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.
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.
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