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back to article Terror police lock down Soho to smoke out 9lbs of chillis

Police sealed off three streets in central London on Monday as they investigated a suspected chemical terror attack that turned out to be a Thai chef brewing up a particularly pungent burnt chilli sauce. The three hour lockdown in Soho saw a Hazardous Area Response Team Unit and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus engaging …

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Anonymous Coward

This is...

chill(i)ing news regarding the state of the nation's terror police. I bet they are feeling pretty warm under the collar right now though. Did they check ownership of the chillis? Were they "hot"?

IGMC

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Anonymous Coward

Surprised!

Given the police being given a hard time by the media recently I'm surprised the Scotland Yard PR department haven't been crowing about how they've followed this hot lead....

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Breaking doors down

Should have used pepper spray.

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Silver badge

I wonder...

...if in true modern UK policing style, they'll arrest the chef and prosecute him for wasting police time?

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Anonymous Coward

terror soup

its some awesome free publicity for the restaurant

terror-soup - i can see it now

priceless

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Ban it

Clearly chillis are a danger to society and should be banned. This chappy appears to be a foreign national, perhaps he should spend 90 days in the clink whilst we think about what we can find him guilty for. Hooray, freedom.

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Anthrax?

A trail of white powder? Surely it's more likely to be a Hansel and Gretel style trail of Columbian Marching Powder to mark the way home from the office for all the east coast rich boys who work in NYC.

Seriously, anthrax is pretty hard to make and pretty hard to import into the US so the sort of quantities of flour which a running club use are never likely to be the sort of quantities used by the late Osama in his quest to scare the US into disposing of the primitive warlike terrorist Bush and embracing a peaceful life as God and Allah both intended.

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and this is why I love thai food

load me up! WooHoo!

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Disgregard for other people....

Good, hope the police lock 'im up for good. How dare he do something like this. It's well known that chillis give off rather dubious odours when cooked. Especially if burning them. Idiots like this should be locked up.

(Not sure if el'reg should put a big sarcasm tag here or something).

Bet the police et al were glad for the breathing kit.

And, on a more serious note: can't wait 'til I burn the toast next.

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Silver badge

That would be

"who hate us because we used to be free . . once upon a time . . in distant memory . . somewhere around the middle of last century as far as anyone can remember"

Freedom today is at the top of the Endangered Species List. None to be found here, move along now.

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I thought the police only went in for Casserole.........

.......you know:

Irish Stew in the name of the Law.

Coat

Leaving

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Hot Fuzz......

I've got my coat,

just waiting for a cab.......

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Anonymous Coward

I walked past it

couldn't smell thing

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Law

Police did good...

The food sounds awful!!

On a serious note here though, if it was an actual attack and something blew up - the same people complaining about the police state or the state of our police (see what I did there?? ;) ) would be complaining about how our police suck and should have been ontop it instantly. Unfortunately, you can't please everybody - I bet they thought "better safe than sorry"... I would rather look silly than have people get blown to bits.

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@Anonymous Vulture

Having eaten in the Thai Cottage on many occasions I can say that the black chilli sauce they were making is amazing. If your ever in Soho, London its just off Wardour Street oppisite The George Pub. Its a place well worth checking out. great food as tested by the Bomb Squad.

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Shoot the bastard

Quote: "It's not the first time innocent cooking materials have morphed into potential bio-terror attacks."

Oh, you've heard about my wife's culinary skills then?

Living in London, that Thai chef is lucky he wasn't wrestled to the ground and shot in the head by our Brave Boys In Blue.

PS. Where's the Paris Hilton angle?

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Dam you...

for posting this at lunch time. My ham sarny is of no interest now all I can think about is some prawn crackers, sweet chilli sauce and an ice cold Tiger beer!

Also, nice job met police. Working together for a safer London my arse (Although to be fair I do feel a little sorry for them. They probably had a 999 call from some ideot who thought they were helping, and now they look silly for folloing it up)

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this s ondon we're talking about...

just how hot could the food be? i mean, it's not like texas where the chili (a soup like meal with meat and peppers) gets so hot that it eats thru the lining in pans...

or is that why it was treated as toxic?

i'll get me coat....

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Silver badge

MMmmmmm... Chilli

Now if that's not a recommendation for a Thai restaurant I don't know what is.

"Our food's so spicy, the anti-terror police have to cordon off the area when we cook it". (Or words to that effect, I dont think I have a carrer in advertising)

If I'm ever in London I'll be checking it out.

Hmm, just thought, is the place normaly busy? If so, maybe the cops just wanted a meal and couldnt be bothered waiting. Easy way, cordon off the area, have meal, then come up with some excuse.

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@kevin king

Alternatively, you can make your own - there's an article about this incident on the BBC website and they even provide a recipe.

Gotta get me some of that!

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Anonymous Coward

There's a lot of it about.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/search/display.var.1724393.0.road_sealed_off_because_of_bad_cooking.php

Or http://tinyurl.com/2t6efv

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JP

Just in case you want to home-brew a terror alert...

The BBC has very kindly handed out the recipe for it too!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7025782.stm

Aw... Ain't that sweet...

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Anonymous Coward

I'm making some chili tonight...

...should I leave the door open to save the police from breaking it down.

btw the police never once turned up to save me from my mum's cooking

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Anonymous Coward

What would Jack Bauer do?

You brits are way too nice. If it was Jack Bauer, he would have found the guy, shot his knee cap off, made him talk by jamming 8 lbs of the "chilli" down his throat. And by the time the local flatfoot shows up, Jack would be off in a black ops helicopter to Thailand for the source of the weapon.... KC

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it happens

As a former professional cook I can tell you we got carried away once in a while with how much we made your Thai chef here seems to have been making an enormous batch of this stuff 9lbs is a lot of chilies they are hollow inside so they don't weigh that much per pepper more than likely he was trying to get ahead in his prep and it apparently turned out a bit disruptive. Don't sell the cooking odors short when it comes to chilies it can incapacitate a person with asthma and clear a dining room if you have enough cooking at once.

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Anonymous Coward

What would Jack Bauer do?

You brits are way too nice, if it was Jack Bauer, he would have found the guy, shot his knee cap off, made him talk by jamming 8 lbs of the "chilli" down his throat. And by the time the local flatfoot shows up, Jack would be off in a black ops helicopter to Thailand for the source of the weapon.... KC

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Blue?

Re the "Brave Boys In Blue"... a common misconception. Police uniforms are actually black.

The trouble with Thai chili is they insist on putting fish in it, eww.

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Lucky they didn't have any

Castor beans in the place...

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bbc recipe is a bit off

I got this from http://www.podrush.net/default.aspx?id=9f5347a5-dbb3-4bea-92f2-0770def2a6f6

The chef mixes the charred chillies with 4½ of garlic flakes, more than 2lb of dried shrimps, 6½lb of palm sugar, 2½lb of shrimp paste, more than 2lb of tamarind and 9 pints of vegetable oil. It is served cold.

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@Anonymous Vulture

Sod Jack Bauer... what would dubya do? (WWDD tm)

Full air strike aimed at the local schools, churches and the like, full Marine attack force with full air support too.

Thats how you show 'em

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Anonymous Coward

@ Simon Painter

In your post you referred to "the late Osama"... has he died? I know Saddam Hussein is dead, but has Osama bin Laden also died unbeknownst to me?!

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re: bbc recipe is a bit off

"The chef mixes the charred chillies with 4½ of garlic flakes, more than 2lb of dried shrimps, 6½lb of palm sugar, 2½lb of shrimp paste, more than 2lb of tamarind and 9 pints of vegetable oil. It is served cold."

Looks like the plod did the right thing then - a combination of 9lbs of Thai chillies, 4-and-a-bit pounds of garlic and the shrimp paste would indeed be enough to take out a small country, the tamarind is the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake.

Still going to give the BBC recipe a shot though - it's sugar-free, and being diabetic means that palm sugar is an absolute no-no, irrespective of how much chilli and garlic I choose to accompany it with.

Also, you don't *have* to serve fish with Thai chilli - it goes well with chicken and beef. Either will do for me, as I'm not much of a fish eater - there's a Thai restaurant in Leeds that does a beef/chilli combo that would probably put the London concoction to shame ;-)

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Silver badge

Thai food

Thai isn't my scene, I'm afraid. Almost everything on a Thai menu seems to have either peanuts (to which I'm allergic) or fish (I'm anichthyophagous) in it.

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Anonymous Coward

mmmmm... chilli...

Are you sure they weren't using the The Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango?

You know... last time I saw, a fat cop from US had the recipe. May be Scotland Yard wanted it for their next field trip...

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mmmmmmmmm spicy

hello Thai Cottage i'm on my way..............................taxi !!!

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Not from "The Anarchist's Cookbook" then...

...but perhaps "The Buddhist's Cookbook"? Sorry.

Typical of Security Plod getting in a stew over nothing though. Very sorry.

/fetch: COAT(0)

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Anonymous Coward

God help us if surrey police are ever involved..

I dread to think what would happen in Surrey if anything like that happened as all we have are bunch of no hoper incompetents acting as officers.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

"By Law

On a serious note here though, if it was an actual attack and something blew up - the same people complaining about the police state or the state of our police..."

It wasn't an actual attack, though. And, since the police want powers that are dangerous when misused even by mistake, each MISTAKE they make shows they should NOT have those powers.

The police can either be infallible and given "extreme" powers to persecute because they are infallible, or be fallible and have little extra power than the fallible public.

Pick one.

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Re: mmmmm... chilli...

"Are you sure they weren't using the The Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango?"

Mmmm .... Guatemalan insanity peppers!

I wondered how long it would take for someone to include this particular reference[*]. The IT angle, should anyone care to want one, is that the referenced Simpsons episode also features Professor Frink's Virtual Chilli :-)

[*] - The Simpsons, of course. Episode 3F24, "El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" - one of the best Simpsons episodes there is, IMO. I'll get me coat, I've already booked the taxi ;-)

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three hours?

...it took them three hours to find a pot of burning chillies?

i suspect the lunch time queue was too long for 'em...

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Bronze badge

Reccy 1st

It is normal in military circles in a tactical situation when the enemy is suspected to be mounting some kind of threat, to make an initial reconnaissance in order to gauge the level of the threat and to have some idea of just what you are getting yourself into. Maybe the specially trained fuzz should undergo some BASIC training with the army before they are allowed to bugger about in a busy city like London. I wonder how much their knee jerk response cost the tax payers?

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Anonymous Coward

Nam Prik Pao

So called because of the effect ensuing from contact with the g/f's rusty sherriff's badge lol (and there's lots of it). Terrorists obviously intent on subverting public morals.

@ Simon Painter - "has Osama bin Laden also died unbeknownst to me?!" Yup, and gone to Paradise, having succeeded in subverting purblic morals.

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Anonymous Coward

I had that Hans Blix round for dinner the other day...

Well, no, I didn't, but he could have turned up, looking to inspect me. I cook a lot of thai curries. When you throw a big handful of chopped chillis into smouldering-hot oil in a wok, you do get a big cloud of what is effectively a chemical weapon. I often have to stagger outside coughing and gasping for air...

... tastes bloody great when it's done, though! :-)

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@Fluffykins

Oh mate, worth repeating.. .LMBO

I thought the police only went in for Casserole.........

......you know:

Irish Stew in the name of the Law.

Coat

Leaving

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Dangerous Substances

Chillis are bloody lethal! The chef should be locked up for flooding the neighbourhood with noxious chilli fumes.

In seriousness: Good on the cops for responding. Obviouly someone would have noted the acrid stence and phoned in the threat. Cops were duty bound to check it out in case it was a real threat. As has already been said: "Better safe than sorry."

I say this from the point of view of a man who has eaten his dinner while sitting on the footpath within twenty metres of his front gate because armed police closed off the street (in the short period between me arriving at the fish and chip shop and my order being ready) and would not let me and my flatmates back into the area until they were satisfied it was safe.

Seems some total wanker had been heard to shout at his wife "I'll fucking shoot you, you bitch". The neighbour phoned it in and the cops turned out and cordonned off the area. Turned out the wanker didn't even have a firearm and was just mouthing off.

For my part, I don't mind eating dinner al fresco in the interests of the safety of others. If the cops handn't turned out and the threat had been real, at least one life would have been lost.

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Dumb and dumber

Those Dumb and dumber Met cops who can't tell food smells from the real thing , perhaps some one should send them all including the dumb stupid idiot that cried wolf, an application form to sign up for remakes of the old Silent Max Sennett's Keystone Cops Comedy Capers one reelers!

What a bunch of thick empty headed planks they all are!

The whole thing sounds like a surreal scene from Mike Judge's movie "Idiocracy" , who would have thought that a comedy satire has now been translated back to real life !

As Nelson would say Ha ! Ha !

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone for some

Cops Luk Priks

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'Nam Prik Pao'

Sounds almost as naughty as 'creme of sum yung gi'

Sterling work by the anti terrorist squad!!

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Plod

Is this the first time this restaurant has cooked chillies? If the police had officers patrolling on foot and taking notice of what is happening in the local community - which is what they keep telling us they are doing - they would have known what this was without having to close streets, search for 3 hours and break doors down.

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Re: Re: mmmm... chilli

A reference to said episode was a must-do, given the nature of the article...

Talking about IT angle, don't forget that El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer is one of the very few Simpson episodes that features CGI

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