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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > The boy killers next door :Suicide bombers were UK born Muslims who "targetted their countrymen"

The boy killers next door :Suicide bombers were UK born Muslims who "targetted their countrymen"

July 12, 2005

MIM: Now the British worst fears our confirmed they were targetted by their own countrymen. British born Muslims who went to the same schools they did, and one who played cricket a week before the attacks.


They were suicide bombers . . . and they were British
By John Steele, Paul Stokes and Ben Fenton
(Filed: 13/07/2005)

Four suicide bombers, at least three of them British, were responsible for the explosions that killed more than 50 people in London, senior security sources said last night.

The three were all thought to be of Pakistani ethnic origin and said by neighbours to have lived modest suburban lives in West Yorkshire.

Police in Leeds
Police stand guard over a house in Colwyn Road, Beeston, as a forensic officer removes evidence

One has yet to be identified, while the others were not known to police or the intelligence services as terrorist suspects.

One was the son of a fish and chip shop owner. Another was only 18 years old and was reported missing by his worried parents at 10pm on the day of the bombings.

Police said the bombers made a rendezvous somewhere outside London last Thursday morning, travelled together to King's Cross Thameslink station wearing large military-style rucksacks containing 10lb high-explosive bombs and split up to attack their assigned targets.

Three of the attackers were said to be from the Leeds area and were identified locally as British-born men.

The revelations realised the worst fears of police and the Muslim community. It confirmed the men as western Europe's first suicide bombers and the first Britons to attack their own countrymen with explosives since the ceasefire in Northern Ireland.

London bombings

Early yesterday, police raided six addresses in West Yorkshire, discovered what is thought to be a bomb factory and arrested a man.

Three raids were on the homes of three of the four men police believe were responsible for the bombs in Tube trains near Liverpool Street, Edgware Road and King's Cross Underground stations at 8.50am last Thursday and on a bus in Tavistock Square almost an hour later.

Neighbours identified the bomber reported missing by his family as Hasib Hussain, of Holbeck, Leeds. Police say he died on the bus.

Detectives were examining the possibility that he either panicked or changed his mind over the suicide mission and carried his bomb on to the bus. It might have gone off accidentally or he could have set it off, perhaps after being challenged by passengers.

The Liverpool Street bomber is believed to have been Shehzad Tanweer, 22, the son of Mohammed Mumtaz Tanweer, a fish and chip shop owner in Beeston, Leeds.

Friends said Shehzad Tanweer was a keen cricketer and "a good Muslim" and expressed disbelief that he could have been involved in England's worst terrorist attack.

The disclosure that the bombs were the work of domestic rather than foreign extremists came from Peter Clarke, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner.

He said: "We have identified CCTV footage showing the four men at King's Cross shortly before 8.30am.

"One, who set out from West Yorkshire was reported missing by his family shortly after 10pm on Thursday. We have now established that he was joined on his journey to London by three other men.

"We have since found personal documents bearing the names of three of those four men close to the seats of three of the explosions.

"As regards the man who was reported missing, some of his property was found on the Route 30 bus in Tavistock Square."

Survivors of that blast said they saw a man with olive skin searching agitatedly through a rucksack moments before a bomb went off.

Mr Clarke said: "Property in the name of a second man was found at the scene of the Liverpool Street bomb. In relation to a third man, property in his name was found at the scene of both the Liverpool Street and the Edgware Road bombs. We also have very strong forensic and other evidence that it is very likely one of the men from West Yorkshire died in the explosion at Liverpool Street."

Sources said the police were almost certain that scientific evidence would confirm that all the men seen on CCTV at King's Cross died in the separate blasts.

The investigation is likely to raise tension in multiracial communities, especially in West Yorkshire. Calling for calm, Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, of Scotland Yard, said: "No one should be in any doubt the work last Thursday is that of extremists and criminals. So, no one should smear or stigmatise any community with these acts."

Sir Ian said yesterday's operation, involving armed police and Army bomb disposal specialists, was intelligence-based and "directly connected" to last week's blasts.

A controlled explosion was carried out near Leeds Grand Mosque, houses were searched in nearby Dewsbury, and police evacuated Luton railway station, carrying out explosions to recover two cars - one containing explosives - possibly linked to the attacks.

8 July 2005: Al-Qa'eda link hides multitude of suspects



Wed Jul 13, 2005

LEEDS (Reuters) - The country was aghast on Wednesday at the possibility four young friends from England, including a tearaway teen and a cricket-mad sports graduate, carried out last week's attacks in London.

"The Boy Bombers" wrote The Sun newspaper, "Suicide bombers from suburbia" wrote the Daily Mail, of the four men suspected of killing more than 50 people in what may have been western Europe's first suicide attack.

Media reports suggested the four, who are thought to have died in the blasts on London's transport network, were British born, and aged between 19 and 30. They were said to be of ethnic Pakistani origin and three of them came from West Yorkshire.

"They were four ordinary British lads from ordinary British homes who loved football and girls... So why did they become the suicide murderers?" The Daily Mirror wondered on its front page.

Neighbours in Leeds were shocked that their young might have been responsible for the blasts.

"He was a sweet guy who gets on with everyone," said Mohamed Ansaar Riaz, 19, in The Times newspaper, of one of the four suspects, a 22-year-old sports science graduate who was said to adore football and cricket.

"He had a fantastic sense of humour and could make you laugh... The idea of him going down to London to explode a bomb is unbelievable; it is not in his nature to do something like that."

The suspect, who was said to help out in his father's fast food shop in Leeds, was described as "sound as a pound" by Azi Mohammed in The Guardian.

"I only played cricket in the park with him around 10 days ago. He is not interested in politics."

Another neighbour, who declined to be named, told ITN News that the "always smiling" sports graduate had spent two months in Afghanistan last year and four months in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Another suspect, a 19-year-old also from Leeds, was said to have turned to religion after being a "bit wild".

"He went off the rails and his parents were very worried. They wanted to instill some discipline in him; I don't know what happened but 18 months to two years ago (the suspect) suddenly changed and became devoutly religious," a cousin was quoted in The Times as saying.

A third suspect was said to be a 30-year old married father of one and according to an unnamed member of his wife's family they had originally disapproved of him because he was not as traditional a Muslim as they would have wished.

"He does not believe in having a beard or wearing a hat. But he has always seemed a really nice guy and has never been in any trouble that I know of. He has been to Pakistan a few times but not for long periods," the in-law was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying.

Police were alerted to the existence of one of the four when his distressed family called a casualty hotline on Thursday.

Their son had been travelling to London "with his mates" and had not returned, The Guardian reported.

Police said the four men travelled to London together and newspaper reports said they were carrying military-style rucksacks containing 10 lb high-explosive bombs.

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