Terror Attacks in London
June 7, 2005
London came under concerted terrorist attack this morning after what the mainstream media described as “al-Qaeda-style” series of bomb blasts swept the capitol.
The blasts ripped through rush-hour commuters in Tube trains and a double-decker bus.
150 people were reported seriously injured in the attacks with at least 33 now reported dead.
The London Times reports that a previously unknown al-Qaeda cell in Europe claimed responsibility for the attack over the internet.
Speaking from the G8 summit at Gleneagles, which began this morning, the Prime Minister described the attacks as "barbaric”. He later left the G8 summit for face-to-face meetings with police and ministers in London.
Whoever or whatever was behind the attacks they serve a number of purposes. First they distract attention from the G8 summit in Scotland. Secondly, they will bolster calls for more stringent and draconian anti-terror legislation. Thirdly, they distract attention from the deteriorating situation in Iraq and the looming possibility of an impending conflict with Iran.
The pain and grief caused by the attacks was highlighted all the more, coming the day after London was celebrating, having been named as the host city for the 2012 Olympics.
The important thing to watch for now, is who the authorities allege is behind these attack. Depending on where the guilt is placed, the attacks could be used to justify anything from martial law to an attack on Iran – just as the September 11 attacks were used to justify attacking Afghanistan and Iraq.
The ground for these attacks was already being prepared in March 2004, when London's Commissioner of Police, Sir John Stevens, described a terror attack on London as "inevitable".
Maybe he knew something we didn’t?
What is not so certain however, is who or what is behind these attacks and for what purpose they were carried out? Whatever the answer to that question, the terror attacks will strengthen calls for the introduction of I.D. cards in the UK, as a means to combat terror.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told reporters covering the G8 summit in Scotland that al Qaeda was a prime suspect behind the attacks.
"It has the hallmarks of an al Qaeda-related attack. The assessment is currently being made," Straw said in a round of television interviews, without offering anything further to substantiate the claim.
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Last updated 08/07/2005