Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Hotels where world leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are to stay during next month’s G20 London summit will go into a security lockdown amid fears of Mumbai-style attacks.

Although there is no specific intelligence, police are reported to be extremely concerned about the security of the visiting heads of governments, especially U.S. President Barack Obama.

The main venue of the summit in East London and hotels are seen as potential targets and with memories of the July 7 London bombings which took place the day G8 leaders were meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, still fresh police are taking no chances.

“We could never rule out the idea that the G8 event might have been the inspiration for the 7/7 terrorists. There’s no intelligence of an attack now but we would be foolish if we weren’t thinking along those lines — you cannot afford to discount any possibility,” The Times quoted one security source as saying.

According to the Daily Telegraph the security threat level has been raised to the “severe end of severe”, just one level short of “critical” which is put in place when an attack is imminent.

Meanwhile, anti-globalisation groups have threatened to bring London to a halt during the summit with dramatic protests, including “guerrilla-style” raids on high-profile buildings like banks.