Monday, July 11, 2005

Terrorism: The Continuing Story

The Times of London has a list of the dead and missing here

Apparently the bombs were so powerful that hardly any identifications have yet been made.
Officials said the bombs were so powerful that none of the 49 known dead had been identified over the weekend. They said the four bombs were detonated within 50 seconds.

British officials said authorities have determined that the four bombs that blew up in subways and a bus in London on July 7 were composed of less than 4.5 kilograms of explosives each. They said the bombs were small enough to fit in a knapsack and were detonated by timers rather than suicide attackers.
There is also speculation that these powerful explosives were the same kind as used by the British terrorists at Mike's Place in Tel Aviv last year.
TEL AVIV – The terror attack in London last week may be tied to a suicide bombing on Tel Aviv’s beachfront in April 2003, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Monday.

According to the paper, Mossad officials informed British security authorities that the explosive material used in the Tel Aviv attack on Mike’s Place pub was apparently also utilized to stage the series of bombings in London on Thursday.... 

After analyzing the explosive material used in the Mike’s Place attack, the Mossad concluded it was produced in China and later smuggled into Britain, the paper reports. The explosives were apparently stashed by terrorists connected to al-Qaeda who were able to evade raids by British security forces.

According to the newspaper, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan said the explosive in question is very powerful, and “much more lethal than plastic explosives and can be smuggled undetected due to its composition. 

The Mossad was also able to determine the substance was developed and produced at the Chinese ZDF arms factory, located about 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) from Beijing, the paper reports.

The Mike’s Place attack claimed the lives of three people, Yanai Weiss, 46, Ran Baron, 24, and Caroline Dominique Hess, 29. The bombing was carried out by two terrorists, Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, who were recruited by Hamas in Britain.

UPDATE: Now the Times of London is reporting that the explosives were of a high-grade military calibre.
Similar components from the explosive devices have been found at all four murder sites, leading detectives to believe that each of the 10lb rucksack bombs was the work of one man. They also believe that the materials used were not home made but sophisticated military explosives, possibly smuggled into Britain from the Balkans.

“The nature of the explosives appears to be military, which is very worrying,” said Superintendent Christophe Chaboud, the chief of the French anti-terrorist police, who was in London to help Scotland Yard.

News of the breakthrough comes as a Times poll conducted in the aftermath of the bombings indicates that an overwhelming majority of the British public favours a tough approach to terrorist suspects. Almost 90 per cent of people want the police to be given new powers to arrest people suspected of planning terrorist acts, tighter immigration controls and strict baggage inspections.

Londoners, who bore the brunt of last Thursday’s carnage, were not as supportive of draconian measures as people in the rest of the country.
Though that last statement could be for all sorts of reason. Not only do liberals tend to flocks to urban centers but, I take it that the demographic mix is different outside of London. It is pretty clear from various articles that not all of London's denizens experienced the bombing as a tragedy.
Hours after the bombings, Helbawi logged onto an Internet chat room run by British Muslim extremists. "They were all congratulating each other on the attacks," he said. "It was crazy. They were talking about how they had won a great victory over the infidels, as if they had just come back from a battle."

Although so far, there is no evidence that British Muslims were involved in the bombs, there is little doubt that many British Muslims feel that Britain "deserved" the attacks for supporting the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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