Londoners got an ugly wake-up call this morning during rush hour as multiple bombs went off and blew the lid off of a double-decker bus. Authorities in London report at least 40 dead and over 1000 injured as they begin to clean up the carnage.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair bailed out of his G8 summit to head to London. Blair said from Gleneagles Scotland, “Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world.”
Blair said he believed the explosions were tied directly to the G8 summit to make a statement and many experts say these bombings fit the al Quaeda MO quite well. Deputy Police Commissioner Brian Paddick told BBC-TV, “It does appear to be a coordinated attack on London.”
London bounced with jubilation yesterday after learning about their successful 2012 Olympic bid and this morning the city comes to a standstill as all mass transit including their bussing and the underground railway system, often called “the tube.”
The Aldwick East station reported the first blast. Authorities in London promptly dispatched crews to work the bombings including troops, bomb squads and rescue workers. The numbers now look like there were 6 explosions in 4 locations, centered in the eastern portion of London in the financial districts.
Many in the international security industry scratch their heads because traditionally Britain has some of the best internal security forces in the world because of their experience with the IRA.
Some thoughts have turned to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) but most experts feel this doesn’t fit their traditional modus operandi. They would normally hit during time periods numbers of people would be lower and would send some type of coded message to authorities to minimize casualties. This attack looks to be have been going for just the opposite. Also, the IRA hasn’t had anything real terrorist activity in over a decade.
The leaders at the G8 summit felt it important to continue the conference in Scotland. President Bush responded, “On the one hand, you have people working to alleviate poverty and rid the world of the pandemic of AIDS and ways to have clean an environment, and on the other hand, you have people working to kill other people.”
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill, those who’ve got such evil in their hearts that they will take the lives of innocent folks. The war on terror goes on.”
A group called the “Secret Al Quaeda Jihad Organization of Europe” claimed responsibility and said Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan were the reasons behind the attack. The group also levied threats against Italy and Denmark.
The group’s website, now pulled down, said in a statement “In response to the massacre that Britain has carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan: The heroic mujahedeen has undertaken a blessed attack in London. Now Britain is burning with fear, dread and dismay from north, south, east and west.”
“We have warned the British government and the British people again and again. We have carried out our promise and undertaken a blessed military attack in Britain after great efforts by the heroic mujahedeen over a long period of time to ensure the success of the attack.”
Then they levied their threat against other nations, “Denmark, Italy and all of the Crusader governments” will be attacked if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Apparently, authorities in London had been expecting some type of attack and had been making preparations. There have been reports of explosives at the bombing sites. As they clear away the carnage, a more thorough search for explosives will be carried out and while this bombing does have similarities to the bombing in Madrid last year, it wasn’t the scale that this one was.