BT Tower on list of terrorist targets

British security experts are thought to have drawn up a list of potential terrorist targets in the UK, including the former Post Office Tower

The BT Tower, one of London's premier landmarks and a prominent part of the UK's communications network, has been identified as a potential target for a terrorist attack.

According to a report in Thursday's edition of The Times, MI5 has drawn up a list of 350 buildings and installations in Britain that it believes might be attacked by terrorists, following the events of 11 September.

This list is thought to include the BT Tower, formerly known as the Post Office Tower, which stands 188 metres above street level in the heart of the city and was attacked by the IRA in 1971.

BT was not willing to discuss the subject in any detail, as it is company policy not to speculate on security issues. A BT spokesman did tell ZDNet UK that security plans are in place to protect the building.

The BT Tower was constructed between 1961 and 1965, and was once the tallest building in London. It formed the heart of the UK's microwave telecommunications network, and with its outside bristling with transmitters and receivers it communicated with other, smaller, towers across the country.

Today, the BT Tower plays a slightly less crucial role in the UK's telecommunications networks. Still in use, the Tower is thought to mainly carry broadcasting traffic and to relay signals used by the BBC and other television broadcasters.

One telecoms expert has told ZDNet UK that there would be no serious long-term effect on data traffic in the UK if the BT Tower were to go out of action unexpectedly.

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