ADRIAN LEVY and CATHY SCOTT-CLARK
October 28, 2009
[efoods]The Finchley Road is one of the busiest thoroughfares heading out of London. It leads traffic north past Lord’s Cricket Ground and the multimillion-pound houses of some of the country’s richest hedge-fund managers all the way to the M1. At three in the afternoon it’s always pretty slow going, but on this particular summer Monday the traffic was almost at a standstill.
This was partly because the normal three lanes going north had been cut down to one. But it was also because of drivers slowing down to a crawl so they could gawp at the massive police operation unfolding on a busy corner of the road.
Police vehicles – both cars and menacing armoured trucks – jammed up two lanes. Dozens of armed officers in bulletproof vests were standing ready, waiting to be called inside an anonymous-looking building. From the sheer manpower and weapons on display it looked like the capital was under another terrorist attack.