TONY BLAIR says in his new book that he was on the verge of giving the go-ahead for an RAF strike against an innocent passenger jet, suspected of being on a terrorist mission.
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The incident happened in the weeks following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
“A passenger jet had been out of contact for some time and was heading over London,” Blair recalls in A Journey.
“I had the senior RAF commander authorised to get my decision. The fighter jet was airborne.
“For several anxious minutes we talked, trying desperately to get an instinct as to whether this was threat or mishap. The deadline came. I decided we should hold back. Moments later the plane regained contact. It had been a technical error.”
The former Prime Minister is famous for his belief in the supernatural and, true to form, credits the almighty for the favourable outcome of his life-or-death decision.
“I needed to sit down and thank God for that one!” he says.
Blair also called on his maker to look out for his youngest child, Leo, when there was a terror alert on London Underground.
“Leo could have been on that Tube train, on that bus. Oh God, don’t let my children die before me,” he says in the memoirs, published this week.