Terrorists' frontal assault on London's transport system making Brits life
A.H. Jaffor Ullah
Global terrorists have struck again
and this time, the central business district of London was the bull’s eye.
This morning, hours after the attack, we heard the news in all the
networks. The Internet news site
Yahoo had also posted several articles. The
news of July 7 attack spread in the cyber space a la wild fire.
Needless to say, the news of the assault overshadowed all the other news
especially the G-8 conference taking place in Gleneagles, Scotland where George
Bush, Vladimir Putin, and other world leaders are meeting to discuss world
economy including world trade, debt relief for poorer African nations, global
warming, and myriad other issues.
The terrorists targeted three
“tube” (subway) stations and one quintessential double-decker bus while
detonating bombs, which killed 37 people and sent over 700 people to hospitals.
To inflict a maximum casualty the terrorists chose the morning rush hour
when tens and thousands of commuters crisscross London’s heart of the business
district. According to Associated
Press, this was “the deadliest attack on the city since the blitz in World War
Within hours of the attack, the
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, blamed Islamic extremists and said the
bombings were designed to coincide with the inauguration of G-8 summit of the
world's most powerful leaders. British
Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, indicated that the bombings — which came the
day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics — have all the
“hallmarks of an al-Qaida-related attack.”
As usual, prior to the attack there
had been no warning and that the blasts at three subway stations went off within
26 minutes, starting at 8:51 a.m. The
first attack came in a subway train near the financial district.
This is most definitively a sign of al-Qaeda attack.
On September 11, 2001, the same terrorist group blew up the twin tower,
which located near the perimeter of New York's financial district in the morning
hours. The authorities first thought
that the blast was caused by a power surge but later realized that it was a
terror attack when they learned that a double-decker bus was partially blown
away near the British Museum at 9:47 a.m. — less than an hour after the first
Within hours of the deadly attacks
in London a little known website affiliated with al-Qaeda had claimed the
responsibility of the assault on the city’s transport system.
Many intelligence experts in England had long feared, following the Sept.
11, 2001, strikes in New York, Washington, and Britain’s subsequent alliance
with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq that Osama bin Laden’s terror
organization may strike at the heartland of Great Britain.
Nevertheless, al-Qaeda’s attention was focused on Spain where they
bombed four commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004 in which 191 commuters
The terrorists had singled out Great
Britain because at this time all eyes are on Gleneagles, Scotland where G-8
nations leader have assembled. The
terror organization al-Qaeda has penchant for publicity.
They know that any attack done against Britons while G-8 meeting is in
progress would generate a maximum publicity.
That is what exactly happened. In
America, the news of the attack dominated the prime time TV.
Many Americans could empathize with the Britons because they have gone
through the ordeal on September 11, 2001.
There is a general sense in the West
that al-Qaeda had targeted England because Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair had
wholeheartedly supported President George Bush in the Iraq War.
Britain had not only gave a moral support to America in their effort to
declare war against global terrorism, but sent troops to the Southern part of
Iraq dominated by Shiites.
Why is it that many experts in the
West think this assault on British public transport system is the work of
al-Qaeda? Osama’s terror
organization loves the transport system of the West.
Osama’s men know that the West is vulnerable when it comes to the mass
transit system. Tens and thousands
of commuters use the underground tube system and above ground buses to go to
work. Furthermore, it is humanely
not possible to guard all the trains and buses from terrorist attack.
The terrorists therefore took advantage of the situation.
They attacked simultaneously three subway cars and one above ground bus
to inflict a heavy damage. An open
society such as Great Britain will always be vulnerable to terrorist attack
because the city dwellers depend so heavily on mass transit.
Will there be a white backlash
against Muslim immigrants in Great Britain?
In the aftermath of 9-11, there were some unfortunate incidences in many
American cities. Knowing how heavily
populated some cities in England are with Muslim expatriates, the communal
element such as skinheads could rough up South Asians and Arabs?
London’s Reagent Park mosque and Finchbury Park mosque had earned
enough bad reputation because in the aftermath of 9-11 some clerics had spewed
venom through their sermon. Thus, if
racial harmony breaks down and some minorities suffer, consequently, we cannot
blame the British society. Osama bin
Laden’s terror organization does not see things through the eyes of a normal
human being. They have declared
jihad against the West; therefore, if some brown people suffer for their terror
attack, they could care less.
This day (July 7, 2005) will be
mired in infamy in the minds of Britons. From
now on, this day will go down in the annals of modern history as 7-7, which will
be equivalent to 9-11 of America. The
terror attack done in British soil is a seminal event that will mark a new
beginning for millions of Britons.
Osama bin Laden’s ardent followers
will never know the negative impact these terrible episodes of bombings bring on
Muslim immigrants those who live in the West.
I have gone through some agonizing days in the wake of 9-11 in America.
Many British immigrants and citizens who are of Muslim descent will
experience some rough weather. It
comes with the territory. The action
of a few wayward Muslims will be causing a great deal consternation amongst
Muslim Diasporas in England and other European nation.
Mr. bin Laden and his lieutenants probably gives a damn about it.
For, they are men of actions. Until
and unless blood flows in the West because of their periodic action, they could
hardly get excited. Inflicting
wounds is their game and it seems as if they are getting better at that.
The West is awestruck for they have the slightest clue how to put the
jinni of jihad back into a bottle.
Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher
and columnist, writes from New Orleans, USA