- Rumours and conspiracy theories about the July 2005 London bombings
As is common following major terrorist attacks and other catastrophes, there were many questions, rumours and theories about the July 2005 London bombings, principally on the internet.
Amongst complaints that the government was only releasing cropped photographs of the alleged bombers, came reports that there may be videos that have not been released to the public, including videos of
al-Qaedamembers confessing the attacks. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1762654,00.html Al-Qaeda may have more film of London bombers] The Times Online]
While no warnings before the
7 Julybombings have been officially documented or acknowledged, the following are sometimes quoted as indications either of the events to come or of some foreknowledge.
*One of the London bombers,
Mohammad Sidique Khan, was briefly scrutinised by MI5who determined that he was not a likely threat and he was not put under surveillance. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1697562,00.html MI5judged bomber "no threat"] The Times Online]
*Some news stories, current a few hours after the attacks, raised a query over the British government's position that there had been no warning or prior intelligence. It was reported on
CBS Newsthat a senior Israeli official said that British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before the explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city. This was later retracted by AP. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/07/world/main707053.shtml New arrest in London bombings] CBS News] An Associated Pressreport carried on a number of news sites, including " The Guardian", attributed the initial report of a warning to an Israeli "Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity", but added Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's later denial on Israel Army Radio: "There was no early information about terrorist attacks." A similar report on the site of right-wing Israeli paper "Israel National News/Arutz Sheva" attributed the story to "Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources." [http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=85346 Report: Israel was warned ahead of first blast] Arutz Sheva] Although the report has been retracted, the original stories are still circulated as a result of their presence on the news websites' archives.
*In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper "Público" a month after the
2004 Madrid train bombings, Syrian-born cleric Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammadwarned that "a very well-organised" London-based group which he called Al Qaeda Europe, was "on the verge of launching a big operation." [http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=43819&version=1&template_id=57&parent_id=56 ?] Gulf Times] In December 2004 Bakri vowed that if Western governments did not change their policies, Muslims would give them "a 9/11, day after day after day." [cite news
author=ELAINE SCIOLINOand DON VAN NATTA Jr.
title=For a Decade, London Thrived as a Busy Crossroads of Terror
date=July 10, 2005
New York Times
*According to a
17 November 2004post on the " Newsweek"website, US authorities in 2004 had evidence that terrorists were planning a possible attack in London. In addition, the article stated that FBI agents were avoiding use of the London Underground. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6514619/site/newsweek/ Terror Watch: The Real Target? - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com ] at www.msnbc.msn.com]
*In an interview published in the German magazine "
Bild am Sonntag" dated 10 July 2005, Meir Dagan, head of the Mossad, said that the Mossad office in London was alerted to the impending attack at 8:43, six minutes before the first bomb went off. The warning of a possible attack came as a result of an investigation into an earlier terrorist bombing in Tel Aviv, which may have been related to the London bombings. [ [http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Security/5997.htm Israelinsider: security: Mossad tells Brits: Same explosives likely used in Tel Aviv and London blasts ] at web.israelinsider.com]
*French Interior Minister
Nicolas Sarkozycaused consternation at the British Home Officewhen he briefed the press that several of the secondary plotters had been arrested and released as part of an attempt to find their superiors, the year prior. This was adamantly denied by then- Home Secretary Charles Clarke.
On the evening of
7 July, the managing director of Visor Consultants, Peter Power, was interviewed on BBC Radio 5. Peter Power stated "At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now." [http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/conspiracy_theory/fullstory.asp?id=247] However he later clarified that only two locations had been similar, and that one had been a mainline station. Peter Power is alleged to have "connections" with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in that he is on the Advisory Board to the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP), as was at one time Richard J. Sheirer, Vice President of Giuliani Partners. Giuliani himself was staying at the Great Eastern Hotel adjacent to Liverpool Street station, which one of the bombed trains had just left.
Bombs under the trains
A single eyewitness by the name of Bruce Lait, a man who was on one of the Tube trains, says the metal twisted by one bomb looked as if the bomb had been under the train. He stated: "The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," Fact|date=July 2008
The attacks inspired a number of rumours, also communicated by means of the Internet and
Urban Legends Reference Pages.
Popular e-mails shortly after the attack on
7 Julypurported to list a number of ways people in London responded to the bombings, often with humorously defiant tones. One elderly Briton supposedly remarked, "I've been blown up by a better class of bastard than this!", apparently referring to the London blitz. The Urban Legends Reference Pagesargues that in fact the quote, if it is indeed authentic, originated in 1996 with an IRA attack. [ [http://www.snopes.com/quotes/london.asp Snopes.com: London Subway Bombing Quotes ] at www.snopes.com]
It was perhaps in response to the July 2005 bombings that more rumours began circulating that one can dial 112 as an emergency number on one's
mobile phone, and the call would go through, even if there is no signal for the phone. This is not true; if the signal strength is not sufficient to make a call to 999, then it will not be sufficient to call 112 either. [ [http://www.snopes.com/science/mobile.asp Snopes.com: Cellphone 112 Emergency ] at www.snopes.com]
GSMstandard stipulates that emergency calls will still be connected from any handset, even if the handset has no call credit (for pre-payphones), or is barred by the network operator, or even if it has no Subscriber Identity Module(SIM) card inserted. In the UK this has never been implemented; users may only make emergency calls using their own network and a working, SIM-installed, handset. The rumour, therefore, might seem to be based upon a reading of the GSM specifications more than an understanding of the UK network environment.
As at June 2007,
OFCOM(UK Communications Regulator) was consulting with UK network operators to introduce the network roaming element of emergency call handling, although no timetable has been presented. [ [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/csg/adv_cmmt_nations/acw/reports/13thacwminutes] Minutes of the 13th Meeting of the Ofcom Advisory Committee for Wales]
It is, however, the case that most networks will prioritise 999/112 calls over other traffic, (using the
ACCOLC, the "access overload control scheme"), so even a fully-congested network should be able to connect an emergency call.
Bomber photo claimed by some to be faked
One of the alleged mysteries surrounding the 7/7 attacks is an image, used by several news outlets, of the bombers entering the Luton station [http://www.infowars.com/articles/London_attack/bombers_photo_doctored.htm] [http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkpAvVv6DPyQ] The CCTV image of the four alleged bombers entering Luton station at around 7.20am on July 7 is claimed by some conspiracy theorists to be fake. Fintan Dunne thinks he has found not just one, but as many as thirteen indications [http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/evidence-luton-cctv-image-is-fake.html] that the picture is essentially a Photoshop creation. (What's more some conspiracy theorists think the forger signed his work, leaving the moniker "Ducky" in the
GIFimage header. In reality, any software used to capture a video frame or enlarge the image for the purposes of the "analysis" can rewrite file comments as it pleases.) CCTV experts call the image analysis "pure bull" [http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/evidence-luton-cctv-image-is-fake.html] . Iti s said this this image as an original is becoming more extremily hard to get. However, the BBC still carry an enlarge versionof the image on their website from 17 July 2005 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4689739.stm] .
Major media question
Major media have asked a number of questions about how the events unfolded, that seem to contradict the likelihood that the London bombings were meant to be a suicide attack, although the presumption has been that the bombings were staged by Islamic terrorists who intended to survive the blast. As one official told the media, "Whoever is behind this didn't want to waste their best operatives on a suicide mission. Instead they used easily recruited low-grade men who may have believed they'd walk away."
The inconsistencies with usual suicide attacks that have led to this opinion include:
*The fact that the alleged bombers purchased "return" tickets and paid to park their cars at Luton.
*None of the alleged terrorists are known to have said "
Allah Akhbar" before their deaths.
*The alleged terrorists carried the explosives in their bags instead of wearing them.
*Suicide was tactically unnecessary -- they could have merely left the bags on the cars (assuming they knew what was in them).
*The bombers, two recent fathers, one with a wife pregnant with his second child, a university graduate and a teacher of disabled children don't fit the usual "suicide" bomber profile.The suspicion is that the alleged terrorists were deceived by their superiors into thinking that they could escape the explosions after delivering them to the targeted areas of London, when the bombs were actually designed to explode quickly. [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid%3D15742951%26method%3Dfull%26siteid%3D94762%26headline%3Dwas%2dit%2dsuicide%2d%2d-name_page.html]
Other important questions
Additionally, many other questions have been asked and are continued to be asked by prisonplanet.com and others. These include:
* MI5 downgrades terror threat to UK businesses [http://prisonplanet.com/Pages/Jul05/070705alert_level.html] same-time-as-attack underground bombing exercise in London a chilling coincidence?
* London underground bombing exercise takes place at exactly the same time as actual attack. [http://prisonplanet.com/Pages/Jul05/100705coincidence.html] [http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/110705bombingexercises.htm Video] [http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/090705bombingexercises.htm]
* Londoners Suspicious Of Station Closures Before Blasts [http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/120705stationclosures.htm]
* The Convenient Malfunction Of The Four London Bus Cameras [http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/130705buscamera.htm]
* "Military explosives" now become "homemade material" [http://prisonplanet.com/Pages/Jul05/160705u-turn.html]
* Bomb Was UNDER The Train Says Eyewitness Closest To It [http://prisonplanet.com/Pages/Jul05/250705under.html]
* Bombing Mastermind Aswat Works for MI-6 [http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2005/020805bombingmastermind.htm] [http://www.infowars.net/Pages/Aug05/020805Aswat.html]
* In a BBC interview, Peter Power (former Scotland Yard detective) of Visor Consultants, a crisis management firm, said that there were mock terror drills taking place on 7/7 at the same stations as the actual bombings.
* Was enough known about the attacks (through normal investigative channels) no more than eight hours after they occurred for Efraim Haveli, former head of Mossad to be able to write this (from a seemingly already-prepared piece published 7/7/05 in the Jerusalem Post (long since removed)): "The multiple, simultaneous explosions that took place today on the London transportation system were the work of perpetrators who had an operational capacity of considerable scope. They have come a long way since the two attacks of the year 1998 against the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam, and the aircraft actions of September 11, 2001. There was careful planning, intelligence gathering, and a sophisticated choice of timing as well as near-perfect execution. We are faced with a deadly and determined adversary who will stop at nothing and will persevere as long as he exists as a fighting terrorist force. There will be supreme tests of leadership in this unique situation and people will have to trust the wisdom and good judgment of those chosen to govern them. The executives must be empowered to act resolutely and to take every measure necessary to protect the citizens of their country and to carry the combat into whatever territory the perpetrators and their temporal and spiritual leaders are inhabiting. The rules of combat must be rapidly adjusted to cater to the necessities of this new and unprecedented situation, and international law must be rewritten in such a way as to permit civilization to defend itself. Anything short of this invites disaster and must not be allowed to happen."
Book and Video
There have been, as of January 2008, four internet video documentaries released regarding the "conspiracy theories" of the 7/7 bombings. These include "Official Confusion: Mind the Gap", "Terrorstorm", "Ludicrous Diversion" and "7/7 Ripple Effect".
In his book "The 4th Bomb", self-claimed Tavistock Square bus passenger
Daniel Obachikeclaims he saw a European male he thinks was a British Intelligence agent planting the device and leaving the bus a minute before the explosion. Obachike claims he was kept under surveillance for almost a year by "British Intelligence operatives".
Other books written on the event include:
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
*7 - 7: The London Bombings: What Went Wrong? by Crispin Black
*The London Bombings July 2005 by Andrew Langley
*For the Love of Anthony: A Mother's Search for Truth After the London Bombings by Marie Fatayi-Williams
*The London Transit System Bombings by Gail B. Stewart
*The Puzzle of 7/7: An In-depth Analysis of the London Bombings and Government Sponsored Terrorism in the United Kingdom by Eric D. Williams
*One Day in July: Experiencing 7/7 by John Tulloch
*One Unknown: A Powerful Account of Survival and One Woman's Inspirational Journey to Recovery and a New Life by Gill Hicks
*Out of the Tunnel by Rachel North
*One Morning in July: The Man Who Was First on the Scene Tells His Story by Aaron Debnam
*Into the Darkness: The Story of 7/7
*Celsius 7/7 by Michael Gove
* [http://www.thegooglequestions.com/ The Google Questions] by Alan Pearce
*Soft Target by Stephen Leather
* [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4224402.ece The authors whose plots go on to make the real headlines]
*Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005: House of Commons Papers 2005-06, 1087 by Great Britain
Response to the 2005 London bombings
9/11 conspiracy theories
* [http://julyseventh.co.uk/ J7: The July Seventh Truth Campaign]
* [http://www.officialconfusion.com/77/ Official Confusion 7/7]
* [http://www.london77truth.com/ London 7/7 Truth: Victims Demand Inquiry]
* [http://www.blogigo.co.uk/socialdemocracynow/entry/40524 The London Bombings Were A Hoax] by SocialDemocracyNow
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/attackonlondon/story/0,,1806794,00.html Seeing isn't believing] - The Guardian, June 27 2006
* [http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives/london/index.htm London Bombings Data Page] by PrisonPlanet
* [http://www.infowars.com/articles/London_attack/london_bombing.htm July 7 Data Page] by Infowars
* [http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/law_order/77+the+conspiracy+theories/545762 7/7: the conspiracy theories] by Channel 4
Conspiracy theory videos and books
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=786048453686176230 TerrorStorm video on Google Video]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4943675105275097719 Ludicrous Diversion video on Google Video]
* [http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=590416857132687483 7/7: Mind the Gap on Google Video]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8756795263359807776 7/7 Ripple Effect] ( [http://www.julyseventh.co.uk/j-for-justice-77-ripple-effect.html 7/7 Ripple Effect - a rebuttal and rejection] by [http://www.julyseventh.co.uk J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign] ).
* [http://www.the4thbomb.com/ The Fourth Bomb, a book by Daniel Obachike] ( [http://www.julyseventh.co.uk/j7-book-review-daniel-obachike-the-fourth-bomb.html Book Review: The Fourth Bomb] by [http://www.julyseventh.co.uk J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign] ).
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