2005年 07月 08日
Massive hunt for London bombers
A massive intelligence investigation is under way to find those responsible for the bomb attacks in London which killed at least 37 and left 700 injured.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Thursday's attacks bore all the hallmarks of the al-Qaeda network.
The Queen will visit some casualties in hospital while Tony Blair prepares for the last day of the G8 summit.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke is urging people to go about their business as normally as possible on Friday.
Anyone worried about relatives or friends they have not heard from is advised to contact a special police hotline on 0870 156 6344.
Scotland Yard have confirmed seven people died in the Liverpool Street explosion, while 21 lost their lives at the King's Cross blast and another seven were killed at Edgware Road.
Two people died in the explosion on a double decker bus at Upper Woburn Place.
One eyewitness - Scott Wenbourne - was on the train travelling in to Aldgate station when there was an explosion in the carriage in front of him.
He told of how he and other passengers were led to the station after the blast.
Describing the sight before him, Mr Wenbourne said: "As we walked up past the carriage we saw debris and torn metal. I noticed the carriage was completely ripped apart on one side.
"I saw three bodies on the track. I couldn't look, it was so horrific. I think one was moving but I'm not too sure."
BBC correspondent Frank Gardner said dozens of secret service staff at MI5 headquarters are working flat out to find the perpetrators of the four blasts on London's Underground and a bus.
Closely co-ordinated attacks aimed at "soft" civilian targets without warning pointed towards a group linked to, or at least inspired, by al-Qaeda, he added.
Whitehall sources say every resource is being used, but it may take some days before a picture emerges of who was to blame.
Police said they were examining a claim on the website of a previously unknown group, the Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe, saying it was behind the blast.
The statement said the attacks were revenge for the "massacres" Britain was committing in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the country was now "burning with fear and panic".
It warned Denmark and Italy they faced similar attacks if they did not withdraw their troops from the Middle East.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said officers were looking into this claim, but that they were keeping an open mind.
He also stressed officials had not received any warning of the blasts.
Anti-terrorism officers are also examining whether or not the attacks were the work of suicide bombers. Mr Paddick said it was too soon to say definitively either way.
Foreign Office officials says the attacks were similar to those on the Spanish capital, Madrid, last year.
Mr Straw said the spate of attacks on the public transport system bore "all the hallmarks of an Qaeda-based organisation".
But he stressed that assessments were still being made.
The prime minister, who left the G8 summit to meet police and security officials in London after the attacks, is due to get back to business with other world leaders later.
All statements on the key issues being discussed, including steps to tackle climate change, were postponed until Friday, although negotiations continued.
The leaders did however pause to condemn what they called "an attack on civilised peoples everywhere".
Meanwhile the home secretary urged people to try to continue their lives as normally as possible.
Mr Clarke said: "The aim of the terrorists to try and stop us leading our lives as we best can and I think our responsibility is to try and get on and live our lives as we can."
No intelligence had been received of any further attacks being threatened, he added.
But the Metropolitan Police advised people to consider whether they needed to come to work.
The force said in a statement: "There will be disruption on the transport system on Friday.
"If people think they may have a problem getting to work they should give serious consideration whether or not to come in."
Security has been stepped up, however, on London's public transport system and Transport for London has pledged to try to get the service back to normal.