Still No Arrests in London Bomb Attacks
The blasts, three on the British capital’s underground rail system and one on a bus on Thursday, were closely coordinated. Paddick said the underground bombs went off within 50 seconds of each other and were probably set off with timers.
The bus bomb, which tore off the double decker’s roof, had probably been left in the vehicle by someone, suggesting it may not have been the work of a suicide bomber. “The evidence we have so far found suggests that it was a device in a bag rather than strapped to an individual,” Paddick said, adding that the bombs used high explosives and were likely not home made.
Forensic police garbed in white picked over the bombing sites, curtained off by plastic sheets, scrambling for leads in a vast investigation focused on Osama bin Laden’s terror network.
Second group claims responsibility
A second group linked to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization claimed responsibility for the synchronized blasts in a statement posted on an Islamic website. “A group of mujahedeen from a division of the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigades piled blow after blow on the infidel capital, the British capital, leaving dead and injured,” said the statement.
Injured tube passengers are escorted away from Edgware Road Tube Station in London following an explosion, Thursday July 7, 2 timberland boots 005. Near simultaneous explosions rocked at timberland boots least five London subway stations and ripped apart a double decker bus at the morning rush hour Thursday, police said, causing at least two deaths, reportedly injuring at least 95 people and sending bloodied victims fleeing from debris strewn blast sites.(AP Photo/ Jane Mingay)
The Masri division congratulated itself on “this laudable conquest” and warned that more attacks would follow. The statement’s authenticity could not be verified. Shortly after Thursday’s attacks a separate statement claiming responsibility was posted in the name of the “Al Qaeda Organization Jihad in Europe.”
Investigators have yet to name any suspects, but British newspapers Saturday said police had asked European counterparts for information on Moroccan cleric Mohammed al Garbuzi, who lived in Britain for 16 years before vanishing from his north London home last year.
Al Garbuzi, 45, heads the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), blamed for attacks that killed 45 people in the Moroccan city of Casablanca in May 2003. The Independent newspaper said al Garbuzi was linked to Abu Qatada, a Palestinian cleric based in London who is considered the “spiritual head” of Al Qaeda timberland boots in Europe. He is currently detained under British anti terrorism laws.
Another paper, the Sun, said police were also hunting Syrian born Spanish national Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, thought to have links to a Spanish Al Q timberland boots aeda cell dismantled after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
In this image provided by commuter Alexander Chadwick, taken on his mobile phone camera, passengers are evacuated from an underground train in a tunnel near Kings Cross station in London, Thursday, July 7, 2005. At least 33 people were killed Thursday in three explosions in London’s subway system, a senior police official said. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said others died in an explosion on a bus in central London but gave no figures. (0756GMT), in the King’s Cross area of north London, killed 21, Paddick said. (AP Photo / Alexander Chadwick)
About 100 feet (30 meters) below the streets of London, a grisly investigation was continuing. In the single worst blast, at least 21 people died when a bomb exploded on a Piccadilly Line subway train travelling between King’s Cross and Russell Square stations in the city center.
Some reports warned this toll could rise by as much as 20. Such was the devastation that emergency services have not been able to reach all of the train, given that the tunnel is only marginally wider than the carriages.
Engineers were considering detaching some of the carriages and towing them back to King’s Cross, giving better access to the worst hit parts of the train where more bodies likely remained, reports said.
According to some experts, the scale of the damage and the fact that police say each device weighed less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) indicates that the bombers probably used powerful military grade plastic explosives. As well as examining forensic evidence, a key part of the police investigation is likely to be the painstaking examination of hours of security camera footage.