British 7/7 Bombing Report Ignores al-Qaeda
By ThreatsWatch | April 10, 2006
(Primary research by Dan Darling, Co-written by Steve Schippert)
A glimpse of the United Kingdom’s 'official' version of the 7/7 London bombings can be had if the leak to London’s The Observer can be deemed credible. On its face, it is a troubling view taken by a government responsible for the security of its citizens. Said the source, “The London attacks were a modest, simple affair by four seemingly normal men using the internet.”
His telling of the coming UK 7/7 report inspired the following depiction from The Observer:
Far from being the work of an international terror network, as originally suspected, the attack was carried out by four men who had scoured terror sites on the internet. Their knapsack bombs cost only a few hundred pounds, according to the first completed draft of the government's definitive report into the blasts.
But these four men did far more than ‘scour terror sites on the internet’, and for the UK government to conclude otherwise is mind-boggling. There are clear links to international terror abound. Yes, including al-Qaeda.
The ring-leader, Mohammad Siddique Khan, as well as Shehzad Tanweer, appeared in a video sent to al-Jazeera after the bombing that included Khan’s suicide message and direct praise for the attacks from bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri. If this video came to al-Jazeera from their usual al-Qaeda sources, how did al-Qaeda have Khan’s suicide video beforehand? Perhaps the video did not come directly from al-Qaeda sources and was a third-party montage, but consider the multitude of other factors that would, regardless, make this a mute point.
Khan has also been linked to the mastermind of the Bali bombings, Riduan Isamuddin, better known by his nom de guerre, Hambali. According to al-Qaeda analyst Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, Khan had ’met senior leaders of Jemaah Islamiah, including the suspected Bali bombings organiser Hambali.’
Then there’s Mohammed Junaid Babar, the Pakistani native in Queens, NY, who was arrested and admitted to helping set up an al-Qaeda training camp in South Waziristan, Pakistan, sending equipment and cash to an al-Qaeda leader there between the summer of 2003 and February 2004. Babar identified Khan from a photo, saying that he met him at an al-Qaeda terror training camp while he was there. Even more damning, Babar also admitted in 2004 to attempting to buy ammonium nitrate for al-Qaeda "with the knowledge that it was going to be used for a plot somewhere in the U.K."
Then there’s the Finsbury Park mosque connection, where all four 7/7 bombers eventually made their way, as well as all four of the failed 7/21 London bombers and such notables as Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui.
Have the British authorities completely dismissed Haroon Rashid Aswat's phone calls to the 7/7 bombers in the hours before their attacks? Prior, he had flown to London to choose the targets and organize the attacks. After the 7/7 London bombings, he was captured by Pakistani intelligence wearing a suicide belt and holding $30,000 in cash. Aswat was the al-Qaeda terrorist who began planning for setting up an al-Qaeda camp in Bly, Oregon while there in 1999.
A friend of Khan's, Omar Sharif, went from Britain to Tel Aviv where he plotted and participated in a bombing that killed five. Khan was in Tel Aviv weeks before the attack and it is believed he was there to run reconnaissance for the mission. An obviously devout Muslim terrorist travels to Tel Aviv, Israel. Why?
How did 22-year old Shehzad Tanweer, working at his father’s fish & chips stand, amass a net worth of $210,000? How did he know Australians who attended Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist training camps in Pakistan? Perhaps they went to 'school' together? Pakistan said USS Cole bombing suspects had confessed that bin Laden asked LeT to recruit volunteers "for suicide missions to be undertaken on behalf of al-Qaeda."
What’s more, Saudi Arabia warned MI6 of intelligence learned about tube attacks in December 2004, and said that a captured Saudi terrorist, having just returned from Iraq, said that he had been tasked with funding London transit attacks, planned to occur over the first six months of 2005. This is not to suggest that this intelligence - or other intelligence via Saudi Arabia - proves negligence on the part of British authorities for not preventing the attacks. It does, however, open up the possibility of yet another connection between ‘international terrorism’ and what Britain seems to consider ‘web-surfing bombers’ who appear perfectly normal. This link may have been solidified by intelligence gained in Iraq from the hard drive of a captured terrorist which “showed 'knowledge' of the [7/7] attacks”. While possible, considering the reaction of those immediately involved, it is unlikely that the nature of the ‘knowledge’ was simply a downloaded news clip.
The apparent forthcoming ‘official’ British version of the events leading up to the 7/7 attacks that saw 56 bodies ripped apart and lives stolen in London is clearly disturbing in light of evidence to the contrary of the ‘web-surfing freelance jihadis’ position. It appears yet another refusal by yet another Western power to acknowledge the nature of the international terrorism threat, even when confronted with the blood and shattered flesh of its own citizens.
One thing is for certain: This is clearly ‘international terrorism’. Their friends had traveled to Tel Aviv to blow up civilians in markets, and Khan himself possibly ran recon on the area during his own visit. Further, Khan had Haroon Aswat’s phone number, not his web page, and Khan & Tanweer were attending LeT terrorist training camps, not visiting www.LeT.com. Khan knew other al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists personally, including the Pakistani church bomber, among others.
Yet even still, there are those in Britain who will draw comfort from the angry web-browsing conclusion. Consider one British professor who insists that the deadly bombings were merely "a demonstration" and not terrorism. Professor Ron Greaves of the University of Chester insists, "Terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people." Lest we demonize those who murder 56 commuters for the sin of being British.
Thankfully, not all are drinking from the ‘official cup’. One quoted London official, Patrick Mercer, sees any such position taken by the report as merely a prelude to a showdown in Britain, saying, “A series of reports such as this narrative simply does not answer questions such as the reduced terror alert before the attack, the apparent involvement of al-Qaeda and links to earlier or later terrorist plots.”
Britain will need all of the Robert Mercers they can muster on the heels of the latest report that there are over 400 terror suspects on the loose in the UK, and over 600 “if all those thought to have returned from combat training in camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere are included.” Prudence would dictate.
One wonders if those returning from 'combat training' might be linked to international terrorism. Then again, perhaps they are also just 'seemingly normal men using the internet', like Khan and Tanweer.