Terror returns to London
July 21st 2005
From The Economist Global Agenda
Exactly two weeks after the deadly bombings of London’s transport system on July 7th, Britain’s capital has been hit by a fresh wave of attacks—though with few casualties this time. Were the four reported explosions the work of further members of the Islamist group that struck last time—or unrelated “copycats"
UK Gay Leaders Receive Death Threats From Muslim Fundamentalists Group Says
by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief
Posted: July 18, 2005 8:00 pm ET
(London) A British LGBT civil rights group says its leaders have received death threats from Muslim fundamentalists and warns that gay clubs could be targets for terrorist bombers.
We've been waiting for London's famously leftist Mayor Ken Livingstone to state the obvious about the bombings. Finally, he has. Blair, meanwhile, remains in denial, at least officially. We wonder: is he really this deluded, or just sticking to a political script? Via TruthOut:
A report in today's Newsday tells of a meeting at London's Finsbury Park mosque, where prominent Muslim leaders signed a statement condemning the 7-7 attacks, under a banner reading "A New Beginning." But there was also a sign at the mosque warning gatherers that they were under government surveillance, and rather than a new beginning it looks more like the same old pattern is becoming more entrenched. The government is considering draconian "anti-terror" legislation, while Islamist hardliners gain legitimacy in reaction...
Egyptian Prosecutor General Maher Abdel-Wahed has indicated that Egyptian biochemist Magdy El-Nashar, arrested in Cairo over suspected involvement in the London bombings, will not be extradited even if he was charged. He said that the country's constitution bans the extradition of any Egyptian citizen accused of committing crimes abroad to any foreign state, the official MENA news agency reported. Nashar had just arrived in Egypt for a 45-day vacation and planned to return to Britain to complete his studies. (Xinhua, July 16) Egyptian Interior Minister Habib el-Adli told al-Gomhuria newspaper that the foreign media had drawn hasty conclusions about 33-year-old El-Nashar, whose Leeds apartment was raided by police. "Habib el-Adli confirmed that Magdy Elnashar had no connection with al Qaeda," said the newspaper, which did not quote the minister directly. (Reuters, July 16) A computer found at El-Nashar's Leeds home is said to have revealed only downloaded music files. (UK Telegraph, July 17)
There are twin moral and intellectual traps most commentators are falling into vis-a-vis the London bombings. The first is the terrifyingly myopic and widespread consensus which is emerging that the attack "wasn't about Iraq." The increasingly predictable Christopher Hitchens writes in "The Anticipated Attack: Don't Blame Iraq for the Bombings" (Slate magazine):
A contributor to the TPMCafe blog offers an interesting commentary on the 7-7 attacks:
Muslim Civil War - Second Front
Overlooked by most media outlets (but not by London bloggers) in the Edgware Road and Aldgate bombings is the very interesting fact that all the bombs were set off in or near the most heavily muslim neighborhoods in the UK -- or in western Europe, for that matter. One can see why the bombers avoided Gleneagles; as to logical London targets, one could conceivably argue that Whitehall or Westminster are too tough to penetrate for even the most ingenious death cultist.
But why on earth would muslims set off so many bombs in their own mini-capital, as it were?
The first apparent example of what Christopher Hitchens called "bloody foolishness" that he hoped Britons would be too civilized for following the London attacks. From Pakistan's Daily Times, July 15:
Pakistani shot dead
LONDON: Pakistani national Kamal Raza Butt was killed in a suspected racial attack in Nottingham, said police on Tuesday. Butt died on Sunday, three days after the London bombings, and the attack was "being investigated as a racially-aggravated incident," said a Nottinghamshire Police, adding that six youths arrested on Monday were in custody and being questioned. Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala linked Butt's death to Thursday's terrorist attacks. Butt (48) had been staying in Nottingham with a friend, said police, adding that he was assaulted shortly after he left a neighbourhood shop.