Al Qaida terrorists today claimed responsibility for the London blasts on an Islamic website and said that "Britain is burning with fear".
The unverified claim, made on the Al-Qal'ah - Fortress - internet site, was posted by a group calling themselves the Secret Organisation Group of Al-Qa'ida of Jihad Organisation in Europe.
The message, posted this morning, said: "The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London.
"Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."
The claims, picked up by BBC Monitoring, claimed that the strikes were revenge for British military "massacres" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Terrorists appeared to warn Denmark and Italy that they will also suffer attacks if they do not withdraw troops from Iraq.
The message went on: "In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and the dauntless fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.
"O nation of Islam and nation of Arabism: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge from the British Zionist Crusader Government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror, and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."
The terrorists appeared to boast that they had spent some time planning the attack.
"We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahidin exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid," the website posting read.
"We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused."
The claims were made in Arabic on a website with the address www.qal3ah.net/vb.
A spokesman for the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, at the University of St Andrews, Scotland said the group has not been heard of before.
"The Secret Organisation Group of Al-Qa'ida of Jihad Organisation in Europe is not a group we have previously heard of," said the spokesman.
"What that tells us at this stage, I do not know."
'Al-Qaeda' group linked to London blastsBERLIN (AP) — A group calling itself "Secret Organization — al-Qaeda in Europe" has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London, a German magazine reported Thursday.
Der Spiegel magazine reported that the group posted its message on a Web site popular with Islamic militants, which it did not name. It said the group claimed the explosions were in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan," read the statement, a photograph of which was displayed on Der Spiegel's Web site.
"The heroic mujahedeen carried out a blessed attack in London, and now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west," it said.
The statement went on the warn the governments of Denmark and Italy that they would face "the same punishment" if they fail to withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Details of the London blasts
Thursday July 7, 2005
Four blasts tore through London's transport system during the morning rush hour in a choreographed series of terrorist attacks.
Police said at least 33 people were killed, 21 near King's Cross station, and the ambulance service said it had treated around 350 people, with more than 40 of those in a serious condition.
Three of the blasts were on tube trains and a fourth was on a bus. Explosives were said to have been found at two blast sites.
Below are reports from the main incident sites in order of occurrence:
8.56am - Between King's Cross and Russell Square stations
The attack with the highest confirmed death toll today was the one on a tube train travelling between King's Cross and Russell Square on the Piccadilly line, in which police said 21 people had died.
CNN quoted one emergency worker who said he had removed "several" bodies from the train and that "at least 13" remained there.
One survivor, Fiona Trueman, 26, was on the train a few minutes south of King's Cross when it exploded.
Speaking outside the Royal London hospital, Ms Trueman, who works in marketing for Sky News, said: "It was about three minutes after we left King's Cross, when there was a massive bang and there was smoke and glass everywhere. I was standing near a window, and I've still got some in my hair.
"The lights went out, and, with the smoke, we couldn't breathe, and we sort of cushioned each other during the impact because the compartment was so full.
"It felt like a dream, it was surreal.
"I was in the second carriage and I think the explosion was in the carriage in front of me, or maybe was even on the track, and the screaming from the front carriage was terrible.
"It was just horrendous; it was like a disaster movie. You can't imagine being somewhere like that - you just want to get out. I kept closing my eyes and thinking of outside. It was frightening because all the lights had gone out and we didn't hear anything from the driver, so we wondered how he was.
"Some people were very calm and were telling everybody not to panic, and after a few minutes we started to get messages that we would be unloaded from the back of the train and walked to safety. It took about 15 minutes to walk along the track to King's Cross."
Gary Lewis, 32, described the scene at King's Cross station where the injured were being treated by paramedics. He said: "People were covered in black soot and smoke. People were running everywhere and screaming. It was chaos."
9.17am - Edgware Road station
Police confirmed five people died after an explosion ripped through an underground train as it was around 100 metres from arriving at Edgware Road station.
The blast blew through a wall onto another train on an adjoining platform and in total three trains were affected.
One witness said the floor of the train he was standing on was "blown out" and other witnesses spoke of a huge hole being torn out of the floor.
The Press Association said one man was thought to have fallen through the gap and died. There were unconfirmed reports of another passenger being decapitated.
The train was heading towards Paddington when the explosion occurred. Survivors spoke of being deafened by the blast.
Another report suggested at least one passenger was blown out of the train by the force of the blast. One passenger said: "Most of us on my carriage were lucky, we just got cuts and bruises, but those next door were in real trouble."
Another survivor, Ben McCarthy, told the ITV News channel he was on the train but in a different carriage to the centre of the blast. He said: "There was a quite loud explosion a couple of carriages up from where I was. The carriages filled with smoke.
"At that stage, somebody, a man I think, was blown out of the door of the train. He was under the carriages. Everything was black, and filled with smoke for a while. We were on the train for 20 minutes to half an hour before people came down the track and gradually escorted us to Edgware Road.
"It was terrifying. People were incredibly calm but very, very shocked. The screams from the guy who was under the train obviously made the whole incident so much worse."
Tony Dodd, 39, who works for Metronet, was one of those who went to help. "It was pretty awful down there," he said. "There were bodies and people were very badly burned."
Later, speaking outside the station, Superintendent John Morgan confirmed there were "a number of fatalities" and said "things are still relatively confused".
At least 50 firefighters, 30 ambulance crews and just as many Underground first aid workers surrounded the scene. Sniffer dogs were brought in and taken below ground. The walking wounded had cuts and were suffering from smoke inhalation and covered in soot.
Inside the nearby Hilton Metropole, the entire reception and lounge bar was overrun with injured passengers. Shopping trolleys filled with medical supplies were parked near reception as a steady stream of people were treated. One man left the building with a bandage wrapped round his head and his shirt drenched in blood.
8.51am - Between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street stations
Police said seven people died in a blast on a tube train as it travelled between the Liverpool Street and Aldgate East stations, which are both in the capital's financial district.
One woman caught in the explosion said: "There were people there screaming out in agony. There were parts of the train all over the track."
Loyita Worley, 49, was on the train when the explosion went off in a nearby carriage and said the carriage that was hit was torn from "floor to ceiling".
She said she had seen some seriously injured people down in the tunnel and saw 20 to 30 "walking wounded".
This attack was the first to be reported, with police being alerted to an explosion at Liverpool Street at 8.49am. Initially it was thought that there had been separate incidents at the two stations as well as nearby Moorgate, before it became clear it happened in the tunnel between stations. The first reports said the explosion was caused by a power problem.
One of the dead and around 100 wounded people were taken to Royal London hospital in nearby Whitechapel, although it was not clear how many of these were from the Liverpool Street/Aldgate East blast and how many from other attacks. Ten people at the Royal London were described as being in a critical condition.
Hospital officials said three double-decker buses loaded with casualties were brought to the Royal London. Several other hospitals said they had received wounded people but declined to give numbers.
A man who survived the Aldgate East blast told of passengers' terror when their train ground to a halt. Arash Kazerouni, 22, said: "There was a loud bang and the train ground to a halt. People started panicking, screaming and crying as smoke came into the carriage. A man told everyone to be calm and we were led to safety along the track."
Mr Kazerouni, from Edmonton, north London, said: "Everyone was terrified when it happened. When they led us to safety, I went past the carriage where I think the explosion was. It was the second one from the front.
"The metal was all blown outwards and there were people inside being helped by paramedics. One guy was being tended outside on the track. His clothes were torn off and he seemed pretty badly burned."
9.47am - Tavistock Place, near Russell Square
A red double-decker bus exploded near Russell Square, leaving the whole of the vehicle's top floor a mangled mess, open to the sky.
Police could not give a toll of fatalities but said there were "many casualties" as a result of the explosion. Early unconfirmed reports said there were at least two dead. Reports said some of the injured had lost limbs.
The explosion went off as the bus was in Upper Woburn Square on the junction with Tavistock Place.
The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said a bomb had exploded on the back of the top deck. He would not comment on whether the blast was caused by a suicide bomber.
One witness told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There were at least one or two fatalities laid out on the pavement."
Bob Mills, a producer for Sky News, said: "I was one of those who had to be evacuated, walking towards Russell Square, when, suddenly, there was a huge explosion on the street up in front of me and all I could see was the top of a bus completely destroyed.
"We all heard an explosion and everything just disappeared in front of me, and I'm looking at people with blood injuries and walking away from the scene."
One woman witness said: "Some people were able to carry other people who were much more badly injured than them. There were a lot of people with terrible burns. People were starting to get very dehydrated and very unwell. When the emergency services got there they had to carry up people in blankets who had lost limbs."
Sandra Pollins, who was on the street near the bus, told the ITV News channel: "There was glass flying. Everybody ran for cover in a shop doorway. It was terrifying. It took a minute or two to compose ourselves, then we came out. I could not even recognise that it was a bus. The whole roof had been blown off. There were people just walking around with blood all over their faces.
"People lying on the ground. Absolutely terrifying. People were just staggering off that bus in a complete state. One woman I spoke to said she could not hear anything any more, her partner was still on the bus."
Debris littered the street and the facade of a nearby building was blackened and scarred by shrapnel.
Terrorism threat to UK
07.07.2005: Terror blasts rock London
07.07.2005: Hospitals treat hundreds of blast casualties
07.07.2005: Blair to return after terror attacks
07.07.2005: 'Half the bus was in the air'
07.07.2005: Transport at standstill after London blasts
07.07.2005: Advice for people in and around London
07.07.2005: London explosions 'mirror Madrid bombings'
07.07.2005: Markets plummet after London blasts
'Someone help me ... Please help me' (2min 30s)
Transport for London
Prime minister Tony Blair's statement (realtime)
Prime minister Tony Blair's statement (quicktime)
J' accuse !
MIM: In 2004 the chief of London Police Chief Stevens went to the Islamic Cultural Center which has documented ties to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers,. Instead of going there to shut them down he fasted for the holiday of Ramadan and asked them to help the UK fight terrorism. The Center's director Ahmed Al Dubayan was a former diplomat in Berlin who is directly linked to the 9/11 hijackers .
"The London complex (ICC) is run by Ahmad Al-Dubayan, Mr. Fakihi's predecessor as Saudi cultural attache in Berlin.
Mr. Dubayan said his operation provides guidance for Britain's Muslim community on issues such as marriage and divorce. The mosque, he said, is not a Saudi government institution. It has representatives from 23 countries serving on its supervisory board, he said. "I don't represent Saudi Arabia," Mr. Dubayan said. But the London mosque and Mr. Dubayan have close ties to Saudi-government-backed charities, such as the Muslim World League, according to the league's Web site.
Mr. Dubayan left the Saudi Embassy in Berlin three years ago. But a senior German intelligence official said he remained a Saudi diplomat until early this year. It was only then that Mr. Dubayan returned his diplomatic accreditation, the German official said.
According to a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Fakihi told his superiors in Saudi Arabia that his ultimate goal was to turn Berlin into an Islamic proselytizing center for Eastern Europe. And German officials said they believe he met earlier this year with a Tunisian man under investigation here for possessing bomb-making materials and a handbook for brewing poisons.
During Mr. Fakihi's more than two years in Berlin, Mr. Dubayan served as his mentor and met regularly with the younger man, according to a Saudi friend of Mr. Fakihi's familiar with the relationship. In fact, the expansion of the Al-Nur mosque was a project conceived by Mr. Dubayan, the friend said. Mr. Dubayan arranged for this friend to assist Mr. Fakihi in writing the Al-Nur proposal and other important letters.
He frequented a Berlin mosque favored by Islamic extremists and attended on occasion by members of the now-notorious Hamburg cell that helped mount the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, German investigators said. Mr. Fakihi, now 32 years old, channeled more than $1 million to the mosque, where Muslim clerics have preached intolerance of non-Muslims, the investigators said.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner speaks at ICC
Need for close ties between Police and UK Muslims, says Met chief
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir John Stevens visited the ICC Monday 25 October, and requested Mosques & Muslim Community to assist in stamping out terrorism in the UK, before broking his special Ramadhan fast at an ICC dinner.
The day opened with Quranic rectitation & translation by ICC Imam Sheikh Ashraf. An welcomming address emphasized the special relationship between the UK Muslim Community and the Metropolitan Police Force.
The Commissioner then took the stand, followed by along side ICC Director General, during which time homage was paid to the joint responsibilites to ensure the public safety for all communities in UK. Sir John advised on security matters pertaining to the muslim community, especially in the aftermath of the Sept 11 events, and encouraging collaboration in reducing the joint threat.
At the end of the lectures, the panel fielded questions from the audience. In a frank but cordial session, the matters raised included Muslims in the Police force, Yusuf Islam's treatment in the USA, Sir Johns perception of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi & his UK visit, the detention status of Muslim suspects in Belmarsh Prison, and more. The seminar was rounded off by ICC Director General Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan awarded a books gift to Commissioner John.
As Maghrib time arrived, Sir John broke his fast with his Muslim compatriots. They then proceeded to the Restaurant and where a special meal had been layed on in honour of Sir John.