Investigation of London Bombings Heats Up | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 12.07.2005
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Investigation of London Bombings Heats Up

British police declared their first arrest Tuesday in connection with the London bombings and said at least one bomber is confirmed to have been killed as the pieces began to fall together in a fast-moving probe.


Police stand guard over a cordon in Beeston, near Leeds

British police said Tuesday they believed they had identified four suspects over the bombings and that it was "very likely" one of the men who carried out the attacks last Thursday was among the dead.

Nach dem Terroranschlag von London - das Wrack der U-Bahn

The London Underground train which was bombed at Aldgate tube station on Thursday

London's Metropolitan Police held back from saying that the blasts -- which killed at least 52 people and injured around 700 on three Underground subway trains and a double-decker bus -- were the work of suicide bombers.

But it emerged that the operation was highly coordinated, with four prime suspects -- as yet unnamed -- having travelled together to the unsuspecting British capital on the morning of the rush-hour blasts.

"The investigation quite early led us to have concerns about the movement and activities of four men, three of whom came from the West Yorkshire area," said the head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad, Peter Clarke. "We are trying to establish their movements in the run-up to last week's attack and specifically to establish whether they all
died in the explosions," Clarke told reporters.

He added that it was "very likely" that one of the suspects was among those who died in one of the bombed underground trains, near Aldgate station in east London.

Polizei umstellt Haus in Leeds

Police stand guard over a cordon in Beeston, near Leeds

Clarke said the "complex and intensive" investigation was
"moving at great speed", following raids on six premises in the industrial city of Leeds, in the north of England, home to a large Muslim population of south Asian origin. He said a man -- identity and age not revealed -- was arrested in West Yorkshire, the county in northern England that he was being transferred to London for questioning.

Closer to the capital Tuesday, police sealed off a train station and parking lot in Luton, a city north of London, and carried out a controlled explosion on a car with suspected links to the attacks.

"Another attack likely"

Prime Minister Tony Blair has stated that Islamic extremists -- possibly with links to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network -- are believed to have carried out the bombings.

mig london_2 12.07.2005

London swings back to normal

With daily life in London virtually back to normal Tuesday,
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair warned in a BBC interview against complacency, saying: "Another attack is likely. There's no doubt about that."

Meanwhile, Britain launched a two-pronged political offensive on terrorism on Tuesday, urging the European Union to pass new security laws and pushing member states to crack down on terror funding.

Taking advantage of momentum from the international solidarity shown in the wake of last week's London bombings, Britain's foreign and finance ministers united in saying it was urgent to move now before other attacks occur.

In remarks to a European foreign affairs committee, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called for "a re-balancing of (where) the line between the rights of individuals and the rights of societies should lie."

He urged the EU to rapidly implement its counter-terrorism action plan, ensure more effective police cooperation between member states and accelerate moves to give the authorities access to telephone and Internet data.

"I believe that, provided there are proper safeguards, no one's civil liberties are threatened by retention and access to data, but the protection of everybody is more greatly enhanced," he said.

Terroranschlag in London Polizei Fernsehen

Metropolitan police officers from London

Meanwhile, hundreds of police are currently involved in searching for the perpetrators of Thursday's blasts. They need to scrutinize tapes from 2,500 security cameras and wade through tips called in by some 2,000 informants.

Coming soon: photos

According to the Financial Times newspaper, investigators are getting closer to identifying those responsible for the blast that ripped through a double decker bus.

"I believe we will be able to publish photos of one or more of the suspects within days," the paper cited European security officials as saying.

Forensic experts were especially interested in identifying two of the people who died on the bus. They are suspected of having brought the bomb aboard, since they appeared to have been carrying or sitting on top of the explosives, The Times wrote.

Terroranschlag in London Opfer BdT

Walking wounded being treated at the London Hilton Metropole after the explosion at Edgware Road tube station

Experts are hoping to reach conclusions about the types of bombs that were used based on evidence found at the sites. They hope this will lead them to the suspects. They have said the attacks may have been carried out using military type explosives.

The death count from the Thursday explosions now stands at 52 with some 700 injured, but the numbers are expected to rise. In London, stringent security measures are in place, even if they made it hard for people to return to business as usual.

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