History,  Terrorism

From the Recent Vaults: Evening Standard, July 7, 2005

I copy an extract of article that was originally published in The Evening Standard (London) five years ago today. The terrible events of that day should not be forgotten.

Four huge blasts, terrible suffering


The Evening Standard, July 7, 2005

AS MANY as 50 commuters were feared dead and several hundred were injured, many seriously, in four rush-hour bomb blasts across London today.

Three explosions tore through packed Tube trains and then there was a massive blast on a doubledecker bus which was ripped open.

The attacks took place within the space of an hour. There were no warnings.

At 8.51 the first bomb exploded on a Hammersmith and City line train between Aldgate and Liverpool Street.

About 25 minutes later another device went off on a Piccadilly line train between Russell Square and King’s Cross.

Twenty minutes after that the third Tube bomb caused devastation on a Hammersmith and City train just after it left Edgware Road station.

Shortly afterwards a bus full of people evacuated from the Underground was wrecked by a blast in Tavistock Square near Russell Square….

Ambulance sources reported 23 killed at King’s Cross, nine at Edgware Road and seven at Aldgate. At least 10 people are thought to have died on the bus.

Roads were gridlocked as a major emergency services operation got under way.

Buses fitted with sirens were being used to ferry the injured to hospitals.

A statement from al Qaeda, posted on an Islamic website, said: “The heroic Mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear.”

Tony Blair vowed Britain would not be cowed by the “barbaric” attacks, which he said had been timed to coincide with the G8 summit in to London this afternoon. Ken Livingstone said: “I want to say specifically to the world today that this was a terrorist attack against ordinary working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindus and Jews, young and old…..

Central London buses were halted and trains were stopped from approaching the capital. Armed soldiers were ordered onto the streets to guard key buildings and marksmen were stationed on the roof of Buckingham Palace….

One witness said the bus was “ripped open like a can of sardines – bodies everywhere”. One woman told of walking over bodies to get out of Edgware Road.

Another passenger at King’s Cross said he had to step over a dead woman who had both legs and an arm blown off.

Casualties were treated on the concourse of Liverpool Street station where police sealed off a 500-yard area.

At least 90 casualties were reported at Aldgate station.

Wounded passengers were also being tended at the nearby Marks & Spencer and at Hilton Metropole.

Mr Blair, speaking on TV, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

He pledged to “defend our values and our way of life.”….

The Queen said she was “deeply shocked” and sent her sympathy to those affected….

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said celebrations for London’s victorious Olympic bid team had been scrapped….

Mobile phone networks were jammed as anxious callers tried to contact loved ones.

Gene adds: And here’s how Harry’s Place dealt with the breaking news (some of the links are now broken).

Lucy Lips adds: Here’s Bob Lambert in the Grauniad:

Britain’s fight against terrorism has been a disaster, because its “flawed, neo-conservative” direction alienated Muslims and increased the chances of terrorist attacks, a former leading counter-terrorism officer has told the Guardian.

Speaking to mark today’s fifth anniversary of the 7 July attacks in London, Dr Robert Lambert said the atrocity had led the Labour government to launch not just the publicly declared battle against al-Qaida, but a much wider counter-subversive campaign that targeted non-violent Muslims and branded them as supporters of violence.

Lambert’s think tank is funded by the Muslim Brotherhood front groups, IslamExpo and the Cordoba Foundation.

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