Still No Arrests in London Bomb Attacks | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 09.07.2005
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Still No Arrests in London Bomb Attacks

There have been no arrests so far over the deadly London terrorist attacks, but British police said on Saturday that evidence suggested it was not the work of suicide bombers.


The bomb that destroyed this bus was likely left behind by someone

Speaking two days after the morning rush hour bombings on London's transport system which killed at least 50 people and injured around 700, Commander Brian Paddick of the London Metropolitan Police said that police were not focusing on any specific suspects.

"We have not arrested anyone in connection with the incident," Paddick told a news conference. "We have all our options open we are pursuing but we are not confirming that we are looking for any particular named individuals."

Nach Terroranschag in London U-Bahn

The blasts, three on the British capital's underground rail system and one on a bus on Thursday, were closely coordinated. Paddick said the underground bombs went off within 50 seconds of each other and were probably set off with timers.

The bus bomb, which tore off the double-decker's roof, had probably been left in the vehicle by someone, suggesting it may not have been the work of a suicide bomber. "The evidence we have so far found suggests that it was a device in a bag rather than strapped to an individual," Paddick said, adding that the bombs used high explosives and were likely not home made.

Forensic police garbed in white picked over the bombing sites, curtained off by plastic sheets, scrambling for leads in a vast investigation focused on Osama bin Laden's terror network.

Second group claims responsibility

A second group linked to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization claimed responsibility for the synchronized blasts in a statement posted on an Islamic website. "A group of mujahedeen from a division of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades piled blow after blow on the infidel capital, the British capital, leaving dead and injured," said the statement.

London Terroranschläge auf U-Bahn und Bussystem in London Verletzte Reisende

Injured tube passengers are escorted away from Edgware Road Tube Station in London following an explosion, Thursday July 7, 2005. Near simultaneous explosions rocked at least five London subway stations and ripped apart a double-decker bus at the morning rush hour Thursday, police said, causing at least two deaths, reportedly injuring at least 95 people and sending bloodied victims fleeing from debris-strewn blast sites.(AP Photo/ Jane Mingay)

The Masri division congratulated itself on "this laudable conquest" and warned that more attacks would follow. The statement's authenticity could not be verified. Shortly after Thursday's attacks a separate statement claiming responsibility was posted in the name of the "Al-Qaeda Organization - Jihad in Europe."

Investigators have yet to name any suspects, but British newspapers Saturday said police had asked European counterparts for information on Moroccan cleric Mohammed al Garbuzi, who lived in Britain for 16 years before vanishing from his north London home last year.

Al Garbuzi, 45, heads the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), blamed for attacks that killed 45 people in the Moroccan city of Casablanca in May 2003. The Independent newspaper said al Garbuzi was linked to Abu Qatada, a Palestinian cleric based in London who is considered the "spiritual head" of Al-Qaeda in Europe. He is currently detained under British anti-terrorism laws.

Another paper, the Sun, said police were also hunting Syrian-born Spanish national Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, thought to have links to a Spanish Al-Qaeda cell dismantled after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

Investigation continues

Terror in London

In this image provided by commuter Alexander Chadwick, taken on his mobile phone camera, passengers are evacuated from an underground train in a tunnel near Kings Cross station in London, Thursday, July 7, 2005. At least 33 people were killed Thursday in three explosions in London's subway system, a senior police official said. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said others died in an explosion on a bus in central London but gave no figures. The second blast, at 8:56 a.m. (0756GMT), in the King's Cross area of north London, killed 21, Paddick said. (AP Photo / Alexander Chadwick)

About 100 feet (30 meters) below the streets of London, a grisly investigation was continuing. In the single worst blast, at least 21 people died when a bomb exploded on a Piccadilly Line subway train travelling between King's Cross and Russell Square stations in the city center.

Some reports warned this toll could rise by as much as 20. Such was the devastation that emergency services have not been able to reach all of the train, given that the tunnel is only marginally wider than the carriages.

Engineers were considering detaching some of the carriages and towing them back to King's Cross, giving better access to the worst-hit parts of the train where more bodies likely remained, reports said.

According to some experts, the scale of the damage and the fact that police say each device weighed less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) indicates that the bombers probably used powerful military-grade plastic explosives. As well as examining forensic evidence, a key part of the police investigation is likely to be the painstaking examination of hours of security camera footage.

Blair warning

Tony Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned no amount of security could prevent the sort of attacks which brought carnage to Thursday morning's London rush hour. The world must learn the reason behind terrorism and "try to pull it up by its roots," Blair said in a BBC radio interview on Saturday.

"Probably with this type of terrorism the solution cannot only be the security measures. I have never really doubted that myself," Blair said. "The underlying issues have to be dealt with too."

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