Monday, July 11, 2005

Blair rejects calls for probe into bombings?

Comment: With all the recent anomalies in the press recently, it's a little strange why a probe into something as serious as the recent bombing in London are rejected.

Financial Times

Tony Blair will on Monday reject Conservative demands for a government inquiry into last week's London bomb attacks, insisting such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators.

As police and security services on Sunday continued searching for the bombers - thought to be Islamist terrorists - Downing Street said the prime minister believed an inquiry now into the outrage which killed at least 49 people would be a "ludicrous diversion."

Instead, in a statement to the Commons on Monday following last week's Group of Eight summit, Mr Blair is expected to focus on the direction the government must take to ensure future terrorism is defeated.

In particular, the prime minister believes there must be far greater co-operation among European Union governments in the fight against terrorism - a view Charles Clarke, the home secretary, is expected to drive home at an emergency meeting of EU interior ministers this week.

He is expected to tell his counterparts governments must ensure operators keep data on telephone and internet exchanges for up to a year.

He also indicated on Sunday that he would consider granting further "control orders" if he thought they were necessary.

Mr Clarke said he was "very optimistic indeed" that last Thursday's bombers would be tracked down. But he feared further attacks could take place until that happened. "That is why the number one priority has to be the catching of the perpetrators."

Police continued to sift through the debris from Thursday's four explosions - three in the London Underground and one on a bus - and to examine witness accounts and intelligence as part of their hunt for the bombers.

But police chiefs indicated that had yet to establish the identity or the whereabouts of the terrorists they suspect belong to an extremist Islamist cell in sympathy with the aims of Al-Qaeda.

Tension several cities remained high over the weekend. Police said they had arrested, under prevention of terrorism laws, three British nationals on an inward flight at Heathrow early on Sunday but insisted that any link with last Thursday's bombings was speculative. The three were released later on Sunday night without charge.

But the arrests, the dozens of bomb alerts in the English capital and an evacuation in the Birmingam city centre over the weekend reflect the nervousness of both police and the general public at the prospect that the bombers were still at large and capable of striking again.

The police also revealed that there had been a few cases of attacks on British Muslims in the wake of the bombings - including one in which an individual was "seriously injured."

The revelation came as some government officials expressed irritation that an article in a Sunday newspaper by Sir John Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, might stir up racial tensions. He said the bombers were "almost certainly" British - with many more born and bred here willing to attack.


Lets recap: only one website seems to claim responsibility for the attacks, and that website can be traced back to a server in Maryland Texas,US.

Reports of forewarning.

Terror drills exactly the same as the actual events.

But no probe into bombings!

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