About 20,000 people were evacuated from pubs, restaurants and clubs in the city centre and a number of controlled explosions were carried out.As is the way of the world nowadays I first found out about the evacuation from an American website and then turned on Radio Five which was broadcasting from Birmingham. Shortly afterwards the BBC studio itself was evacuated. Some estimates were that as many as 30,000 had been moved out of the city centre.
We've been given this "explanation":
Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Paul Scott Lee, declined to describe the nature of Saturday's threat but said intelligence indicated it was genuine.The most up to date reporting on Saturday night was on the US site Free Republic who had a couple of correspondents in central Birmingham. When people began asking from which direction the wind was blowing and whether "men in white boiler suits" had been deployed on the streets, I knew exactly what they were concerned about. And then it was all over.
Move along folks, nothing to see here. I hope.