ALEX Salmond’s initial response to the Glasgow airport terror attack was a “downright unhelpful” attempt to score a political point, Gordon Brown has claimed.

Writing in his memoirs, which are published today, Mr Brown said the former First Minister had been invited to join an emergency meeting in the aftermath of the 2007 ramming.

He wrote: “Two men crashed a burning jeep into the entrance hallway of Glasgow airport.

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Gordon Brown: Third ballot option would have spiked guns of Scottish independence

“It was the first time Scotland had suffered a terrorist incident since the Lockerbie bombing of 1988.

“We invited Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, to join the subsequent COBRA meeting on a video link but his initial statement was downright unhelpful – he wanted us to know that no Scot was involved in any terrorist attack.”

But Mr Salmond hit back, insisting police had been anxious to avoid reprisals by getting the message out that the attackers were not part of the Scottish Asian community.

He told The Herald: "What a silly remark from Gordon Brown who seems to have been badly out of touch with what was going on at ground level. Strathclyde police and Scotland's law officers were anxious about community relations in the aftermath of the attack.

"The police moved quickly with lightening speed and established that the perpetrators of the attack were not part of the Scottish Asian community. They wanted that message communicated as quickly as possible.That is what I was saying to Cobra.

Gordon Brown: Third ballot option would have spiked guns of Scottish independence

This I then did publicly at a press briefing at Glasgow airport on the Sunday morning, despite a clumsy attempt by the newly appointed Home Secretary, Jackie Smith, to stop me.

"The point of course was community relations. I then led a cross party and inter faith and police group to the Central Mosque in Glasgow to re-enforce the message.

"By this rapid action we largely prevented any inter community issues of any extent and greatly reassured the indigenous Muslim community against "reprisals".

"Even today I am often thanked by community leaders for these actions. In turn compliment the community police unit for recommending this vital action. It seems surprising that the then Prime Minister had no Idea what was going on on the ground in Scotland."

The Glasgow attack happened just three days after Mr Brown succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister on June 27.

Gordon Brown: Third ballot option would have spiked guns of Scottish independence

In his memoirs, Mr Brown continues: “Although no lives had been lost, we immediately moved Britain to the highest state of security alert, ‘critical’, meaning a terrorist attack was expected ‘imminently’.

“It took four days until we were able to reduce the threat level back to ‘severe’, meaning an attack is ‘likely’.”