View Full Version : Report: London Bus Bomber ID'd; Homes Raided

07-12-2005, 11:23 AM
Report: London Bus Bomber ID'd; Homes Raided

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


LEEDS, England Authorities detonated explosives while raiding one of several residences in northern England Tuesday as sources said police in London identified the body of the bomber of a bus destroyed in multiple blasts last week.

Sky News also said a number of arrests had been made in Yorkshire.

Neighbors of one of the five houses being searched near Leeds told Sky News (http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13385127,00.html) that a 22-year-old man who lived there with his family went missing last week.

Also Tuesday, FOX was told that a parking lot at a train station in Luton (search (javascript:siteSearch('Luton');)), 30 miles north of London, was cordoned off and a car was being investigated in connection with last week's bombings.

Officials said the car would be taken to a secure location after a search.

Further raids were also expected later Tuesday in London, according to police sources who spoke to FOX and Sky News on condition of anonymity.

Sky News said the Leeds raids began after police identified the bomber of the No. 30 bus, which exploded at Tavistock Square last Thursday.

Streets were cordoned off and about 500 people were evacuated from the rundown site of modest row houses in Leeds, 185 miles north of London, police said. Hours earlier, police searched five residences elsewhere in the city as part of the investigation of Thursday's subway and bus bombings that killed at least 52 people.

There was no immediate word of any arrests.

The military carried out a controlled explosion at 11:30 a.m. so detectives could enter a home in the Burley neighborhood, police said. Ministry of Defense spokesman Charles Morton said an army bomb squad had participated.

No one was inside the house at the time, said police Inspector Miles Himsworth. Detectives were scouring it for explosives and other items, possibly including computers, he said.

"It's a very, very complicated investigation," he said. "It will be a very slow and very meticulous search in order that any evidence that is there can be gathered carefully."

Cordons kept bystanders about 100 yards away from the site and police helped make arrangements for prayers scheduled at a nearby mosque to be moved to other mosques nearby, Himsworth said.

Just a few miles away, police had earlier raided five homes. Britain's Press Association news agency reported another house was being searched in the town of Dewsbury, just south of Leeds, but police refused to comment on whether that was linked to the bombing investigation.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair declined to give details about the raids, which began about 6:30 a.m.

"There have been a series of searches carried out in Yorkshire. Those searches are still going on. There's very little else I can say at the moment, but this activity is directly connected to the outrages on Thursday," he told BBC radio.

Metropolitan Police described the raids as part of an "intelligence-led operation."

Prime Minister Tony Blair (search (javascript:siteSearch('Tony Blair');)) promised authorities would hunt relentlessly for the bombers. Police said their painstaking investigation was moving ahead, and warned that the death toll, which went from 49 to 52 on Monday, would rise. Some 700 were injured in the attacks; 56 of those remained hospitalized.

Blair went to City Hall on Tuesday and signed a book of condolence for the victims, his office said.

"With deep condolences for all those who lost their lives and for their families who mourn and with heartfelt admiration for London, the greatest capital city in the world," Blair wrote.

The families of those missing since the bombings endured an agonizing wait for word of the fate of their loved ones.

"I need to know, I want to protect him," said Marie Fatayi-Williams, who arrived from Nigeria to find out what happened to her immigrant son, Anthony, 26. "How many tears shall we cry? How many mothers' hearts must be maimed? My heart is maimed at this moment."

The family of Michael Matsu****a, a New Yorker who moved abroad in the spring of 2001, said it was likely he was dead. The 37-year-old left home Thursday to go to work and never returned.

"At this time, we've been told that there is virtually no possibility that he is alive," said David Golovner, a family spokesman. "We realize the police wouldn't have told us that unless they were certain. We have given up, basically, any sort of extravagant theories about how he might still be alive."

The names of two more victims were released Tuesday. The families of 30-year-old financial adviser Jamie Gordon and Philip Stuart Russell whose 29th birthday would have been Monday said the two men were on the No. 30 bus that exploded near Tavistock Square (search (javascript:siteSearch('Tavistock Square');)).

So far, the names of four of the dead have been released.

Forensics experts have said it could take days or weeks to identify the bodies, many of which were blown apart and would have to be identified through dental records or DNA analysis.

Ian Blair said forensic experts were scouring the tunnel where a bomb exploded aboard a Piccadilly line train, the deadliest of the four blasts. Police said they are also scrutinizing 2,500 closed-circuit TV video taken from cameras around the blast sites.

Authorities were analyzing 2,000 phone calls to a hot line and 115,000 calls to police.

"This is the biggest crime scene in England's history," Ian Blair said. "They still have to get underneath the carriages, and it is possible they will find more" bodies.

Help came from abroad, too, as intelligence officials and detectives from some two dozen countries including Spanish investigators who worked on the Madrid bombings met over the weekend to discuss leads.

Public transit officials said the number of passengers using London's vast bus and subway network, which handles 3 million people on a typical day, was back to normal Monday.

Sales of bicycles have climbed since the bombings as workers look for alternatives to public transport, the capital's biggest cycle retailer said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force lifted an order barring its personnel from visiting London because of safety fears following the bombings, a directive that had caused some indignation in the city after it was reported by a newspaper.

The order had applied to Navy personnel as well as the 10,000 Air Force personnel at two major bases in eastern England; the Navy rescinded the order earlier, David Johnson, the embassy's charge d'affaires, told BBC radio.

In contrast, British officials urged Londoners to get on with their lives and not let themselves be overcome by fear.

The Daily Mail newspaper said in an editorial: "We trust the 4 million Americans who come to London each year are made of sterner stuff than the U.S. Air Force." (ouch, that one hurt me. Below the belt)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

07-12-2005, 11:46 AM
They're now saying that all 4 bombers died in the blasts.

07-12-2005, 12:29 PM
Sounds like they now have closed-circuit footage of the group just prior to the attacks. Get ready for CNN to start airing a continuous loop now that Hurricane Dennis has weakened....

London Probes Whether Attackers Died
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer
1 minute ago

Police said Tuesday they were investigating whether four attackers died in last week's London subway and bus bombings and have arrested one person after a series of raids in this northern city with a strong Muslim community.

At least three of the suspected bombers came from the West Yorkshire region, which includes Leeds, said Peter Clark, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch.

Closed-circuit TV video showed that all four had arrived at King's Cross station by 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, about 20 minutes before the blasts began, Clark said.

07-12-2005, 12:54 PM
I wonder if there will be tighter security at UK mosques now? I'm sure they will be watched.

07-12-2005, 01:02 PM
Get ready for CNN to start airing a continuous loop now that Hurricane Dennis has weakened....

Why just CNN?

07-12-2005, 01:02 PM
I wonder if there will be tighter security at UK mosques now? I'm sure they will be watched.

They are being watched, but maybe not for the reasons you are thinking of.


July 12, 2005
Revenge Attacks and Vandalism Unnerve Muslims in Britain
BIRKENHEAD, England, July 11 - Muslims all over Britain, in small towns and big cities, are beginning to feel the repercussions of Thursday's terrorist attack on London, confirming widespread concerns that resentment over the bombings would spill over into harassment and violence.

In the span of a few days, at least four mosques across England, including one here, have been either partially set on fire or firebombed, according to police, and others have had their windows smashed and their doors vandalized.

Still others have had racist graffiti scrawled on their walls. In one case, a mosque was hit by bloody pig parts, a particular offense to a religion that eschews eating pork, said Azad Ali, the chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, which serves as an advisory group for the police and has been tracking incidents from police reports and community groups.

The good news, the police say, is that there has been no major damage nor any serious injuries. But across the country, there have been reports of vandalism of businesses, homes and cars, police say.

Sitting on a downtrodden block of boarded-up shops, the Shahjalal Mosque is no more than a small room off the street, with an apartment above; it is as unassuming as it is popular among Muslims in Wirral, an area just across the Mersey River from Liverpool.

But early Saturday morning, long after the assistant imam upstairs had gone to bed, someone tried to set it afire. The attempt did not succeed, mostly because the fire department responded quickly. But the fire still scorched the front door, smoked out the inside and drove out the imam, who was rescued by firefighters.

Now a police officer patrols outside the tiny mosque, just to be safe. "We are facing two fronts," said a Bengali worshiper at the mosque, who like the other men who came to pray, said he was too fearful to provide his name. "We are facing the terrorists and also the backlash. We were surprised by this. This is a nice community, a small community."

Many mosques now have police officers posted outside, particularly during prayer hours. Others have rejected the offer, fearful of appearing more conspicuous.

People, too, have been attacked and harassed. A Muslim man in London was beaten by two passers-by, according to Mr. Ali. A young boy in Barking, East London, was attacked by a gang. Some bus drivers say they have been spat upon. In a few cases, women say they have been ridiculed and had their hijabs - the head scarves worn by many Muslim women - pulled from their heads.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, the first Muslim to join the House of Lords, said that his title gives him no immunity from the bigotry. Just after stepping outside on Friday with his 85-year-old grandmother and 3-year-old granddaughter, a carload of men slowed down, shouted obscenities at them and made an obscene gesture.

"I did not respond," he said in an interview. "We must have patience. We must report it to the police. But we must not fight back. Under any other circumstances, we would fight back. But not now. We must try to understand the hurt and the pain and not give the opportunity to those thugs."

Racist e-mail messages have poured into the Web site of the Muslim Council of Britain, one of Britain's largest Muslim groups, shutting its system down for a time. One warned, "It's time for war on Muslims throughout Britain."

While acknowledging that many incidents go unreported, most that the police know about have been sporadic, isolated and appear not to be getting worse as days pass, reported the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. "We are encouraged by the overall calm community response, locally and nationally, to these terrible events," said Chris Fox, president of the association. "I am cautiously optimistic that common sense and the best instincts of everyone are prevailing."

The response to the terrorist attacks in London last Thursday has been swift and forceful. Muslim groups and imams have denounced the attacks. On Saturday, 500 imams are expected to issue a fatwa, or religious decree, condemning the bombings, a ruling that will outlaw the bombers whoever they may be by stating that the attacks violated Islamic law, Mr. Ahmed said.

The Muslim Council of Britain has also urged the Muslim community to help the authorities in any way they can. In a letter to the country's imams on Monday, Iqbal Sacranie, the secretary general of the group, said, "It is the duty of all of us to help bring the perpetrators of this tragedy to justice speedily."

Political leaders of all faiths have taken pains to warn Britons not to single out Muslims in their anger, stressing that the overwhelming majority of Britain's Muslims had nothing to do with the bombings and are peaceful, productive citizens.

But in neighborhoods where Muslims have often lived for generations among Christians and Jews, the anxiety, if not downright fear, was obvious. The day of the attack, the Islamic Human Rights Commission took the extraordinary step of advising people to stay indoors.

Since then, Muslims say they have tried to go about their business, but always with a sharp eye. Even in Liverpool and Birkenhead, places where Muslims say they have always felt at home, the mood is vigilant. "We are worried about revenge," said Musa Farah, a Somali worshiper at a mosque in Liverpool. "We are very worried about this mosque."

A few blocks away, Mariam Gulaid, a Somali who has lived in Liverpool for 26 years and wears a hijab, said she is angry about the bombings. But she is also bitter about the jitters she now feels when she walks around with her head covered, or even when she comes home to her house, a stone's throw from a mosque. "It is not just English people who died in the bomb," she said. "They were white, black and Muslim. Everyone suffered."

What looks like a low-level incident on a police report often cuts much deeper in person. In the Yorkshire city of Rotherham, Malik Naeem, a 41-year-old Pakistani man, said he was startled by three loud kicks at his front door on Thursday evening. When Mr. Naeem opened the door, a neighbor, a young man he has known for years, shouted, "You people are killing our innocent people, and I am going to kill you."

Five minutes later he heard a crashing boom. "He threw a full-size brick through my main window," Mr. Naeem said. The police took the man away, but Mr. Naeem said he cannot sleep with worry about the safety of his four children.

"I am at the moment very scared," said Mr. Naeem, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years. "One thing happened and now I am afraid something will happen again. From my insides, I know it."

07-12-2005, 01:07 PM
Why just CNN?Nice try, but I didn't say "Just CNN". I was referring to their network's miraculous transformation into The Weather Channel that occurred over the prior weekend. Either it was a slow news weekend, or everybody else is far more interested than I in viewing Anderson Cooper being pelted by debris from his balcony...

Reds Fanatic
07-12-2005, 01:08 PM
Now they say one bomber very likely died in the explosions. They are not sure about the others.


07-12-2005, 06:15 PM
At least three of the suspects are believed to be British men of Pakistani origin who lived in West Yorkshire.


07-12-2005, 06:21 PM
Pakistan? Our allies in our war against Terror and helping track down Bin Laden. That Pakistan?

07-12-2005, 06:47 PM
Pakistan? Our allies in our war against Terror and helping track down Bin Laden. That Pakistan? Yes...That Pakistan. I dont see how these men dictate the policies of Pakistan as a whole... care to elaborate or would rather not expound on your generalizations?

07-12-2005, 07:07 PM
I don't see why anyone would be surprised that the bombers are pakastani. The US isn't exactly popular over there, despite our tenuous "relationship" with their military dictatorship.

07-13-2005, 01:26 PM
Pakistan? Our allies in our war against Terror and helping track down Bin Laden. That Pakistan?

The men were British citizens. They were born and raised in the U.K. Making a link between Pakistan and their actions is tenuous at best. People aren't programmed to act or think a certain way according to their ancestry. I was born in this country, but my ancestry is German and Japanese. I have no proclivity towards befriending an Italian and declaring war on the rest of the world.

07-13-2005, 01:29 PM
I wonder if there will be tighter security at UK mosques now? I'm sure they will be watched.

I would hope so. There have been many incidents of attacks againsts Muslims, and a mosque has already been burned down.

Chip R
07-13-2005, 01:32 PM
The men were British citizens. They were born and raised in the U.K. Making a link between Pakistan and their actions is tenuous at best. People aren't programmed to act or think a certain way according to their ancestry. I was born in this country, but my ancestry is German and Japanese. I have no proclivity towards befriending an Italian and declaring war on the rest of the world.We're watching you now. ;)