January 17, 2006

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

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.

It said it had no details of how the group planned to carry
out the kidnapping. Spokesmen for Blair's office and London
police had no immediate comment.

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

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.

"We were aware that there were more extremist elements and
we acted within our organization to clean the undesirable
element out," he told Reuters.

He said police had told him that detectives had visited
former members of his group over Christmas.

The Sun said police had made no arrests.

"It was good intelligence work," the Sun quoted an
intelligence source as saying. "Fortunately we think we have
nipped this thing in the bud."