UK police foil plot to kidnap Blair's son: report

By Peter Griffiths 1 hour, 28 minutes ago

LONDON (Reuters) - 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.

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 alleged plot.

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 clock.

"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."