Shocking: London Tube bombers guided by contact in Pakistan

Remember all of those reports claiming that “homegrown terrorists,” and not al Qaeda, were responsible for the July 7, 2005, London Tube suicide attacks? Despite numerous reports showing that al Qaeda was behind the attack (such as the capture and interrogation of senior al Qaeda leader Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, the London attack mastermind who plotted in Pakistan, met two of the suicide bombers, and was captured in Iraq in late 2006), the idea persists that the 7/7 bombings were carried out by homegrown terrorists.

Now, another shocking piece of evidence has emerged in the 7/7 case: In the months before the suicide attacks, the bombers were guided and encouraged by a telephone contact in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. From The Guardian:

An unidentified person in Pakistan gave bomb-making advice and encouragement to the four suicide bombers on 7 July while they were plotting the attacks that would kill 52 people, an inquest into the victims’ deaths has heard.

The leader of the bombers, Mohammed Sidique Khan, received a series of calls on a mobile phone used solely to plan the attacks from a number of public call boxes in Rawalpindi, it was revealed.

The bombers are believed to have been guided by an individual in Rawalpindi because they lacked expertise in making bombs, Detective Sergeant Mark Stuart of the Metropolitan police told the inquest.

Photographs of the bomb-making factory in Leeds where the group built explosive devices using concentrated hydrogen peroxide and pepper were shown at the inquest, at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday.

The first call from Rawalpindi was received by Khan on 23 April 2005, the inquest heard. That call was followed by a series of calls between mid-May and the start of June.

One call was made on 2 July that year, five days before the explosions, said Stuart.

More from the BBC:

Police believe Khan gave the Pakistan contacts the numbers for four phones, used solely in relation to the bombings plot. He never made any calls to Pakistan himself.

The majority of the phone conversations took place between May and June 2005.

The inquests were told that the last call to Khan was recorded on the afternoon of 7 July, when the attacks had been “brought to worldwide attention”.

We’re shocked that al Qaeda was actually involved, and that the plot emanated from Pakistan. Who would ever have believed that? For these reasons, today’s news on the 7/7 suicide attacks wins the coveted Captain Louis Renault Award.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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8 Comments

  • NickH says:

    Rawalpindi = Pakistan Security Establishment

  • Jimmy says:

    Barbarity of the Pakistani Jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir state of India:
    //ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/02/jihadi-barbarity.html

  • Charu says:

    Shocking! A Pakistani military connection to a terrorist act? Who would have thunk it?

  • kp says:

    Rawalpindi == City of 3.25 million people

    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rawalpindi

    Saying “Rawalpindi = Pakistan Security Establishment” is a bit like saying “DC = American Security Establishment” only it’s smaller and probably does have a larger fraction of “security establishment” people but not everyone works for the CIA or FBI or DoD in DC.

    Having the 7/7 bombings directed from Pakistan is by AQ is enough (and all the evidence seems to show that’s the connection).

  • David says:

    Actually, it is shocking to me. I understand why the ISI wants to keep the Taliban going, strategic depth, fear of India and all that. But what could possibly be Pakistan’s motive for a terrorist attack on a western country? It doesn’t help them control Afghanistan, or Pashtunistan, and it brings more crap down on their heads. It gives the westerners more resolve, and makes it less likely we will ever leave Afghanistan, delaying the day when they can go back to controlling it. Why in the world would they do this? Are they insane???

  • Tim says:

    @David,
    You still don’t get the idea, do you? Pakistan’s main motivation is to milk the US of weapons, diplomatic support against India and money. For this, they need to keep themselves indispensible to the NATO war effort in Afghanistan. Therefore, they need to periodically scare the gullible West with threats of terror attack to make the US open up its wallet in exchange for safe passage of NATO war supplies to the sink hole – Afghanistan. Its a dastardly business operated by the Pakistan Army, ISI, Taliban, AQ, Saudi Sheikhs. In the process if there are a few headaches of terror attacks on their own territory, so be it! In business there are always risks. And citizens of Pakistan are cannon fodder for the Paki Army ISI. A few dozen poor souls blown apart in occassional terror bombs is acceptable until the US weapons and cash keep flowing in.
    And we in the West fall into this trap EVERYTIME!

  • Villiger says:

    ALL roads lead to Islamabad.
    In this case the operatives may have been in Rawalpindi (PakMil HQ) but the policy is driven from Islamabad (ISI HQ and the de facto Ministry of Export of Terror).
    So yes, Rawalpindi + Islamabad (twin cities) = Pak Security Establishment
    whose business it is as Tim puts it to create insecurity and milk a massive amount of money from the US and other NATO countries. The means justifies their end gains.
    Disbandon the Pak military and the war is over or disaggregate Pakistan and with it its military.

  • shazia says:

    off course all roads lead to Pakistan, t makes sense, God knows how many raymonds are working in PAKISTAN, amking and harbouring forces like TTP and ASIAN TIGERS whoes numbers were found on the 7 sims the man carried. ALL MAKES SENSE!

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis