London Bombing News
Terrorists have hit the Brits. From the BBC:
“London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair tells the BBC he knows of “about six explosions”, one on a bus and the others related to Underground stations. He says he believes the six affected areas are Edgware Road, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate, but says it is ‘still a confusing situation’.”
There are many confirmed injuries at this point, but only a few confirmed deaths. Given the severity of these attacks, that will undoubtedly change as the day goes on.
Good luck and Godspeed to the Brits as they deal with this attack.
*** Update #1: *** Posted at 7:18 AM from the Financial Times:
“Multiple explosions on the London Underground and on buses have caused fatalities and left dozens with “terrible injuries” in what prime minister Tony Blair said was a co-ordinated terrorist attack timed to coincide with the G8 summit.
Mr Blair, speaking in Gleneagles, described the attack as “barbaric” but said the summit would continue.
Police reported at least two deaths and large numbers of casualties. The first of the explosions was reported at 8.49am at Aldgate tube station. Five other incidents were reported at Edgware Road station, King’s Cross, Old Street, Moorgate and Russell Square.
The Metropolitan Police also confirmed there had been explosions on three buses, one of which happened in Tavistock Square minutes after the blasts on the Underground.”
*** Update #2: *** From Spiegel Online at 8:00 AM:
“The blasts, which were early on blamed on a possible power surge on the London grid, have now been claimed by the terrorist group al-Qaida according to a document posted on Web site often used by the group to announce attacks. A group calling itself “Secret Organization — al Qaida in Europe” says it was responsible and says it was a reaction to British participation in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The authenticity of the claim could not immediately be verified.
Arab sources who monitor al-Qaida have also said they believe the attacks are almost certainly the handiwork of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group.”
*** Update #3: *** Apparently the Brits had some sort of inkling beforehand that a serious terror attack might be going down. From the AP at 8:18 AM:
British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday’s explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said.
Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead, government officials said”
*** Update #4:*** From the AP at 8:30:
“Three explosions rocked the London subway and one tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday. The blasts killed at least two people. Hospital officials say 190 people are being treated for injuries in what a shaken Prime Minister Tony Blair called a series of “barbaric” terrorist attacks.”
Sounds like it may be 4 bombs instead of 6…
*** Update #5:*** 8:39 AM — The BBC has eyewitness reports
*** Update #6:*** 5:20 EST:
“Rudy Giuliani, who led the Big Apple through the devastating attacks, said he was only yards away from the first explosion this morning, while on a visit to London.” — The Daily Mail
*** Update #7 *** 5:40 PM
“At least 37 people have been killed and 700 injured in a series of terror attacks on London.” — Sky News
Donald Rumsfeld on the London bombings:
“But if these terrorists thought they could intimidate the people of a great nation, they picked the wrong people and the wrong nation. For generations, tyrants, fascists, and terrorists have sought to carry out their violent designs upon the British people only to founder upon its unrelenting shores.
Before long, I suspect that those responsible for these acts will encounter British steel. Their kind of steel has an uncommon strength. It does not bend or break.”
*** Update #8 *** 5:46 PM The British Conservative Party’s reaction to the attacks
“Declaring the nation united and standing firm in its resolve to face down terrorism, Party Leader Michael Howard issued a statement which declared: “We express our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost lives and those who have been injured. We express our thanks and admiration for the heroic work of the emergency services and we fully support the Prime Minister in what he has said about our determination to defend and to protect our way of life.”
…Speaking after Home Secretary Charles Clarke made a brief statement to MPs following the bombings on the Tube network and at least one bus in the capital, Mr Davis said: “A prime aim of terrorists is to demoralise and divide our communities. It is right that we should be angry at today’s atrocities. It is no less essential that we remain clear-headed and united. We say to the terrorists: you will not succeed in setting us against one another.”
…Mr Davis said: “This morning’s explosions were acts of almost unspeakable depravity and wickedness – planned with the deliberate intention of taking innocent life. The whole House condemns them utterly. This is not just an attack on our capital city, but on our country as a whole. It goes without saying that the Government will have our full support in dealing with this assault upon our society. We stand ready with them to play our part.”