.... this article is timeless and worthy of an encore.
ADRIAN MORGAN ON ANNIVERSARY OF 7/7 IS AMERICA REPEATING BRITAIN’S MISTAKES?
Exclusive: On Anniversary of 7/7 (Editor, Ruth King)
Today is the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings, where four home-grown jihadists blew themselves up on three London Transport underground trains and one double-decker bus. The events of 7/7 were of a smaller scale to 9/11, but they nonetheless traumatized a nation.
The 7/7 bombings
19-year old Germaine Lindsay, was Jamaican by birth. Mohammed Sidique Khan, aged 30, was the eldest of the group, and he led the cell. Next to him in rank was Shehzad Tanweer, aged 22.
Finally there was Hasib Hussain, aged 18, who appeared less sure of his role in the cause of jihad. For some reason, when the other three bombers had gone down into Kingâ€™s Cross station and had already detonated their explosive-filled rucksacks on underground trains, Hussain was still on the surface at Kingâ€™s Cross. He could not get down into the underground system as news of the bombings caused security to seal it off. For a while, he ambled around, stumbling into people. He went into McDonalds, then a chemist , where a CCTV camera showed him leaning by a doorway, looking confused. Unable to board a tube train, he took a Number 30 bus and took a seat on the lower deck. An eyewitness said that he was looking nervous and fidgeted, constantly looking at his rucksack. The witness said: â€œhe kept going down in his bag. I didn’t actually see his face but he was becoming more and anxious.â€ The witness dismounted from the bus as it went down Tavistock Square.
Hussain detonated the device contained in his rucksack. The roof ripped off the bus, the force of the blast tearing bone and flesh from the passengers and some passers-by. Seats from the bus were thrown into the road. Small lumps of Hussainâ€™s body flew outwards and stuck like warm toffee to the wall of the British Medical Association headquarters. This building would serve as an emergency triage hospital. For some time a body, ripped up like a torn rag doll, lay in the road while those who were not panicking tried to comfort and attend to the living. I have a photograph of that body but it serves no purpose to display it here. Hussain killed 13 of the 52 people who died that day.
Shehzad Tanweer had blown himself up at the appointed time on the eastbound Circle Line, between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. He killed seven people. Mohammed Sidique Khan had taken the westbound Circle Line train from Kingâ€™s Cross and blew himself up at Edgware Road, killing six people. Germaine Lindsay detonated his rucksack on the southbound Piccadilly Line, between Kingâ€™s Cross and Russell Square. His bomb killed 26 people.
More than 600 people were injured in the attacks. Though 7/7 was not a particularly hot day â€“ it had rained in the night â€“ the next few days saw the temperature rise. It took firemen more than two weeks to extricate all of the body parts from the tunnels, and these were rapidly decomposing in the heat.
The horror of the event filled the newspapers, made more alarming when another cell of would-be suicide bombers tried to carry out an almost identical attack exactly two weeks later, on Thursday, July 21. One bomber tried to blow up a bus in Hackney, and three others tried to blow themselves up on tube trains. The second cell off jihadists had fortunately chosen Yassir Omar, who was incompetent at Math, to mix up the elements of the explosives. Omar failed to get the ingredients right. The TATP (triacetone triperoxide) which was used as a detonator in the July 21 attempted attacks, was the main ingredient of the 7/7 bombersâ€™ devices.
Three of the 7/7 bombers had travelled down from Leeds on the morning of the attack. They met Germaine Lindsey who had driven to the car park at Luton train station and then had got on the ThamesLink train to London. As shown on CCTV camera pictures, they were in high spirits on the morning of the attack. Nine days before they killed 52 innocent people, Khan, Lindsey and Tanweer had done the same journey on a â€œdry runâ€. Hasib Hussain had not taken part in that reconnaissance expedition.
The bombers had rented an apartment in Alexander Grove, Hyde Park district, in Leeds, Yorkshire. Here they had manufactured the TATP in the bath. They had to use face masks, and the fumes were so pungent that the leaves on plants growing outside the bathroom window had been scorched. The hair on their heads had started to bleach from the peroxide fumes. The TATP was broken up and kept cool to prevent it from detonating. There were coolers in Tanweerâ€™s rented car, a light blue Nissan Micra, to prevent the crustaline TATP from self-detonating. On the way down to meet Lindsey at Luton, Shehzad Tanweer was recorded by CCTV camera inside a garage, arguing with a cashier over the cost of the gasoline. Tanweer was claiming he had been over-charged.
TATP does not explode with much of an incandescent flash. This is what led Katie Benton from Tennessee to declare: â€œThere was no fireball – it was just so not Hollywood. They really have no idea what a bomb is like…”
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has studied how TATP causes its reaction once it has undergone detonation. Every molecule of TATP forms four molecules of gas, ozone and acetone, and these do not react with each other. As all of the TATP becomes gas, it creates extreme pressure, and blasts outward at a rate of 5250 meters per second. Add nails to that mixture, as the 7/7 bombers had done, and the results were catastrophic.
The body of Mohammed Sidique Khan had been ripped into shreds. At the end of October 2005, these shreds were kept in 50 separate packets at Westminsterâ€™s Coronersâ€™ Court, waiting for collection by his family.
As soon as the attack had taken place, questions were raised about whether or not the authorities could have done anything to prevent the events of that fateful Thursday, five years ago today.
Britainâ€™s Muslim community expressed reactions of shock, but there were no demonstrations of outrage, as happened less than a year later when the â€œcartoon crisisâ€ erupted. It was soon revealed that Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsey and Mohammed SIdique Khan had previously been to London and had attended sermons given by the pro-terrorist preacher, one eyed and hook-handed Abu Hamza al-Masri, at his mosque at Finsbury Park, north London. Tanweer and Khan had also attended sermons given by Jamaicanâ€”born preacher Abdullah al-Faisal. Faisal had been jailed for calling for Jews and Hindus to be burned as fuel in power stations and other instances of hate. Hamza was also jailed (on February 7, 2006) for â€œsoliciting for murderâ€.
These preachers of hate had been allowed carte blanche by the Labour government to incite hatred and to urge young Muslims to support jihad. While Hamza was preacher at Finsbury Park Mosque, some of his â€œflockâ€ went off to commit terror attacks â€“ one had gone to Beslan, another had planned to use botulinum toxins smeared on handrails to kill, and Hamza himself was recorded at Britainâ€™s Government Communications HQ in Cheltenham using a satellite phone to discuss the kidnapping and ransom of 16 tourists in Yemen. Three Britons and an Australian died when Yemeni authorities tried to free the hostages. Hamza, with Swedish Oussama Kassir and James Ujaama, had also planned to set up a terror training camp at Dog Cry Ranch in Bly, Oregon.
Any moves to prevent these hate preachers from indoctrinating Muslim youths were either ignored or rejected as being â€œIslamophobicâ€ in the climate that existed at that time in Britain.
Slowly, it emerged that MI5, Britainâ€™s homeland intelligent service, had made recordings of Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer meeting Omar Khyam, the leader of another terrorist cell, in 2004. On at least four occasions at the start of that year, Khan – sometimes accompanied by Tanweer â€“ had met with Khyam. On March 30, 2004, Khyam and his associates were arrested. They had been keeping a cache of ammonium nitrate in a store-room in West London, and planned to use this to blow up nightclubs or a shopping Mall.
The meetings between Khan and Khyam involved open discussion of terrorist plans:
One of these meetings, from February 21, 2004, took place in Omar Khyamâ€™s Suzuki Vitara Jeep. Sidique Khan asked Omar Khyam: “Are you really a terrorist, eh?” Khyam answered: “Theyâ€™re working with us.” Sidique Khan urged: “Youâ€™re serious, you are basically.” Omar Khyam replied: “No, Iâ€™m not a terrorist but they are working through us.” Sidique Khan said: “Who are? Thereâ€™s no one higher than you.” Later in the conversation Khyam spoke of travel to terror training camps in Pakistan and warned Sidique Khan: “The only thing, one thing I will advise you, yeah, is total obedience to whoever your emir is… up there you can get your head cut off.”
In 2003, Omar Khyam (who used the code-name “Ausman”) and Mohammed Sidique Khan (code-named “Ibrahim”) had both attended a terrorist training camp in Malakand in Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border. Here they had trained in the use of explosives, handling Kalashnikovs, rocket propelled grenades and how to extract the deadly toxin ricin from castor oil beans.
When Khyam and his associates had been snared under the surveillance operation known as â€œOperation Crevice,â€ MI5 attention to Khan and Tanweer diminished. Some information on the Crevice investigations can be read here (pdf format). Later, MI5 representatives would claim that a lack of funds had prevented them from researching the background of Khan (whom they knew by his code-name â€œIbrahimâ€) much further. Omar Khyam and four of his six associates were sentenced on April 30, 2007 on terrorism charges.
On July 6, less than 24 hours before Khan, Tanweer and crew blew themselves up, the head of MI5 at that time, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, had addressed members of parliament. She told senior MPs from the Labour party that there was â€œno imminent threat to London or the country” from a terrorist attack.
Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer had both gone to Pakistan between November 2004 and February 2005. It is believed that they went to a madrassa in Mudrike in Punjab province. This madrassa is thought to have links to the Jamaat ud-Dawa group, an extremist group founded by Hafiz Saeed, the former head of the terror group Lashkar e-Taiba.
After they had killed themselves and their victims, videos were released. The first, released in the fall of 2005, showed Mohammed Sidique Khan making a long speech condemning the fickleness of Westernized Imams. He said that Britain deserved to be attacked for its actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the eve of the first anniversary of 7/7, a video of Shehzad Tanweer was released. Tanweer, looking unkempt, posed before the same cloth background as Khan, but he was less articulate than Khan.
Another strange aspect of Tanweerâ€™s life was the manner in which he ended up leaving a large sum of money, even though he had never worked for any sustained period. His parents ran a fish and chip shop in Beeston in Leeds, and occasionally he would help to fry the chipped potatoes and fish. Tanweer had left an estate worth Â£121,000 ($210,000 at that time). The source of that money has never been properly explained.
Lessons Not Learned
The British government had indulged Islamists without demanding that they conform to British values. So enmeshed in their â€œsocialist/progressiveâ€ experiment, the Labour government under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown appeared to downplay â€œBritishnessâ€, attempting to subsume all of Britainâ€™s inhabitants under an umbrella of multiculturalism.
The main advisors to Blair at the time of the 7/7 bombing were the Muslim Council of Britain. In June 2005, its then-head Iqbal Sacranie had been given a knighthood by Blair. Sacranie had previously said in 1989 of Salman Rushdie that â€œdeath… would be too good for him.â€ Sacranie had also attended a memorial service for Sheikh Yassin, founder of terrorist group Hamas, and had even called Osama bin Laden a freedom fighter. Sacranie had consistently boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day, and yet had been rewarded by the government as an upstanding specimen of British citizen.
The Muslim Brotherhoodâ€™s European representative, Kemal el-Helbawy, had co-founded the Muslim Council of Britain in early 1997 (with Mehboob Kantharia). In the same year, Helbawy had also founded the Muslim Association of Britain.
The MCB had as its press officer a man called Inayat Bunglawala who also had once referred to Osama bin Laden as a freedom fighter, and in 1993 had called â€œblind sheikhâ€ Omar Abdel-Rahman â€œcourageousâ€. This happened in 1993, shortly before Rahman was arrested and charged with plotting to blow up the World Trade Center. Bunglawala also made some strange statements about Jews in the media.
Yet in the fall of 2005 Bunglawala and also Tariq Ramadan were urged to become part of a working task force to examine extremism. Last year, the deputy leader of the Muslim Council off Britain â€“ Daoud Abdullah â€“ had declared his open support for Hamas, and had signed a declaration (the Istanbul Declaration) in February 2009 that claimed that any attempt by any navy to prevent weapons entering Gaza should be attacked.
The Muslim Council of Britain received tax-payersâ€™ money as grants from the Labour government, and since then, in late 2008, it was announced that 70 million pounds would be spent on trying to encourage â€œmoderate Islamâ€ and prevent young people being wooed by extremists.
The fact that Anwar al-Awlaqi was able to preach in London mosques and universities via video link-up, shows how poorly the UK governmentâ€™s â€œPreventâ€ agenda had been. Awlaqi had indoctrinated a London student (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) to attempt to blow up his underwear on a US-bound plane on Christmas Day 2009. Other groups connected with the Muslim Brotherhood have also been in receipt of money set aside by the Labour government for the Prevent agenda.
Now in America, the same games are being played. A New York â€œCommunity Councilâ€ decides that it would â€œmulticulturalâ€ and â€œpositiveâ€ to have a mosque at Ground Zero. The US government has good relations with the Muslim Public Affairs Council and apparently sees it as an advisory body, even though it has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The current head of NASA, Charles Bolden, recently revealed that his “foremost” mission was to make Muslims feel good about themselves. He was instructed in this by the president â€œwanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.” Michael Griffin, the former head of NASA, has described such an action as â€œdeeply flawedâ€.
The tactic of treating Muslims as special needs cases, or inviting a Muslim to be an â€œadvisorâ€, such as Dalia Mogahed at the White House, is again deeply flawed. No other religious group exists as an advisor â€“ say from Buddhist, Presbyterian or Sikh communities. Muslims should be treated as citizens and should be expected to behave as Americans, not as if they are ambassadors or that they should â€œinformâ€ political life. In a democracy, there should be no â€œspecial needsâ€ cases that are not voted in by mandate. In a country that prides itself on the separation of Church and State, no religious group should be allowed to â€œadviseâ€ the White House.
In the past, the Clintons had Abdurahman Alamoudi â€“ a senior Muslim Brotherhood member, frequently attending the White House and advising Hillary on how to lay out the table for Iftar dinners. Alamooudi later went on to declare in Lafayette Park on October 28, 2000, that â€œWe are all Hizbollah! We are all Hamas!â€
In October 2004, Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in jail, after he had admitted plotting with Libyans to assassinate Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. While he had been indulged by the Clintons, Alamoudi had been responsible for advising on the appointment of Muslim chaplains for the US military, even though he was an Islamist.
The planned Times Square bombing, the planned New York subway plot, the Fort Hood incident â€“ all of these demonstrate that America has its fair share of local Islamist terrorists.
Public pandering to Islamism insults those Muslims who try to live as good citizens, as Americans. In Britain, the voices of moderate Muslims were never heard as the government spent so much of its time listening to the views of people who â€“ despite their suits and ties â€“ longed for the day when Sharia law would replace democracy.
Most Muslims do not wish to supplant democracy with Islamism, and they have been neglected most in this patronizing charade, where Western politicians only â€œengageâ€ with political Islamists. Such pandering has marginalized decent and patriotic non-Islamist Muslims in Britain, and now under the current White House administration, it threatens to marginalize patriotic Americans who happen to be Muslim.
The Editor, FamilySecurityMatters.org