Thursday, July 07, 2005

GLOBAL JIHAD: London terrorist attacks - Update

As situation becomes clearer following the dastardly attacks in London this morning the number of actual incidents, so far confirmed by the UK's Home Secretary is four Three in the London Underground and one on a double deck bus. The attrocity bears the hallmarks of Al-Qaida or an associated group - simultaneous attacks designed to cause significant distruption and casualties and gain maximum publicity. It is probably no coincidence that the attacks have taken place on the day the G-8 Summit is opening in Gleneagles, Scotland, whose participants have been swift to condemn the attacks. An al-Qaida website has claimed responsibility. Notwithstanding the 'hallmarks', it is often wise to treat such claims with caution, initially at least, until more facts become known. Four separate bombs on subways and bus (reduced from earlier reports) in London, multiple deaths and injuries (MSNBC & ABC News report at least 40 deaths according to U.S. State Department)- and Prime Minister Blair labels them "terrorist attacks" and "barbaric" - CNN has a good timeline of the attacks (thanks to Jeffrey Imm for sending this). CBS News reports that US officials lean towards an Al Qaeda attack - Group calling itself "The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe" (thanks Michael McCaw), but no means at this time of verifying who carried out bombings. NBC News reports that US officials do not see intel pointing to follow-on US attacks - US cities now tightening transit security, especially on Washington Metrorail- and Israeli Foreign Minister specifically denies earlier report that British police warned the Israeli Embassy in London of possible terror attacks minutes before the first explosion. Victor Comras notes that the trial of Abu Mazra al-Masri, Britain's best-known Islamic radical, started in London two days ago on multiple charges of soliciting the murder of others. Walid Phares noted on NBC that several groups threatened attacks in Britain in recent months.