This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/752
Simultaneous attacks hit rush hour passengers - London transit shut down
July 7, 2005
Explosion: a wrecked bus after the blast
July 2005 Twelve killed in London blasts, scores wounded
LONDON (Reuters) - A series of blasts that rocked London on Thursday killed at least 12 people and wounded scores, police and hospital officials and witnesses said.
CNN television said at least 10 people were killed in an explosion at King's Cross station. It said one of its producers at the scene had been told of "double-digit fatalities".
Police said two people were killed in an explosion at the Aldgate East underground station. A doctor at the station said at least 90 people were wounded in the blast.
The Royal London Hospital in the east of the capital said 95 people were being treated, seven of them in a critical condition and 10 serious. It was not clear how many of them had been brought in from Aldgate.
St. Mary's Hospital in west London said 80 wounded had been brought in, four of them critical and nine serious. Officials said the casualties were believed to have come from a blast at Edgware Road underground station in East London.
Other hospitals said they had received wounded but declined to give numbers.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said there had been at least seven attacks.
|Explosions on double-decker bus and in London's subway system cause havoc
Thursday, July 07, 2005
LONDON (AP) - Half a dozen explosions rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, police said. The blasts killed at least two people and injured scores in what a shaken Prime Minister Tony Blair said was a series of "barbaric" terrorist attacks.
Blair said it's clear the attacks were designed to coincide with the opening of the G8 summit. The prime minister said he would leave the summit and travel to London.
The subway system was shut down and bus service was halted.
Police have found indications of explosives at the scene of one of the blasts and there are concerns that it was a co-ordinated attack, London's police chief said.
"We are concerned that this is a co-ordinated attack. We are aware that one of the sites does . . . contain indications of explosives," Sir Ian Blair said on Sky News.
Blair said there had been no warning.
"We have been at a very high state of alert. Of course if there had been any kind of specific warnings we would have dealt with it," he said.
"We are not aware of any warning at the moment."
The near simultaneous explosions in the subway system and on buses came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as the G8 summit was getting underway in Scotland. Initial reports blamed a power surge, but officials were not ruling out an intentional attack.
"There have been a number of dreadful incidents across London today," said Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Britain's top law enforcement officer. He said there were "terrible injuries."
There were reports of dozens injured.
One witness, Darren Hall, said some passengers emerging from an evacuated subway station had soot and blood on their faces. He told BBC TV that he was evacuated along with others near the major King's Cross station and only afterward heard a blast.
Sky News showed a picture of a mangled red bus; police said they suspected a bomb caused the explosion.
Police confirmed an explosion destroyed a double-decker bus at Russell Square in central London, and Dow Jones Newswires reported police reporting explosions on at least two others buses.
A witness at the Russell Square blast said the entire top deck of that bus was destroyed.
"I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double decker bus was in the air," Belinda Seabrook told Press Association, the British news agency.
She said the bus was packed with people.
"It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air," she said.
There was no immediate official comment from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was hosting the world's most powerful leaders at Gleneagles, Scotland. It was not clear if the G8 gathering focusing on climate change and aid for Africa - but from which Iraq has largely been left off the agenda - would have to be postponed.
Police said incidents were reported at the Aldgate station near the Liverpool Street railway terminal, Edgware Road and King's Cross in north London, Old Street in the financial district and Russell Square in central London, near the British Museum.
London Ambulance Service said several vehicles had been dispatched to the area near Liverpool Street station.
"We believe there was some sort of explosion. There are some walking wounded at Aldgate," said a spokesman for City of London police, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We are not sure of the scale of the incident. Reports are still coming in."
Bradley Anderson, a subway passenger, told Sky News that "there was some kind of explosion or something" as his train reached the Edgware Road station in northeast London.
"Everything went black and we collided into some kind of oncoming train," Anderson said.
Simon Corvett, 26, who was on an eastbound train from Edgware Road station, said: "All of sudden there was this massive huge bang."
"It was absolutely deafening and all the windows shattered," he said. "There were just loads of people screaming and the carriages filled with smoke.
"You could see the carriage opposite was completely gutted," he said. "There were some people in real trouble."
BLAIR: A BARBARIC ATTACK
SHOCKED Tony Blair today condemned the "particularly barbaric" terrorist bomb blasts that left many feared dead in London.
The Prime Minister, at the G8 summit at Gleneagles, said there were a number of casualties and fatalities and said it was "reasonably clear" that terrorists were behind the atrocity.
His voice trembling with emotion Mr Blair vowed the terrorists, with the attacks having all the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, would "never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country."
ANGER: PM Tony Blair called the attacks "particularly barbaric"
Mr Blair said he would leave the summit in Scotland to return to London to be briefed on events. The summit will continue as G8 leaders issued a statement of support to the country.
The Premier said: "It is particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa, the long-term problems of climate change and the environment."
He added that it was clear the attacks were "designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8".
Mr Blair told reporters: "It is reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London.
"There are obviously casualties, both people that have died and people seriously injured. And our thoughts and prayers of course are with the victims and their families.
"It is my intention to leave the G8 within the next couple of hours and go down to London and get a report face-to-face with the police and the emergency services and the ministers who have been dealing with this and then to return later this evening."
"It is the will of all the leaders of the G8 however that the meeting should continue in my absence, that we should continue to discuss the issues that we were going to discuss and reach the conclusions that we were going to reach."
Mr Blair went on: "Each of the countries around that table has some experience of the effects of terrorism, and all the leaders, as they will indicate a little bit later, share our complete resolution to defeat this terrorism."
"Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack or a series of terrorist attacks it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8.
"There will be time to talk later about this. It is important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world."
Mr Blair concluded: "Whatever they do it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world."
Before travelling back to London to chair a meeting of emergerncy committee COBRA Mr Blair read out a joint statement from the leaders of the G8 and other countries represented at Gleneagles.
With all 12 other leaders standing behind him Mr Blair said from a podium: "We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We send our profound condolences to the victims and their families. All of our countries have suffered from the impact of terrorism.
"Those responsible have no respect for human life. We are united in our resolve to confront and defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one nation but on all nations and on civilized people everywhere.
"We will not allow violence to change our societies or our values, nor will we allow it to stop the work of this summit. We will continue our deliberations in the interests of a better world. Here at this summit, the world's leaders are striving to combat world poverty and save and improve human life.
"The perpetrators of today's attacks are intent on destroying human life. The terrorists will not succeed.
"Today's bombings will not weaken in any way our resolve to uphold the most deeply held principles of our societies and to defeat those who would impose their fanaticism and extremism on all of us. We shall prevail and they shall not."
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0707/dailyUpdate2.htmlExplosions rock London underground and buses
An Islamist website posted an announcement, apparently coming from Al Qaeda, that took credit for the explosions. Sky News reports that a previously unknown group calling itself "Secret Organization: Al Qaeda in Europe" took credit for the blasts, saying they were in revenge for British "military massacres" in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group also warned Italy and Denmark to withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scotland Yard has also denied a report that it was warned of the attacks by Israel a few minutes before they happened. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been scheduled to give a speech to an Israeli corporate investment conference in London, but Ha'aretz reports that he has been told to stay in his hotel by the Israeli government.
The Guardian is running a minute-by-minute blog about the explosions and their aftermath. Also a Wikipedia entry about the incident has been started.
Mr. Blair said he was flying back from the G-8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, to talk "face-to-face" with the police and members of his cabinet who are coordinating the response to the attacks. Blair said the terrorists behind the attack had to realize that they would not succeed in undermining British values.
'It is important that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world,' he said.
'Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world.'
The Guardian reports that one of Britain's leading terrorism experts says that the explosions look like "an attempt to recreate the Madrid bombings and would have been planned for months ..."
Michael Clarke, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London, said six bombs would mean at least 24 people involved in planting them in a targeted operation. The fact that London had been hit when the resources of the security forces were focused on the G8 summit at Gleneagles indicated some clever thinking by terrorists.
'It will have been quite a big plot and months in the planning,' said Prof Clarke, who declined to speculate who was behind the attacks at this stage.
Clark also said that the possibility of further explosions today cannot be ruled out, and that the attacks point out the problems that the British police will have in providing security for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, which Britain won the right to host on Wednesday.
MSNBC reports that White House spokesman Scott McClelland said President George Bush had been briefed on the incident. A secret service agent said that Bush's presence in Scotland meant that US officials were monitoring the situation, but that the investigation was being completely handled by British authorities.
Meanwhile, BBC Monitoring reports that Col. Leszek Drewniak told the Polish news agency PAP that the attacks might be connected to Britain's presence in Iraq, and for that reason, Poland also had to be vigilant.
'That is why there is a real threat to other participants in the mission, including Poland," Drewniak told PAP on Thursday.
"This is a propaganda success for terrorists. And it is not victims that matter but the fact that they managed to conduct this attack in such a well-protected country," he said.
The Economist points out, however, despite "strong anti-terror powers and ... among the world's best contingency plans for coping with such serious incidents," that in a city the size of London, it's almost impossible to "prevent determined bombers bringing explosive devices on to trains and buses, and no amount of planning or security measures will eliminate such a risk entirely."
'Revenge for Afghanistan and Iraq' - Al-Qa'ida
Jul 7 2005
By David Stringer
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
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.
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.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/752