Who was behind London attacks?

As this fairly comprehensive account from The Australian makes clear, the notion that the London attacks were carried out by a heretofore unheard-of “Secret Organization of the Jihad of al-Qaeda in Europe” originates from reports on the websites of Germany’s Der Spiegel and the Italian news agency ANSA that a communique claiming responsibility in that name appeared on an unnamed Islamic militant website. The quoted rhetoric is entirely plausible:

“Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“The heroic mujaheddin carried out a blessed attack in London, and now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west.”

“[The attacks were] in response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“We have repeatedly warned the Government and people of Britain, and we have now fulfilled our promise and have carried out a sacred military attack in Britain.”

“We continue to warn the governments of Denmark, Italy and all the crusaders that they will meet the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

But the quotes are presented in a patchwork; the complete text of the communique is not given. Nor is either the name or the URL of the website on which it allegedly appeared. Why?

The reports always say the statement “could not be authenticated.”

This July 7 account from ANSA says only the website is based in Egypt, and that Italian “intelligence sources” have dismissed it as “unreliable.”

Are the reports intentionally vague at the request of the authorities pending an investigation? If so, what is the logic of witholding information from the public? Isn’t a clear sense of the evidence as to who is behind this atrocity far more important than endless photos and accounts of carnage?

See our last post on the London attacks.

  1. Conspiranoiacs weigh in
    Of course the professional paranoia crowd has wasted no time in jumping to its own predictable conclusions. Here’s a sample from the Collective BellaCiao website, which fashions itself as a voice of the pan-European radical left.

    The bombing of the London Underground was a false-flag operation designed to keep the West mired in war. Don’t believe otherwise.

    Only one word sprang to mind when I heard about the bombings that claimed the lives of dozens of Londoners today – convenient.

    Is there anything convenient in death, or in thousands of lives destroyed from catastrophe? No – and words cannot express the sorrow I feel for the men and women changed by today’s events. But governments with skeletons in their closets have a great deal to gain from a national tragedy bolstered by “terrorism.”

    As I sit in my office today, I hear the whispers of co-workers now utterly convinced our war on terror must continue. Despite American and British involvement in the Middle East birthing wave after wave of rebel forces, the Bush doctrine is now justified in the minds of millions. Petty grievances such as the Downing Street Minutes, the President’s flagging support and Karl Rove’s treasonous outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame are unimportant. A shadowy conglomeration is out to kill us.

    Sound familiar? It should – the same emotional ploy was used to great effect on Americans in the wake of September 11th. Question nothing, particularly your cries for vengeance or that nagging feeling in the back of your head. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Unlike four years ago, however, I refuse to accept that the attack on London was anything less than a false-flag operation designed to enrage Western “civilization” against the Middle East. Why? Because there is no reason for “terrorist” groups to attack England. As recently as this week, the Ministry of Defense announced that plans were being drafted that would pull British armed forces from the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the British effectively admitting they’re throwing in the towel, the only motivation to stay could come from an attack that compels the forces to stay and fight “global terrorism.”

    Blah blah blah. Funny, we thought the UK was preparing to send more troops to Afghanistan, while only considering a phased partial withdrawal from Iraq over the next 18 months. But more to the point, there is no evidence presented here whatsoever—just pure speculation. Yet the tone is utterly dogamtic, and utterly intolerant of dissent from its own a priori assumption. These guys are no more helpful than their mainstream-media counterparts. Less helpful, in fact. At least the media are presenting some inadequate shreds of evidence in support of the assumption that Islamic terrorists are behind the attacks. The conspiranoiacs, as usual, don’t even offer that—just smug, empty condescension.

    Mind you, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a “false-flag operation”!

  2. Koran citation error?
    A July 7 MSNBC account on the supposed al-Qaeda communique states:

    The AP was unable to access the Web site where it was posted, which was closed quickly after the reports.

    But MSNBC TV translator Jacob Keryakes, who said that a copy of the message was later posted on a secular Web site, noted that the claim of responsibility contained an error in one of the Quranic verses it cited. That suggests that the claim may be phony, he said.

    “This is not something al-Qaida would do,” he said.

    OK, but why not give us the URL so we can see for ourselves whether the web site is up? And why not tell us which verse from the Koran was cited and what the error is?

    Why do they have to tease us like this?

  3. The inevitable “Israeli connection” (read: Jewish conspiracy)
    The conspiranoiacs are going to have a field day with this report from the right-wing Israeli paper Arutz Sheva, which has already been picked up by the conspiranoia site Prison Planet:

    Report: Israel Was Warned Ahead of First Blast

    Arutz Sheva | July 7 2005

    (IsraelNN.com) Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources reported a short time ago that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred.

    The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address and economic summit.

    At present, train and bus service in London have been suspended following the series of attacks. No terrorist organization has claimed responsibility at this time.

    Israeli officials stress the advanced Scotland Yard warning does not in any way indicate Israel was the target in the series of apparent terror attacks.

    This from the AP:

    JERUSALEM – British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday’s explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said.

    Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead, government officials said.

    Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said he wasn’t aware of any Israeli casualties.

    Just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy to say they had received warnings of possible attacks, the official said. He did not say whether British police made any link to the economic conference.

    The AP account is cited by AntiWar.com‘s vile Justin Raimundo, who also quotes claims by the less-than-reliable Stratfor.com that instead of the Brits-tipping-off-the-Israelis it was really the other way ’round:

    “Contrary to original claims that Israel was warned “minutes before

  4. Brits in the dark?
    The UK Guardian reports July 8 that the UK Home Secretary’s “Joint Terrorist Analysis Centre (Jtac) last month reduced the threat level from al-Qaida terrorism, from ‘severe – general’ to ‘substantial’.” The story insists British authorities were utterly clueless about the oncoming attack. “Jtac – which includes officials from MI5, MI6, GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters] and the police – is now reassessing the threat. Both the police and MI5 have been increasingly alarmed by a steady trickle of young British Muslims travelling to Iraq to join insurgent operations. But the threat from them, they believe, would come later.” (Online at TruthOut)

    We can hear the conspiranoiacs asking already: So who tipped off Netanyahu? (Of course, the allegation that he was tipped off comes from an anonymous source, but we aren’t allowed to doubt it—even though we are told we’re dupes if we believe similarly vague media accounts that al-Qaeda was behind the blasts.)

    Meanwhile, Israel’s YNet News is reporting that at least one Israeli was apparently killed in the attacks.

  5. I know who was behind London
    I know who was behind London attacks – all these UK citizens who just some months ago supported Tony Blair and his warmongers. War against Iraq is discraceful for UK – as in Bible, if you take a sword and wish a war you’ll get it.

  6. MOSSAD connection
    How did israeli’s know about the attacks and told their minister not to go to a meeting in london that day before UK Intelligence services knew? This is very dodgy

    And why did the bombers attack area’s populated with muslims (aldgate and edware road)? If I was a muslim terrorist I would go for jewish populated areas in london (golders green, etc)

    And Mossad’s (israeli spy agency) motto is “through deception thou shalt do war” well they have certainly done that. Evil people with evil agenda’s killing innocents…

    1. Jewish mother among London dead
      From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency July 11:

      One of the first named fatalities of the London bombings was a Jewish mother of two.
      Susan Levy, 53, was among two dozen commuters killed in the explosion aboard the subway train between King’s Cross and Russell Square station last week, authorities said Monday.

      “She was a valued and respected member of her extended Jewish family and will be deeply mourned and sadly missed by us and her many friends,