Mzansi Afrika

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombings

Tony Blair has just recently confirmed that the seven explosions in London are the work of terrorists. So far it is not yet known who is behind this well orchestrated attack, but obviously most speculation is centering around Al Qaida. Reuters tell us that the blasts "bear similarities to last year's Madrid bombings and suggest an attack in the style of al Qaeda".

Here is a round-up of what some of the political and security analysts have been saying thus far:

ROLF TOPHOVEN, DIRECTOR OF THE TERRORISM RESEARCH INSITUTE IN ESSEN, GERMANY
"London is a centre of Islamist propaganda in Europe. There have been permanent, massive threats since the involvement of the British government in the Iraq war. Let's not forget that the main enemy for the Islamists is the United States, and that's not just since Sept. 11, 2001 and Tony Blair is the closest ally of George W. Bush, so from that point of view it makes sense to hit the closest ally of the USA. This is another parallel with Madrid."


SEBESTYEN GORKA, SECURITY ANALYST:
"The first thing that's very obvious is the synchronised nature of the attacks, and that's pretty classic for al Qaeda or al Qaeda-related organisations. If we're talking about several attacks on one day, then there's a good likelihood we're talking about a known quantity here...The similarities to Madrid are clear."


CHRIS BELLAMY, TERRORISM EXPERT, TO SKY NEWS:
"It has the coordination and the simultaneity of one group in particular, although it's too early to say. What we may be talking about here is not suicide bombers but just packages left on trains. It is the softest of targets. We've expected something like this for some time"


ANJA DALGAARD-NIELSEN, DANISH INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (DIIS)
"It's shocking. It's always problematic to guess at such an early stage but coordinated bombs, that's the trademark of the networks that subscribe to al-Qaeda's ideology. The IRA has not carried out such attacks against civilians for ages, at least not without prior warning."


MJ GOHEL, ASIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION, ON CNN
"The chances are that it could be an al-Qaeda type operation... Al-Qaeda and its friends do seem to like attacking the transport systems around the world."


You can get ongoing and up to date coverage at the BBC online. BBC World TV is saying that there are unconfirmed rumours that a suicide bomber may have been involved.

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