On July 7th, 2005, 6 explosions took place in London, 3 of which were committed in the city subway and 3 in regular buses. At 8.49 am, the police received information that the explosion was at “Liverpool Street” station; later similar signals were obtained from the stations “Aldgate”, “Edgware Road”, “Moorgate” and “Russell Square”. At 10.14 am, the police received information about the explosion in a double-decker bus traveling along one of the central squares of the city and later, about two more explosions in buses, which were almost simultaneous with the first one (McBrewster, 2009). All the affected stations were situated in downtown, which coincided with the traditional morning rush hour. The events completely paralyzed the traffic flow in the British capital; the general mood of residents was estimated as panic (Bux, 2009).
The police immediately visited the scene of explosions, cordoned off the territory of the affected stations, and started the evacuation of people from the subway, many of whom were in a shock state. A field ambulance station was organized near the “Aldgate”ť station, and urban hospitals switched on the emergency preparedness regime.
Moreover, army units were matched in the city, which were responsible for keeping order in London (McBrewster, 2009). All the planned celebrations in honor of the victory of the British capital in the race for the right to host the Olympics-2012 were cancelled. In response to London terror attacks, increased security measures were taken in New York, Paris and Moscow (McKenna, 2007).
Law enforcement representatives refrained from official comments on the attacks for a long time, because the information obtained was highly fragmented and often contradictory, but stated that the bombs used in terror attacks contained no chemical and bacteriological substances, and were just explosive (Burke, 2006). 52 people became the victims of bombings, and more than 700 people got injured (Bux, 2009). On July 16th, the UK police officially named the three executors of terrorist acts, Britons of Pakistan origin: 19-year-old Hasib Hussain, 22-year-old Shehzad Tanweer and 30-year-old Mohammed Sadique Khan, whose membership in the terrorist network of al-Qaeda first didn’t have precise evidence.
However, on September 1st, 2005, Al Jazeera broadcast a recording, on which Al-Qaeda took responsibility for July bombings in London. The recording contained the testament of one of the suicide bombers Mohammed Sadique Khan, who blamed the citizens of Western countries for the bombings in London, Madrid and 9/11 events in the USA, and for electing governments which committed crimes against humanity and continued aggression against his Muslim brothers and sisters. In the same recording, Osama bin Laden’s assistant Ayman al-Zawahiri informed about the preparation of new attacks in London and other Western countries supporting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which would be continued until Europeans and Americans managed to see the real reality (Rai, 2006).
At the same time, the terrorist attack was foreseen in advance, because the UK was warned by many countries. Thus, shortly before the July 7th bombings, the French secret service DCRG presented the report on the intentions of al-Qaeda to inflict a strike at Foggy Albion, in particular, from the side of Pakistani community, which based on a dramatically increasing number of travels of the members of Muslim militant groups to London through France.
Similar information was obtained from intelligence agencies of Saudi Arabia and the National Intelligence Center of Spain (Rai, 2006; McKenna, 2007).
The experts argued that the main threat came from the Salafit group, targeting not only states leading the war in Iraq, but all of the Western society on the whole (Rai, 2006). In an interview with a Portuguese magazine Publico, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad heading the British extremist organization al-Muhajiroun mentioned that the attacks on London were inevitable, because the explosions were simultaneously prepared by different groupings, in addition “Al-Qaeda in Europe”ť was at moment becoming more popular among young Muslims.