." But in a seperate, simpering TV interview [Video Mplayer] Power admits that their exercise also included mainline rail targets as well as the Underground. His firm runs these terror seminars frequently.
Anyway, any half-competent drill would predictably be based on attacks on central London Underground stations. Duuuh! Probably some of these overlapped with the actual targets.
There is much to indicate that the official version of the London bombings is not the real story -but this tale about a co-incident terror drill is going nowhere on the current evidence.
It a close call between Power and Jones as to who squeezed the most hype out of all this.
TINFOIL HAT FODDER
At the very least this has been a catastrophic error by Alex Jones and Paul Watson, sure to reflect badly on Jones' reputation.
Even more important, it will inevitably be used to laugh off critics of the official line on both the 9/11 attacks and the London bombings. The article turns all skeptics into tinfoil hat fodder.
Some of these skeptics will see this article by Alex Jones as part of a deliberate setup to try destroy the credibility of those who question the authorities.
All of which is a pity, not least because Peter Power is a figure well worth closer scrutiny -just not the kind of misplaced hype offered by Alex Jones.
Jones was careful to let Power off the hook in that article: "Mr. Power and Visor Consultants need not have been 'in on the bombing' or anything of that nature.."
Perhaps not, but Peter Power, MD of Visor Consultants is a gent who is well worth a much closer look. He is the ultimate insider in the coyly-named Business Continuity(BC) marketplace.
He was selected by the UK Government to write the Best Management Practice Guide on Crisis & BC Planning & Risk Management, a hotly-trafficed download from the DTI web site [pdf]. He also wrote the book on BC for the British Bankers Association. He is all over the media and was a previous award winner for BC 'personality of the year'.
His firm's clients in London have included JP Morgan Chase, ING, Mellon, Lloyds TSB, Morley Fund Management, Bank of New York, Arcadia Group, FCO and Universal Music.
All of which is not surprising, as he has a senior Scotland Yard background which included a stint at the Anti Terrorist Branch, and a deputy forward control role at the Libyan People Bureau siege. He frequently speaks on TV & radio, and is the darling of BBC news and talk shows.
Power surely still has close links with Anti Terror branch, and seems to operate as a "good cop" for the establishment -in PR terms. Whenever there is a terror incident, there is Peter on the BBC with a relaxed attitude; with a habitual, understanding line about how "stretched" are the security services; and with a reassuring tone which implies that all is jolly good, top-notch and well in hand.
He even once described identity cards as redundant -sensibly arguing that terrorists conceal their purpose, rather than their identity. All this counterpoints nicely with the "bad cop" security propaganda put out by official sources.
But some of those many appearances by Power stand out in the context of the latest London Underground bombings.
One was the occasion of the rocket attack on the MI6 spy headquarters itself -in central London at Vauxhall Cross, just before 2200 on 21 September, 2000. The missile smashed an eighth floor window on the southern side of the building, home to the Foreign Intelligence Service.
Although dissident Irish republicans were the prime suspects, no group ever claimed responsibility.
Another was the curious bombing of the BBC just six months later on 5 March, 2001. About 15 pounds of high explosive left in a taxi abandoned outside BBC Television Centre caused only minor damage. Attacks against the media are pretty rare. The same dissident republicans were suspected.
After the MI6 rocket attack, as usual Power was quoted by the BBC. He described the MI6 building as one of the most high profile in central London.
"If you wanted to make a name for yourself, get yourself back onto the front pages, why not go for something that's high profile and minimal risk," he said.
Why not, indeed.
Giuliani Linked to London Terror Drill Boss
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