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July 07, 2005

Terrorists Attack London

attack.jpg Multiple explosions shook London on Thursday morning, as a series of seven or eight blasts were reported on the city's subways and buses.

At least two people were killed and nine injured in the nearly simultaneous blasts, and officials shut down the entire underground transport network. Media reports said the number of casualties was about 90 people.

Timeline of explosions from the London Times

Eyewitness reports from the BBC:

BELINDA SEABROOK, RUSSELL SQUARE I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double decker bus was in the air.

It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air, I think it was the number 205.

There must be a lot of people dead as all the buses were packed, they had been turning people away from the tube stops.

We were about 20 metres away, that was all.

ARASH KAZEROUNI There was a loud bang and the train ground to a halt. People started panicking, screaming and crying as smoke came into the carriage.

A man told everyone to be calm and we were led to safety along the track.

Everyone was terrified when it happened.

When they led us to safety, I went past the carriage where I think the explosion was. It was the second one from the front.

The metal was all blown outwards and there were people inside being helped by paramedics.

One guy was being tended outside on the track. His clothes were torn off and he seemed pretty badly burned.

BBC photos

Interesting: in contrast to what I'm hearing on American TV, British reporters show a considerably stiffer upper lip, describing a situation that is chaotic and horrible, but one in which both the Prime Minister and Britains are beginning to take control:

Guto Hari: BBC Television Centre: 1210 BST

Tony Blair has talked on many occasions about what keeps him awake at night. And it seems that his worst nightmare is now happening. In his statement he was very calm and determined, saying he was going to return to London. He wants to speak to the people who have suffered, and actually try and get to grips with the situation.

There are well established procedures in place. Which is why we're seeing all these emergency procedures being put in place, such as transport being shut down. They have been preparing for this.

Update: Terror expert says attack "mirrors Madrid bombings"

The explosions in London look like an attempt to recreate the Madrid bombings and would have been planned for months, a leading terrorism expert said today as the capital began to come to terms with an apparently coordinated attack.

Michael Clarke, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London, said six bombs would mean at least 24 people involved in planting them in a targeted operation. The fact that London had been hit when the resources of the security forces were focused on the G8 summit at Gleneagles indicated some clever thinking by terrorists.

"It will have been quite a big plot and months in the planning," said Prof Clarke, who declined to speculate who was behind the attacks at this stage.

The danger of further explosions during the day could not be ruled out, he added. "The way to really bring a city to a halt is to explode some more bombs when the rescue services are running around."

Update II:

1210 The BBC's Security Correspondent Frank Gardner says BBC monitoring services have located a website linked to al-Qaeda with a 200-word statement saying it carried out the bombings

From MSNBC:

A Web site posting said the blasts were the work of a group calling itself the "Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe."

No such group had previously been reported and the claim could not be verified. The claim did not appear on any of the Web sites normally used by al-Qaida.

Update III: Text of message claiming responsibility:

"Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan," said the statement, which was translated by The Associated Press in Cairo.

The authenticity of the message could not be immediately confirmed.

"The heroic mujahedeen carried out a blessed attack in London, and now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west," the statement said.

"We warned the British government repeated. We have carried out our promise and carried out a military attack in Britain after great efforts by the heroic mujahedeen over a long period to ensure its success."

"We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all crusader governments that they will receive the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan," the statement went on.

It was signed: "The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe."

Posted by Cassandra at July 7, 2005 07:10 AM

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I think I'll save my planned but-now-trivial post of the morning for later. Heh. We are all Brits now, eh? Even, perhaps, some of my Irish-descended colleagues. I'll be stopping by the PX this noon for a Union Jack to... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2005 11:57 AM

Comments

Damn it.

Posted by: Pile On at July 7, 2005 08:15 AM

I am just numb, Pile.

I went to bed early last night with a horrible headache and I wasn't much better when I got up this morning. And then this.

Those sons of bitches have another thing coming if they think this will make the UK back down. I think they just made a very, very bad mistake. The Brits may be cantankerous and contrary at times, but you won't find a tougher people on God's green earth.

I wouldn't want them for an enemy.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 7, 2005 08:30 AM

DAMN THEM ALL TO PERDITION!!! I like the Brits for more than just their stiff upper lip. They are a nation of some good people and heroes in the face of opposition.

An attack blessed by the devil with the plot hatched in hell.

I hope the track down the perps.

Posted by: Cricket at July 7, 2005 10:16 AM

As far as I'm concerned, this was an attack on the U.S. The Cheese stands with G.B.

Posted by: KJ at July 7, 2005 10:23 AM

Cass -

Your redesign to red, white and lavender and blue looks very nice with the Union Jack there on the right.

I remember before Margaret Thatcher was elected, when the labor unions were making a mess of England, London in particular. Mountains of rotting garbage grew on the sidewalks, 8-10 feet high. The Londoners simply walked around them, and acted as if they were not there. They did not budge under the stench of the garbage, because they had endured the Blitz.

The Islamist filth that thinks this sort of heinous act will break the will of the British has a rude surprise coming. I hope Blair opens a can of whupass on the militant Islamic population there, and doesn't send them to Gitmo where they will be coddled.

My 2 cents.

Posted by: MathMom at July 7, 2005 10:45 AM

Had a long discussion with Da Grunt on this early this a.m. He served with a detachment of Royal Marines the first go round. His take was simply, "The muj totally screwed the pooch this time! They have no idea who they just messed with!!". Watch and see what the response is.

Now let's see who the Brits blame for this attack. Bet you it won't be their government as is typical here in the States. But we'll have to see. The Brits don't have any surrender in their makeup as do our esteemed citizenry on the other side of the aisle.

God Bless the Brits and their Innocents.

Get Some!

Posted by: JarheadDad at July 7, 2005 10:54 AM

Does Sandhurst have a detainment center? Or do they have a Devil's Island? One can only hope.

Posted by: Cricket at July 7, 2005 11:11 AM

Cricket, I like the Brits enormously too. Always have.

And thanks MathMom. A little flag is kind of stupid, but right now I'm just sick about this.

I can't really put into words what I'm feeling. I'm just stunned. And so very, very angry.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 7, 2005 11:39 AM

When we were there, we traveled off the beaten path.
The few we met and talked with were the salt of the earth. I remember thinking if this was a cross section of Britain and what we were seeing was an indication of the type of people in the UK in general, they are were and will be some of the best people on the planet.

I am outraged that a bunch of ragtag sheetheads think they can influence others by fear and pain.
Freedom is the biggest threat to the Islamic fundamentalist. The greatest gift we have as a nation and as individuals is the power and RIGHT to choose.

For those who seek power, taking away agency to act on one's own behalf or controling one's actions is the first step, in my not so humble opinion on the road to being a dictator or one of the enslaved.

Isn't this what it is all about? Life liberty and the persuit of happiness?

This can lead into a rather intense discussion.
Sometimes I wish we had a scheduled chat for this, but I am content to post and run and if you all want to laugh at me, go ahead.

Posted by: Cricket at July 7, 2005 11:59 AM

No laughing Cricket. Just sadness mixed with anger.

Posted by: Masked MenaceĀ© at July 7, 2005 12:23 PM

I trust that when it comes to most Brits you all are correct. But make no mistake, there will be a sizable portion of people, many in Blairs own party that will blame the US and Blair for joining us in our WOT. Be ready for it, it will happen, if it hasn't already.

I trust Blair will provide the appropriate leadership.

Posted by: Pile On at July 7, 2005 02:18 PM

Cass -

The flag is not stupid.

Cricket -

I agree with you about the English. When we lived overseas we had the opportunity to know many as friends, and I taught piano to several English children. I was always humbled by how they could speak in complete sentences, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. And, like, they could, you know, make their, like, point or whatever, and you could, you know, know what they, like, meant and stuff, without them ever, um, talking like this?

Pond scum George Galloway has already found who is at fault, however. What an evil man.

Posted by: MathMom at July 7, 2005 02:26 PM

I agree with Mathmom. Remember what the Queen did?
She had her band play the "Star Spangled Banner."
The kids were watching and thought that was really a neat gesture.

Maybe you could put in "God Save the Queen?"
if someone clicks on the flag?

Or "Rule Britannia?"

I know what you mean about the excellent diction and communication. No Moon Unit Zappas there.

We loved that sceptered isle. Even the Londoners were great. One of them hollered at us: "'ey, mate! How did you get that car over 'ere?"
The Engineer didn't miss a beat: "We swam it."

He offered to buy us a round but traffic was moving and we had to drive off. What an intro to a legendary city!

Posted by: Cricket at July 7, 2005 03:08 PM

God Bless the Brits truly. America can ask for no better Allie. If only our other so called friends and Allies were as steadfast!

Posted by: Sandy at July 9, 2005 01:11 AM

M...a DR...ID...IMAN A ZARWARHEARWE"[ss]...
I could not belive what I heard on the tele yesterday from one of the adherents of mohamaddanism: If "they" just stop killing people
in kashmirek, Iraq, Afghanistan...and address the "issues that cause terrorism"...
What a bunch of melarky; what bunk are they teaching in that London MosQUE anyway? It is
not we who are killing people on purpose; the big mouthed MURDERING CRIMINAL terrorists PURPOSELY kill civilians and put civlians in harm's way. The truth is that these people are nothing but LOW LIFE MURDERING CRIMINALS THAT BELONG IN JAIL OR DEAD. This is NOT a "war against Islam however that madadatory "zakat...atakz" supports terrorism and that is a FACT. As long as the zakat is paid a portion goes toward suppressing the people of the Middle East. The smartest thing we ever did was to go to Iraq and we are NOT leaving until FREE Iraqi's can maintain their freedom.
I say we will live FREE or we will die while we are trying to find THE LIAR MURDERING CRIMINAL LOW LIFE TERRORISTS...
Militarily speaking, I think we need to be in the Middle East. As far as us going into their countries: let's see...uh...how many Moslems were sent into Europe and the U.S. and everywhere else? They want us to put our heads on the proverbial chopping block and say "Please do us in because we are the "peace makers" and do not want our granddaughters in burkas and getting their heads chopped off for human mistakes."
I say THEY CAME HERE AND ATTACKED US FIRST OVER AND OVER AND OVER and you can only kick a dog so much before he bites...
GO NAVY, GO MARINES, GO ARMY, GO AIR FORCE, GO COAST GUARD and all who protect his great free land called the UNITED States of America...REMEMBER YOU FOOLISH DEMOCRATS UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL!!!!

Posted by: Diana at July 9, 2005 10:24 AM

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