Category Archives: London Bombings (7/7)

Chilcot Report and 7/7 London Bombing Anniversary Converge to Highlight Terrorism’s Causes

Glenn Greenwald writes for The Intercept:

Eleven years ago, three suicide bombers attacked the London subway and a bus and killed 51 people. Almost immediately, it was obvious that retaliation for Britain’s invasion and destruction of Iraq was a major motive for the attackers.

Two of them said exactly that in videotapes they left behind: The attacks “will continue and pick up strengths till you pull your soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq. … Until we feel security, you will be targets.” Then, less than a year later, a secret report from British military and intelligence chiefs concluded that “the war in Iraq contributed to the radicalization of the July 7 London bombers and is likely to continue to provoke extremism among British Muslims.” The secret report, leaked to The Observer, added: “Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalization of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the U.K. as legitimate.”

The release on Tuesday of the massive Chilcot report — which the New York Times called a “devastating critique of Tony Blair” — not only offers more proof of this causal link, but also reveals that Blair was expressly warned before the invasion that his actions would provoke al Qaeda attacks on the U.K. As my colleague Jon Schwarz reported yesterdaythe report’s executive summary quotes Blair confirming he was “aware” of a warning by British intelligence that terrorism would “increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-U.S./anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”

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Tony Blair and the Self-Exalting Mindset of the West: in Two Paragraphs

Glenn Greenwald writes for The Intercept:

Featured photo - Tony Blair and the Self-Exalting Mindset of the West: in Two ParagraphsTony Blair today took a little time off from serving the world’s despots in order to exploit the 10th anniversary of the July 7 London train bombing. He did so by casting blame on “radical Islam” for the world’s violence while exempting himself, pronouncing:

This is a global problem … we’re not going to allow anyone to excuse themselves by saying that the slaughter of totally innocent people is somehow a response to any decision by any government.

The proposition Blair just decreed invalid — “the slaughter of totally innocent people is somehow a response to any decision by any government” — is exactly the rationale that he himself repeatedly invoked, and to this day still invokes, to justify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, as in this example from December 2009.’

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Former London Mayor, Ken Livingston: “Since Blair-Bush decided on Iraq war, London terror attack was inevitable”

Life for British Muslims since 7/7 – abuse, suspicion and constant apologies

Medhi Hasan writes for The Guardian:

Friday prayer at the Shah Jahan mosque in Woking, Surrey[…] British Muslims have been spied on, stopped and searched, stripped of citizenship, and subjected to control orders and detention without trial. Many were not guilty of any crime. Remember Mohammed Abdul Kahar, shot in the shoulder during a dawn raid on his home in Forest Gate, east London, in 2006, before being released without charge a week later? Or Rizwaan Sabir, the university student held for seven days without charge as a terror suspect in 2008, on the basis of police evidence later described as “made up”?

How about the Muslim residents of the three areas in Birmingham that in 2010 were to be surrounded by a “ring of steel” of 218 “spy cameras” as part of a counter-terrorism operation?

Blair may have changed the rules but he didn’t win the game. A decade ago four British suicide bombers, aligned with al-Qaida, shocked us all. Today, up to 600 Britons are reported to have left the UK to battle and behead on behalf of the al-Qaida offshoot, so-called Islamic State (Isis). These include the youngest ever UK suicide bomber, 17-year-old Talha Asmal, who blew himself up while fighting for Isis in Iraq in June.

So what is David Cameron’s solution to the problem of violent extremism? Why, to change more rules, of course.’

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Blair’s bombs: on July 7 2005, the invasion of Iraq came home to London

John Pilger wrote in July 2005:

[…] The bombs of 7 July were Blair’s bombs.

Blair brought home to this country his and George W Bush’s illegal, unprovoked and blood-soaked adventure in the Middle East. Were it not for his epic irresponsibility, the Londoners who died in the Tube and on the No 30 bus almost certainly would be alive today. This is what Livingstone ought to have said. To paraphrase perhaps the only challenging question put to Blair on the eve of the invasion (by John Humphrys), it is now surely beyond all doubt that the man is unfit to be Prime Minister.

How much more evidence is needed? Before the invasion, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that “by far the greatest terrorist threat” to this country would be “heightened by military action against Iraq”. He was warned by 79 per cent of Londoners who, according to a YouGov survey in February 2003, believed that a British attack on Iraq “would make a terrorist attack on London more likely”. A month ago, a leaked, classified CIA report revealed that the invasion had turned Iraq into a focal point of terrorism. Before the invasion, said the CIA, Iraq “exported no terrorist threat to its neighbours” because Saddam Hussein was “implacably hostile to al-Qaeda”.

Now, a report by the Chatham House organisation, a “think-tank” deep within the British establishment, may well beckon Blair’s coup de grace. Published on 18 July, it says there is “no doubt” the invasion of Iraq has “given a boost to the al-Qaeda network” in “propaganda, recruitment and fundraising” while providing an ideal targeting and training area for terrorists. “Riding pillion with a powerful ally” has cost Iraqi, American and British lives. The right-wing academic Paul Wilkinson, a voice of western power, was the principal author. Read between the lines, and it says the Prime Minister is now a serious liability. Those who run this country know he has committed a great crime; the “link” has been made.’

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BBC Newsnight Report on the 7/7 Bombings and Martin McDaid

Editor’s Note: History Commons has a great timeline of news articles regarding the 7/7 bombers which can he found here.

Undercover police spied on grieving families of De Menezes, Groce and Reel

Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd report for the Guardian:

Scotland Yard HQ‘[…] Scotland Yard claimed that the families were not the target of the operations but information on them was gathered and wrongly retained as part of the covert infiltration of political groups. The revelations come as an internal police investigation into the Met’s undercover Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) is poised to severely criticise the force for a lack of regard to the rules and law covering the deployment of undercover officers.

The report, to be published on Thursday will say that the information collected by the controversial undercover unit “served no purpose in preventing crime or disorder”. Among those who have been contacted by the police are the family of De Menezes, the Brazilian electrician who was shot dead by police in 2005 after being mistaken for a bombing suspect in the aftermath of the 7 July attack on London.’

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Being watched in Britain

‘In the wake of the July 2005 London bombings, the British government created the Prevent programme as part of its counter-terrorism strategy. Prevent says it seeks to put an end to stop terrorism and support for terrorism in the UK by engaging the Muslim community. Recently, Prevent has started offering mandatory training to civil servants on how to identify potential terrorists and report them to the authorities. However, many in the Muslim community feel they are being unfairly targeted by Prevent, which they say is a surveillance programme. Al Jazeera’s Matthew Cassel looks at the effect Prevent is having in Muslim communities in Birmingham and Manchester.’ (Al Jazeera)