What company was in charge of the "Mock Drills" on 7/7?26/10/2010 17:40
About Visor Consultants
We are a team of experts located in the heart of London, but with international coverage, dedicated to helping you maximise your corporate resilience in an uncertain world. This includes:
- Running complex exercises, or simple table top rehearsals for your Business Continuity (BC) and Crisis Management Teams
- Helping you select, design and construct your Crisis Management and Business Continuity Teams
- Guiding you in the preparation and delivery of Business Continuity Plans to meet UK Industry Specification BS25999
- Helping you increase the power of Business Continuity by moving from silo cultures to higher corporate integration and a united risk positive approach
- Applying the techniques of Operational Risk Management
- Designing future based or Next Generation Business Continuity plans. What we refer to as fourth Generation Business Continuity or ™4GBC after the previous and present ideas on Contingency, Disaster and Business Continuity plans
- Designing and facilitating Presentations and Workshops to develop key Crisis Management skills at all levels to ensure teams can make crucial decisions in the otherwise confused world of a crisis
- Coaching anyone on your team more likely to face a media camera or microphone. How to take the media high ground and give exactly the right impression to all stakeholders. This involves creating bespoke simulated TV news broadcasts using a highly skilled ex SKY TV news presenter
- Helping you understand the pitfalls of not treating your people correctly whenever any sort of drama occurs. Dealing with personal and group level stress and trauma during and after any dramatic incident to forestall the long term effects of a catastrophe
The 7/7 Terror Rehearsal
Visor Consultants' 'simultaneous bombs' rehearsal on 7 July 2005
Update 07/02/08: J7 Exclusive Report: Peter Power's CV Fakery - 7/7 terror rehearsal man and regular BBC 'terror' consultant was suspended from Dorset Police pending an internal inquiry that resulted in a file being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Full story here.
On the afternoon and evening of 7th July 2005, information came to light about a private company running a terror rehearsal operation in London at the time that real explosions were reported to have occurred on the transport network. These revelations came not from an anonymous source but instead from the Managing Director of the private firm running the terror rehearsal operation. The private firm is Visor Consultants and the Managing Director in question is Peter Power. For over three years, the client for whom the terror rehearsal was being organised was not known. Until, that is, 30 September 2008, and more completely on 3 October 2008 (see the comment this J7 blog post), when Peter Power opted to make this information available to the general public. [Please see the section of this document entitled How much more do we know now? for further detail.]
Index of sections
- Peter Power's 7/7 Terror Interviews
- Peter Power on Radio 5 Live's Drivetime
- Peter Power on ITV News: 7/7 Vision at 20:20
- Peter Power on the Canadian Broadcasting Service
- 'Mock Broadcasts' and the 7/7 terror rehearsal
- Peter Power's Response to Inquiries
- Peter Power Terror Rehearsal 'de-bunked' by Channel 4 News
- Peter Power's mainstream media terror operations
- Panorama's fake terror, 7/7, Peter Power & Kirsty Lang
- Peter Power on Peter Power
- An objective look at Peter Power's career
- Visor Consultants mentioned in Parliament
- Peter Power's international connections
- How much more do we know now?
On and after 7/7, Peter Power gave a number of interviews in which he referred to the terror exercise he was running on the morning of 7th July. Power has since regularly appeared on TV and radio interviews as an independent security expert with no special connection to the events of 7 July 2005, even a year later when called on to discuss the incidents that occurred.
J7 is reproducing these interviews here so you can judge for yourself quite what should be made of such a bizarre and unlikely coincidence of events.
The first of Mr Power's interviews was given on the afternoon of 7th July 2005, presumably after Mr Power had finished orchestrating his private terror rehearsal, when he appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live's Drivetime programme. Below is a transcript from the Radio 5 Live programme, complete with a link to a recording of the interview:
POWER: ...at half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for, er, over, 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 upright!
PETER ALLEN: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?
POWER: Precisely, and it was, er, about half-past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision, 'this is the real one' and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from 'slow time' to 'quick time' thinking and so on.
Listen to Peter Power's Radio 5 Live Drivetime Interview
Note how Power refers to 'simultaneous bombs going off'. Note also that it wasn't until 9th July 2005, two days after the incidents, that it was revealed the explosions on the underground were 'almost simultaneous'. Power's fictional scenario, as explained by the man himself on the day, bears a closer resemblance to the eventual story of 7/7 than it does to the actual story that had been presented to the public by the police and authorities at the time of his interview.
Only ex-Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevi who wrote in the Jerusalem Post on 7th July 2005 of "the multiple, simultaneous explosions that took place today on the London transportation system" with "near pefect execution" was able to demonstrate the same level of 'insight' as Mr Power. Note: The original article is no longer available on the Jerusalem Post web site although copies can be found on the web.
A short while after his appearance on BBC Radio, at 20:20 on 7/7, Peter Power gave a television interview to ITV news which revealed a little more about the nature of the operation as well as hinting at the sort of organisations for whom the operation might have been organised:
POWER: Today we were running an exercise for a company - bearing in mind I'm now in the private sector - and we sat everybody down, in the city - 1,000 people involved in the whole organisation - but the crisis team. And the most peculiar thing was, we based our scenario on the simultaneous attacks on an underground and mainline station. So we had to suddenly switch an exercise from 'fictional' to 'real'. And one of the first things is, get that bureau number, when you have a list of people missing, tell them. And it took a long time -
INTERVIEWER: Just to get this right, you were actually working today on an exercise that envisioned virtually this scenario?
POWER: Er, almost precisely. I was up to 2 oclock this morning, because it's our job, my own company. Visor Consultants, we specialise in helping people to get their crisis management response. How do you jump from 'slow time' thinking to 'quick time' doing? And we chose a scenario - with their assistance - which is based on a terrorist attack because they're very close to, er, a property occupied by Jewish businessmen, they're in the city, and there are more American banks in the city than there are in the whole of New York - a logical thing to do. And it, I've still got the hair....
Click PLAY to watch Peter Power's ITV interview.
In the days after 7th July, rather than face questioning about his role, in conjunction with a 'company of over a thousand people' on the day that 56 were killed on London transport, Power flew to Toronto for the 15th World Conference on Disaster Management.
Power appeared on a discussion panel for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's news discussion programme CBC News: Sunday, in which the host remarked upon the 'extraordinary' coincidence of Power's rehearsal scenario:
Evan Solomon: We've heard something quite extraordinary - could be a coincidence or not - that your firm, on the very day that the bombs went off in London, were running an exercise simulating three bombs going off, in the very same tube stations that they went off. How did this happen? Coincidence, or were you acting on information that you knew?
Peter Power: I don't think you could say that we had some special insight into the terrorist network, otherwise I would be under arrest myself. The truth of it is -
Solomon: But it is a coincidence.
Power: It's a coincidence, and it's a spooky coincidence. Our scenario was very similar - it wasn't totally identical, but it was based on bombs going off, to the time, the locations, all this sort of stuff. But it wasn't an accident, in the sense that London has a history of bombs, and the reason why our emergency services did so well, and prepared probably better than any other city in the world, sadly they have to be. So it wasn't exactly rocket science or totally out of the pale to come up with that scenario unusual though it be to stop the exercise and go into real time, and it worked very well, although there was a few seconds when the audience didn't realise whether it was real or not.
Mr Power went on to tell delegates at the disaster management conference that Canadians needed to open their eyes. He said, "You can't just lay back and say, 'Well it's cozy, we've been lucky. We're just nice guys. It won't happen to us. Sorry. The alarm bell is ringing now. When it happens, you don't want to say, 'well that was a wake-up call'."
On 8th July 2005, the day after the death and destruction in London, an interview with Peter Power appeared on page 5 of the Manchester Evening News in which Mr Power revealed that, not only had he coincidentally been running a terror rehearsal 'based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened' on 7th July, he had also organised a series of 'mock broadcasts' for the rehearsal operation that were apparently so realistic those participating in the exercise became confused about what was real and what was not:
Mr Power said: "I was an inspector at the time of the King's Cross fire and was involved in co-ordinating the operation.
"After leaving the Met, I set up my own crisis managment consultancy. Yesterday we were actually in the City working on an exercise involving mock broadcasts when it happened for real.
" When news bulletins started coming on, people began to say how realistic our exercise was - not realising there was an attack.
We then became involved in a real crisis which we had to manage for the company."
Mr Power added: "During the exercise we were working on yesterday, we were looking at a situation where there had been bombs at key London transport locations - although we weren't specifically looking at a scenario where there had been a bomb on a bus.
"It's a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out."
Indeed, rehearsing attacks on public transport networks -- now seemingly known by their Americanised name of 'transit systems' -- are fairly commonplace in the world of State and Corporate terror exercises. On 8th January 2006, the government of Singapore conducted their own "standard exercise and briefing" called Operation Northstar V, a multi-agency civil emergency exercise:
Exercise Northstar V is the largest scale exercise we have conducted so far. We simulated a scenario with multiple bomb explosions and a chemical agent release in 4 MRT stations and 1 bus interchange, to stretch ourselves and test our capabilities.
The focus of the exercise today (8 Jan 2006) is to test our men in uniform and 20 other agencies. We will learn from this exercise, and refine our plans and operations.
Singaporeans should think about what to do to protect themselves and their families. Taking ownership to learn the drills, and knowing what to do in an emergency is one of the best forms of protection.
For example, they can take part in exercises such as the Emergency Preparedness Days organized by the constituencies. The residents of Pasir Ris, for instance, have exercised the scenario of a bomb incident and chemical attack in a shopping mall in Pasir Ris last year.
Source: Singapore Logon
A list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Operation Northstar V was produced from which the following quotes are taken, all of which have direct parallels with the events of 7/7:
FAQ to Exercise NorthStar V
Q3. What is the exercise scenario?
A: The scenario for the exercise is similar to that of the London Bombings on 7 July 05 that is near-simultaneous bomb blasts in the trains at the station platform and in the trains traveling into the tunnel. In addition, a new scenario has been introduced that is the release of chemical agents at the platform at one of the stations.
Q5. Will bus and train services be disrupted during the exercise and what is the duration of such disruption?
A: While the exercise is confined to only 4 train stations operated by both SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation however due to the interconnected nature of the train network, temporarily disruption of train services will affect a total of 13 train stations. The 13 stations will be closed throughout the duration of the exercise that is from 6.25am to 9.30am.
Q6. Why is there a need to disrupt train services during the exercise?
A: Simulations in the form of thunderflashes, smoke and fire simulators will be used to create simultaneous bomb attacks by terrorists so as to inject a realistic exercise scenario. Apart from dummy mannequins, ‘live’ casualties will also be deployed at stations’ platform and in the trains to portray injured commuters and fatalities. Trains will also be stalled within the tunnel and commuters will be evacuated through the tunnel to the nearest train station. To facilitate such elaborate scenario and the conduct of the large-scale exercise, there is a need to temporarily disrupt train services and close 13 train stations.
Q7. Will commuters who are caught in the exercise be trapped for a long period of time in the stalled train or in the train tunnel?
A: Upon the commencement of the exercise, no commuters will be trapped in the stations, trains or tunnels. All commuters who are in the ‘exercised’ trains and at the stations’ platform will immediately be guided and evacuated out of the stations. For commuters who are in the ‘exercised’ train/s that are stalled in the tunnel, they will also be immediately guided to evacuate from the tunnel to the nearest train station.
As the safety of the commuters is critical to the conduct of the exercise, personnel from the SCDF and staff from SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation will be at hand to guide the commuters in the evacuation process and direct them to the alternative mode of transportation i.e the shuttle bus services. Special attention will also be given to pregnant ladies, the elderly, young children and those who are in need of assistance during the evacuation process.
Q8. Are the exercise sites accessible to members of the public?
A: While the commuters in transit are participating in the exercise as evacuees, the Police will be exercising strict cordon enforcement at the 4 x train stations/exercise sites (Dhobby Ghaut, Toa Payoh, Raffles Place and Marina Bay stations). Hence, members of the public who are outside these exercised train stations will not be allowed access into the stations.
Source: Singapore Logon
Taking another look at Peter Power's original Radio 5 Live announcement on 7/7:
POWER: ...at half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for, er, over, 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 upright!
Operation Northstar V was twice the size of Peter Power's London efforts on 7/7. Note the lengths gone to ensure that the exercise is as realistic as possible for its unwitting participants:
3. During the exercise which involved over 2,000 personnel; thunderflashes, smoke and fire simulators were used. About 500 simulated casualties with injuries were also deployed to test emergency rescuers at the scene. To further invoke a sense of realism, the date, time and exact details of the exercise were not released until 15 minutes before the exercise, after which announcements on the exercise were carried by local broadcast media. This was a deliberate move to better gauge and test the exercise participants, including the train commuters who were either in the trains or MRT stations when the exercise started.
Source: Singapore Web
Advice on conducting 'live' exercises in the UK suggests the inclusion of walking wounded and casualties to 'add to the realism', and is recommended to companies testing their emergency plans by the London Resilience website:
Live exercises. Live exercises range from a small scale test of one component of the response, like evacuation, through to a full scale test of the whole organisation to an incident. Live exercises provide the best means of confirming the satisfactory operation of emergency communications, and the use of 'casualties' can add to the realism. Live exercises provide the only means for fully testing the crucial arrangements for handling the media
The BBC web site even quotes Roland Murphy of London Underground claiming of a similar rehearsal exercise at Bank station, "All participants are unaware of the 'disaster' until the exercise starts, so they treat it as real as possible."
Emergency exercise on Underground
Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
London's emergency services are being called into action for a training exercise on the underground.
The live emergency exercise will take place at Tower Hill Tube station on the District Line on Sunday.
The station is already closed due to major track replacement work between Whitechapel and Earl's Court.
Roland Murphy, from London Underground, said good safety procedures are in place "but we can always build and improve upon them."
He added: "All participants are unaware of the 'disaster' until the exercise starts, so they treat it as real as possible."
London Underground is legally required to hold an emergency exercise on the network every year.
A police cordon will be erected around the station and Trinity Square, Savage Gardens, Wakefield Gardens and Coopers Row will be closed for most of the day
Source: BBC News
In a BBC News report following the Bank station exercise Linda Smith of the Fire Brigades Union told BBC London of the controlled conditions under which the exercise was carried out:
"The cadets used as victims had been fully briefed and of course ordinary members of the public wouldn't have known what was going on, " she said.
"It was done on a Sunday, the area was cordoned off, there were no members of the public allowed even on the footpaths around the area.
Source: BBC News
It is possible that Visor's consultants took the experiences and 'lessons learned' from 7/7 to assist in the live rehearsals in Singapore, involving bombs on trains and a bus, according to Visor Consultants' own web site:
In addition to the directors, we have specialist consultants who are regularly engaged on projects, ranging from running workshops in Singapore to helping an energy supplier in the UK to run a successful crisis management test. Seven of our key consultants are Chris Needham-Bennett, Dr. Anne Eyre, Ian Ross, Tom Pine, Kathryn Holloway, Brian Hiscutt and David Tredrea.
Source: Visor Consultants
Perhaps unsurprisingly, news of a terror rehearsal based on simultaneous bombs going off at precisely the stations they did caused more than a little consternation among those members of the public and alternative media who knew of its existence. So great was the deluge of queries and questions about the nature of the exercise that Peter Power issued the following, single, generic response:
Thank you for your message. Given the volume of emails about events on 7 July and a commonly expressed misguided belief that our exercise revealed prescient behaviour, or was somehow a conspiracy (noting that several websites interpreted our work that day in an inaccurate / naive / ignorant / hostile manner) it has been decided to issue a single email response as follows:
It is confirmed that a short number of 'walk through' scenarios planed [sic] well in advance had commenced that morning for a private company in London (as part of a wider project that remains confidential) and that two scenarios related directly to terrorist bombs at the same time as the ones that actually detonated with such tragic results. One scenario in particular, was very similar to real time events.
However, anyone with knowledge about such ongoing threats to our capital city will be aware that (a) the emergency services have already practiced several of their own exercises based on bombs in the underground system (also reported by the main news channels) and (b) a few months ago the BBC broadcast a similar documentary on the same theme, although with much worse consequences. It is hardly surprising therefore, that we chose a feasible scenario - but the timing and script was nonetheless, a little disconcerting.
In short, our exercise (which involved just a few people as crisis managers actually responding to a simulated series of activities involving, on paper, 1000 staff) quickly became the real thing and the players that morning responded very well indeed to the sudden reality of events.
Beyond this no further comment will be made and based on the extraordinary number of messages from ill informed people, no replies will henceforth be given to anyone unable to demonstrate a bona fide reason for asking (e.g. accredited journalist / academic).
Despite running a terror rehearsal on 7th July 2005, Peter Power has repeatedly been used as an independent expert on terrorism, sitting in judgement on such things as the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station as well the official reports which have been released about the events of 7th July 2005. In each instance, Power is presented as a someone who has no special connection with the events of 7/7, nor has he been questioned further about the exact nature and scope of the rehearsal operation he was running, not even about the "One scenario in particular" which "was very similar to real time events."
Can it possibly be that no accredited journalist or academic has dared approach Peter Power about his operation that day, or the 'wider project' of which it was a part? If the complete lack of information about the nature of the exercise is anything to go by, it would appear not, save for one timid article on the Channel 4 News web site which attempted to distract from the potential significance of the coincidence.
While the curious coincidence the Visor Consultant's terror drill on the day of 7th July 2005 received very little in the way of follow-up media coverage, aside from the occasional passing mention in the days that followed, Channel 4 News published an article on 17th July 2005 in which, rather than set about finding out more about the nature of the operation in which Power was involved, journalist JJ King went to great lengths to explain how, some time after the event, presumably after the hairs on the back of Mr Power's neck were no longer standing upright, Power changed his line of, "running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people" that had so alarmed everyone to, "involving, on paper, 1000 staff".
According to the article's author, JJ King, this minor revision by Power of his original statement is sufficient reason to ignore Power's original statement. King further contends that because such rehearsal operations are common-place, there is nothing unusual about such a rehearsal running at the same time as a real attack. In instances where the rehearsal and real-time events didn't match so closely, this might be true. Significantly, perhaps, one other notable occasion where coordinated attack rehearsals were running at the same time as a real attack happens to be the day of 11th September 2001 when a number of wargame exercises involving simulated attacks on the World Trade Center featured.
Interestingly, King also notes the observations of the one of the CBC show's associate producers:
Colman Jones, an Associate Producer on CBC: Sunday, claimed in his blog that, while escorting participants from the building, he enquired of Power 'why there had not been more media coverage of this.' 'They were trying to keep it quiet,' Power purportedly responded, with what Jones called 'a knowing smile.'
JJ King concludes his article with:
'When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras,' goes the often-quoted popularisation of Occam's Razor.
In the absence of journalistic nous, bloggers would do well to stick by it.
In the face of investigative journalists that have repeatedly failed to report, or even investigate, the huge number of errors and inconsistencies in the official Home Office report, and the many stories willfully spun by the media about the events of July 7th, J7 contends that bloggers and the general public would do well to stick by something other than the 'journalistic nous' which has consistently and repeatedly failed them to date.
16th May, 2004: Panorama London Under Attack
"The Home Secretary has said the attacks bear the hallmark of Al-Qaeda..."
Source: Panorama, London Under Attack
7th July, 2005: Real world
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the coordinated blasts in trains and a bus bore "the hallmarks of an al Qaeda-related attack"
Peter Power claimed of his 7th July terror rehearsal, in the Manchester Evening News, "It's a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out." Indeed, In fact, Peter Power had previous experience of rehearsing bombs on the Underground for he was one of a small but select panel of advisors that helped create the BBC's Panorama programme London Under Attack in May 2004, over a year before the events of July 2005. A partial copy of the Panorama London Under Attack programme can be downloaded here.
The panel also included the former British Army and British Intelligence operative, Crispin Black, one of the first people to publish a book about the London bombings, in which he wrote:
We need an official inquiry - now. Not a whitewash inquiry like Lord Hutton's. Or a punch-pulling inquiry like Lord Butler's. But an inquiry run by plain Mr or Mrs somebody."
Crispin Black's statement - in part - provided some of the impetus behind the growing group of plain Mr or Mrs Somebodies that have worked together to establish the July 7th Truth Campaign, the J7 web site, the J7 People's Independent Inquiry Forum and the J7 Petition calling on the government to RELEASE THE EVIDENCE that conclusively proves or disproves the conspiracy theory outlined in the official Home Office narrative.
The May 2004 edition of Panorama focused on London falling victim to a terrorist attack and, coincidentally, featured three explosions on underground trains and one explosion on a land-based transportation device, a rehearsal scenario not entirely dissimilar to Mr Power's rehearsal operation on 7th July 2005 and the apparent reality of events that day.
The BBC described Panorama's London Under Attack on their web site:
This film is a mock exercise of what might happen in London if there was a terror attack now.
In a unique fusion of drama, detailed research and expert discussion Panorama puts Britain's emergency plans to the test.
Set in the future - but only just - the city of London is thrown into chaos by a series of terrorist attacks.
The fictional day of terror unfolds through the immediacy of rolling news bringing the catastrophic attack into our living rooms.
For those that missed the documentary, the BBC has kindly provided a copy of "'How the fictional attack unfolded", a page dedicated to revealing how news of the fictional attack was presented to the world via a series of 'mock broadcasts'. The key events unfolded like this:
8.20am Tuesday 25 May: We're receiving news of an explosion in the London underground near Hyde Park. This has not yet been confirmed by the police
8.27am: There has been a 2nd explosion on the underground, this time close to Oxford Circus. Both explosions appear to have occurred on the trains as they were moving.
8.40am: Reports are coming in that a third explosion has now occurred on an underground train approaching Vauxhall station.
9am: News 24 headlines: In the past hour there have been three major explosions on the London Underground. The first at 8.10am on the Piccadilly Line between Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner. The second at 8.16 on the Central Line between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus and the third at 8.27 as a train was arriving at Vauxhall station in Stockwell on the Victoria line. Emergency services have been called to all three scenes. There are no reports on number of casualties and the police say its too early to identify a possible cause. London underground is now closed and police are now urging people not to travel.
10.10: We're just getting reports that there has been a further explosion in central London in the region around Liverpool street station, we will of course bring you more news on that as soon as we can. Meanwhile traffic problems continue in central London as the full effects of the emergency police cordons are being felt.
10.41: We can now confirm that a tanker carrying chlorine has exploded at the junction of Shoreditch high Street and commercial street. Chlorine is extremely toxic in this form and police are issuing express warnings for people to stay indoors, close windows and remain there until the all clear is given.
10.44: Police are still urging people to stay indoors until the extent of the chlorine release is known. They are repeating again, chlorine is extremely toxic.
Peter Power and Panorama's 'mock broadcasts' detailed the unfolding of the fictional terror attack, along with graphics showing the fictional blast locations and simulating how news of the attack might be presented, had such an attack actually occurred.
The unfolding of the Panorama sequence of events bears an uncanny resemblance to how the initial stories of 7 July 2005 were rolled out; three explosions underground, with timings staggered over the space of half an hour, before a fourth explosion occurred some time later on an above ground transportation device. For Panorama, the land-based transportation device was a chlorine tanker. On 7 July 2005, it was a number 30 bus.
A copy of the Panorama programme does not appear to be available from the BBC web site, however you can read a transcript of BBC Panorama's London Under Attack programme here . A mirror copy of the transcript can be found here, and a partial but eminently watchable version of the actual London Under Attack programme can be downloaded here.
What is important to note are the findings of the Panorama documentary of May 2004, as summarised below:
The programme reveals that police, ambulance and fire services communications systems are incompatible with each other in London and across the UK and that in the deep underground, Metropolitan Police radios do not work.
The communications system used by Civil Contingency Reaction Force (CCRF) - a specialist groups of reservists whose role is to help out in the event of disaster scenarios - is also incompatible with any of the emergency services.
This means that in the event of a disaster - none of the emergency services would be able to talk to each other on their own radios
These findings were passed to the Home Office by Panorama. At the time of the programme, the Home Office had refused to cooperate with the exercise, branding it as 'alarmist and irresponsible'. However, the findings should have come as no surprise to anyone given that the inquiry into the King's Cross fire of 18th November 1987 -- another event with which Peter Power was involved -- came to the exactly the same conclusions about communications as Panorama did over a decade later. These happen to be the same findings that the Greater London Authority's 7 July Review Committee arrived at 18 years after the King's Cross Fire - a point which the 7 July Review Committee deemed worthy of note in its own final report, along with the unacceptability that these communication problems still had not been resolved:
2.24 The official inquiry into the King’s Cross fire, published in 1988, included a chapter on communications. The report highlighted the lack of communications between the station surface and underground, and the inability of officers from the British Transport Police and London Fire Brigade to communicate underground unless they were within line of sight of each other. The report made recommendations aimed at putting in place effective communications within and between the emergency services underground. These were categorised by Desmond Fennell OBE QC, who conducted the inquiry, as among the most important recommendations made in the report.
11.5 It is unacceptable that the emergency services, with the exception of the British Transport Police, are still not able to communicate by radio when they are underground, 18 years after the official inquiry into the King’s Cross fire recommended action to address this problem. The Committee has been told that this problem will be resolved by the end of 2007.
In fact, Peter Power had something to say about the 7 July Review Committee reports released two years after his involvement in Panorama's London Under Attack, and a year after his terror rehearsal operation on 7th July 2005. During an interview with BBC News Mr Power, aside from plugging his Survive organisation, revealed that he was also running a 'command centre' for another organisation on 7th July 2005 and, yet again, referred to the importance of getting a casualty bureau number out when a real disaster occurs, something that did not happen on 7th July 2005 for over six hours after the first incidents were reported.
Note: Throughout the news and media coverage of the day, no casualty bureau number was ever announced to the public until 3:24pm, by DAC Brian Paddick during a Metropolitan Police Press Conference. This is over six hours after the first incident of the day was reported and several hours after various authorities and emergency services had declared major incidents at multiple locations. Why was a casualty bureau number not set-up and broadcast immediately the first major incident was declared?
In yet another bizarre 'coincidence' of events, the newsreader pictured in the Panorama transcript above, reading news of the fake attack played out in the BBC's London Under Attack programme, is one Kirsty Lang, also pictured left. Kirsty is the presenter of The World, an international current affairs programme broadcast globally on BBC World and on BBC4 in the UK. Kirsty is a regular presenter on Front Row, the Radio 4 arts magazine programme. She is also a former presenter of Channel 4 News and a 'relief presenter' for BBC World. The TV Room fills in a little more background detail:
Kirsty started at the BBC as a graduate news trainee in 1985 after completing a degree in international relations at the London School of Economics and a postgrad MA in journalism from City University, London.
She then became a general news reporter in radio. In 1989, she took up a post in Budapest as stringer for the BBC World Service. In late-1991, she became a correspondent in the BBC Paris office.
C. 1994, Kirsty returned to London to take up a post as a reporter for 'Newsnight'. In summer 1995 she moved out of television to join the Sunday Times as their Paris correspondent. She remained there until 1998 when she returned to TV as Europe correspondent and presenter for 'Channel 4 News'.
In 2002, Kirsty moved to the BBC where she presented the news on BBC World and fronted the BBC Four news programme.
As part of Lang's stint in Eastern Europe as Central European reporter for the BBC World Service based in Budapest, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Balkans conflict, before then going on to be BBC World Service Paris correspondent at the time Diana and Dodi Fayed were killed. In early 2002 she moved from her post as Channel 4 News reader to join BBC Four News as chief correspondent. Her husband is a writer and broadcaster on Eastern Europe, especially Yugoslavia, and his father was in British Army intelligence in West Berlin, and a lecturer in Russian studies.
More recently, Lang chaired a Morgan Stanley sponsored meeting of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, cunningly known by the simple three-letter acronym, RSA, which ignores entirely the 'Manufactures and Commerce' aspects of the society, on the subject of Britishness. Lang was also on the Advisory Board