The Electric Commentary

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Attacked

Update 6 (Note: There is non-London material below):

From CNN:


The claim of responsibility from the group said it had repeatedly warned Britain.

"The mujahedeen heroes have launched a blessed attack in London," the statement said.

"Here is Britain burning now out of fear and horror in its north, south east and west. We have often and repeatedly warned the British government and people."

The statement said the group had carried out the attack after exerting "strenuous efforts ... over a long period of time to guarantee" its success.

"We still warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the crusader governments that they will receive the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan," it said. "We gave the warning, so we should not be blamed."


Update 5:

The NYT is reporting 33 deaths and around 1000 injuries. CNN has more. And the WaPo is reporting that the Terror Alert for US Public Transit has been raised to Orange. I'm glad I drove to work today. For those of you in Chicago, the CTA Tattler is keeping tabs on the state of the L.

Here are some more pics from London. Here's a map of the strikes.

Al-Qa'eda likes to plan attacks on significant dates. At first this looked like it was intended to coincide with the G8 conference, but it is worth noting that the trial of Abu Hamza began on Tuesday. (Hat tip, Instapundit.)

Update 4:

As you would expect, Andrew Sullivan has a lot to say, as does Dan Drezner.

Update 3:

Stephen Karlson has a roundup as well, including the excellent Going Underground's Blog.

My deepest sympathies and best wishes to all of London, and all of England.

Update 2:

Jeff Jarvis links to some photos here, and more here.

More here from Tim Worstall.

Update:

Ace Cowboy has a comprehensive round-up of stories. We will also, apparently, have an official casualty report in the next hour, according to Christiane Amanpour.

By now you've heard about this.

Tons more here, here, here and here.

I'll update as more details become available. So far there are at least 2 dead (although this number will almost certainly increase as the day goes on), and hundreds of injuries. A group claiming to be related to Al-Qa'eda has claimed responsibility.

5 Comments:

  • Al-Qa'eda has claimed responsibility.

    I don't know Paul, while "The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe" does in fact have "Al Qaeda" in their name, it reeks more of a fringe group - or pre-pubescent "no girls allowed" treehouse club - trying to get juice with the big boys than an official Al Qaeda faction. Obviously that makes this act no less tragic and reprehensible, but it seems to me like what we are seeing could be another Al-Zarchawi-type deal where these guys want a piece of the action.

    I guess the "upside" to this could be that these guys are starting to consolidate, and as such may become more of a unit that can be taken out easier. However, I think that these Islamist forces have proven to be crazier than stupid and will probably fight hard to make sure that their advantage of being decentralized is preserved as best as possible. Still, as independent efforts widen with the goal of gaining credibility with OBL and the boys, the communications network grows larger and becomes more susceptible to compromise.

    But of course efforts like that (infiltration) take real mulitary planning and strategy unlike the current operation that most of our finest are mired in today. Hopefully a few are on that job.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 2:21 PM  

  • Point taken, however:

    1. This resembles a genuine al-Qa'eda strike in it's planning (several simultaneous attacks on a significant day, G8, Live8, Hamza's trial. Take your pick).

    2. It targets the country that is, aside from the United States and Israel, probably at the top of the hit list.

    3. The claim of responsibility showed up on al-Qala'a, which has been a credible sounding board for al-Qa'eda in the past. (Although this site has had bogus claims as well, most of those claims have been threats, not claims of responsibility).

    4. The claim was in Arabic (an obvious point, but one worth making. Not every wanna-be terrorist does know Arabic, especially well enough to compose such a letter).

    So it may be some start up, but I think it is at least possible that the big network was involved. It is also more frightening to their enemies if they claim to have an extensive network on the European Continent.

    Also, I'm not sure how much this reveals about the expansion of cells either. If this is a rag tag group of start-ups it doesn't mean much of anything with regard to the big guys. If it is the big guys their cell system seems to be functioning just fine.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:46 PM  

  • I changed the post to a more accurate, "a group claiming to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda."

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:57 PM  

  • Fair enough.

    And all good points, I guess I just can't get past the lameness of the name - which should probably be changed since they are not "secret" anymore.

    Which reminds me (in a very nebulous sort of way), did they ever really pin that Madrid bombing on anybody?

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 3:03 PM  

  • I thought that that one was pretty firmly pinned on AQ, but I couldn't swear to it, and I'm running out of time today.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 3:21 PM  

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