The Green, Green Grass of Home
British-born suicide bombers were responsible for the London Tube and bus attacks. That's the report from the Hindustan Times.
In a major breakthrough in the July 7 London serial blasts probe, police on Tuesday said all the four suspected bombers were reportedly British-born and died during the terror attacks. While three bombers died in separate Tube attacks, one was killed in the bus blast at Tavistock Place. Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Met Police Peter Clark said all the four men were from Leeds. Outlining the terror itinerary, he said one of them started from West Yorkshire and was joined by the three others en route. All of them took a train to King's Cross early July 7 morning.
The Washington Post has a somewhat similar report.
In a news briefing on the fast-moving investigation into the bombings, police said surveillance cameras showed the four suspected bombers -- all residents of the West Yorkshire area of northern England -- arriving at the King's Cross train station in London shortly before 8:30 a.m. on July 7. Three took the train from the city of Leeds, and the fourth apparently boarded at Luton about 30 miles north of the British capital. ...
The BBC later quoted police sources as saying that all four suspected bombers were British citizens of Pakistani origin. There was no immediate official confirmation from authorities, but police cautioned people against retaliating against any ethnic group.
It will be interesting to see if any of these Britons had been to Iraq. But if they had not, would it not be proof of how 'irrelevant' OIF has been to suppressing terrorism worldwide? Or then again, will this fact not be cited to show how the idea of OIF has inflamed Muslims the world over to go out and strap a bomb on their backs? But why stop there? Why should the inflammatory ideas be limited to to Iraq and not include the preaching of the Jihad?
About the only thing that Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom can accomplish directly is remove the state sponsors of terrorism; only reduce the number of places to which men with the inclinations of these men from Leeds can travel for terrorist training. It cannot reduce the hatred, fanaticism and irrationality that possessed them in the first place. They learned that at home under the heading of 'tolerance' and the cover of political correctness. No air fare necessary.
The Telegraph of India reports police raids in Leeds in the track of the London tube and bus bombers.
London, July 12: Anti-terrorist police looking for the London bombers today searched six homes in West Yorkshire, an area with a large Muslim population, and set off a controlled explosion outside one house to gain access. ... The head of Scotland Yard, Sir Ian Blair, said the raids were “directly connected” to Thursday’s London blasts. ... In the district of Burley near the Leeds Grand Mosque, army personnel were brought in to carry out a “controlled explosion”. About 100 yards away, armed officers earlier took up positions. ... He said police gained entry to the property following the explosion. “Here, we are searching the premises for explosives and bits and pieces,” he added.
Neighbours at one of the addresses raided said a 22-year-old man who lived there with his family had gone “missing”. Police in the area are trying to reassure the public, partly to ensure there is no backlash against the Muslim community. If the four men — suspected to be from the area — are involved, they may not have told their parents or other family members that they were on their way to mount possible suicide missions in London.
(Speculation alert). It's early days yet, but the account above -- if accurate -- suggests that the police think there are surviving members of the terrorist cell and were prepared to meet resistance. "About 100 yards away, armed officers earlier took up positions." They may have also been afraid that the Leeds safehouse, or whatever you want to call it, had been booby trapped or contained explosive in unstable condition. Hence the "controlled explosion" to gain entry. Although the public is being asked to oppose any "backlash against the Muslim community" one of the nagging questions will be how people in the 22-year old age range could have created a bomb factory and planned a suicide attack from this "run-down, mixed-race area dotted with red brick terraced houses" without anybody noticing, especially since the bomb factory may have been "near the Leeds Grand Mosque". As a rule, people don't go from being totally innocent and unmotivated persons to being committed suicide bombers armed with high explosives without passing through any intermediate stages.