Email claims that the London Metropolitan Police are preparing for another terrorist attack on the London underground (Full commentary below.)
IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING LONDON UNDERGROUND – STATEMENT BEING ISSUED FROM MET
PLEASE SEE –
The Metropolitan Police will be strongly advising everyone that the they will be putting officers on tube stations 24/7 for the next week as they highly expect another attack within this time.
The police force have been in meetings all morning and will be publicly confirming this later on this evening. They will be advising the public to avoid the tube at all costs for the time being.
This news will filter through to the media in the next few hours and if it is not in the Evening Standard it will be on the 24 hour news channels.
Please take care on your journeys home, please pass this on to as many people as you know who use the Underground.
Piccadilly Circus & Leicester Square were closed for 3 hours earlier today (14/07/2005) and the bomb squad carried out a minor controlled explosion around the station area – this is going on all over Central London.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL TRAVELLING
According to information on the London Metropolitan Police website, the claims in this email are untrue. The article advises the public to “remain alert and vigilant” but reassures Londoners that the police are not aware of any specific threats at this time.
A BBC news article also denounces this email forward as a hoax.
This email is invalid and should not be forwarded. Similar hoax “warnings” tend to circulate after every major terrorist incident. While some such emails may be the result of a genuine misunderstanding by the original author, others seem to be launched out of a malicious desire to spread fear and alarm. Whatever the motivation, it is important that recipients do not take the information in such emails at face value. The veracity of emailed “warnings” should always be checked via reputable news sources before being forwarded. Governments or police forces are not likely to issue an important public safety warning solely via email. Such warnings would be prominently featured on television, radio, newspapers and official websites. Of course, legitimate warnings may begin to circulate via emails as people inform friends and family of an impending threat they have heard about via other sources. However, if an emailed warning cannot be verified via other reputable sources, then its veracity should be considered questionable.
Forwarding hoax emails that falsely warn of impending attacks is counter-productive. Such warnings foster unnecessary anxiety in the community. More importantly, they tend to waste the valuable time of law-enforcement personnel who are obligated to field numerous calls about such hoax warnings.
Also, recipients who have been caught out by one of these hoaxes might have a tendency to dismiss subsequent warnings, some of which might be genuine.
In short, all email forwards that warn of impending terrorist threats should be verified before they are sent to others. If the information turns out to be untrue, the email should be deleted and the sender of the message should be informed. I feel that it is the responsibility of all Internet users to ensure that the spread of fake terror warnings is rapidly curtailed. Forwarding such warnings does nothing but further the cause of the terrorists.