Were the London "Bombers" Set up?
By Peter Meyer
On July 16, 2005, the UK Daily Mirror published an article by Jeff Edwards:
EXCLUSIVE: WAS IT SUICIDE?
Why did they buy return train tickets to Luton? Why did they buy pay & display tickets for cars? Why were there no usual shouts of 'Allah Akhbar'? Why were bombs in bags and not on their bodies?
All good questions. Especially the one about why the bought return train tickets to London. Suicide bombers don't expect to return.
Jeff Edwards writes:
THE London bombers may have been duped into killing themselves so their secrets stayed hidden.
Police and MI5 are probing if the four men were told by their al-Qaeda controller they had time to escape after setting off timers. Instead, the devices exploded immediately.
A security source said: "If the bombers lived and were caught they'd probably have cracked. Would their masters have allowed that to happen? We think not."
The evidence is compelling: The terrorists bought return rail tickets, and pay and display car park tickets, before boarding _ a train at Luton for London. None of the men was heard to cry "Allah Akhbar!" — "God is great" — usually screamed by suicide bombers as they detonate their bomb.
Their devices were in large rucksacks which could be easily dumped instead of being strapped to their bodies. They carried wallets containing their driving licences, bank cards and other personal items. Suicide bombers normally strip themselves of identifying material.
Similar terror attacks against public transport in Madrid last year were carried out by recruits who had time to escape and planned to strike again.
Bomber Hasib Hussain detonated his device at the rear of the top deck of a No 30 bus, not in the middle of the bottom deck where most damage would be caused.
Additionally, two of the bombers had strong personal reasons for staying alive.
Jermaine Lindsay's partner Samantha Lewthwaite, 22, mother of his one-year-old son, is expecting her second baby within days. Mohammed Sidique Khan's wife Hasina, mum of a 14-month-old daughter, is also pregnant.
Our source disclosed: "The theory that they were not a suicide squad is gathering pace. They were the weakest link.
"We think it's possible they were told that when they pressed buttons to set off timers they'd have a short time to abandon the bombs and get away before the blast. Instead, the bombs exploded immediately."
Another intelligence source added: "Whoever is behind this didn't want to waste their best operatives on a suicide mission. Instead they used easily recruited low-grade men who may have believed they'd walk away."
[Remainder of article omitted.]
The first thing to note about this is that it is a narrative, a story. It may soon become the official story. It is designed, like all narratives, to induce us to accept a particular description of events which purports to provide an "explanation", one which "makes sense" of those events.
But all narratives make assumptions and have implications. Those assumptions and implications may not immediately be clear, but the particular implications may actually be what is most important, and provide the reason why the narrator is putting forward his narration.
The official story:
There were four young men, all Muslims, three of Pakistani descent and one from Jamaica, who lived in Northern England. For some reason they were antagonistic toward Britain or British society. Perhaps they felt "alienated" or treated unfairly. Perhaps they hated the British government for participating in the US-led war against Iraq, a secular society, but in which most people are Muslims. Who knows? One of them had spent several months studying at a madrassa in Pakistan. They all "had links" to "Al-Qaeda". From some obscure motive that we shall probably never understand they hatched a plot to detonate bombs in the London underground. Somehow, perhaps with the assistance of unknown persons from "Al-Qaeda", they constructed four bombs. On the morning of July 7th, 2005, they travelled by car to Luton, then took the train to King's Cross. At 8:30 a.m. they were all recorded on CCTV together at the station. They then separated. Three of them boarded tube trains going in different directions and at approximately 8:50 a.m., while the trains were travelling underground, their bombs were detonated and they and about fifty Londoners were killed. The fourth man, for some reason unknown, carried his bomb onto a bus, where it exploded at about 9:47 a.m., killing him and several others. Their IDs (drivers licenses, credit cards) were found at the locations of the explosions. They are all dead and so we can never question them to find out what their motives were.
But now the writer of the Daily Mirror article adds a new twist: What if the men were bombers, but not suicide bombers? Perhaps, like the Madrid bombers, they intended to survive? (We can gloss over the fact that the Madrid bombs were detonated not by hand but by mobile phone calls, which method would not work in the tunnels of the London underground.) Perhaps they were duped? What if the shadowy "Al-Qaeda" higher-ups instructed them to carry the bombs onto the trains, bombs with timers set to detonate the bombs before the bombers expected them to go off? That way the bombers are killed and so can't provide any information. Hmmnnn ... Plausible, perhaps.
Consider now the assumptions and implications of this story. Firstly, the perpetrators were Muslims. Muslim "extremists". Not your average law-abiding Muslim, but nevertheless Muslims. This makes all Muslims in Britain suspect in the eyes of white-skinned Britons and, more importantly, it reinforces the stereotype of the "Muslim terrorist". It somehow "justifies" the "War on Terror", directed mainly against Muslims, Arabs and generally anyone living in, or coming from, a Muslim country.
Secondly, it could happen again. The bombers, suicidal or otherwise, were, to all appearances, just like the hundreds of thousands of other young Muslim men living in West Yorkshire and other places with large Pakistani populations. One elaboration on the story has them constructing their bombs from ingredients which can be bought at any chemist shop. So, since it could happen again, anytime, major defensive measures have to be taken, one of which will be to require all British residents to be fingerprinted and iris-scanned and to carry identity cards at all times (which must be presented in order to obtain access to government services, and perhaps even to commercial services, such as transportation).
So if we ask whom this atrocity benefits, the answer (or at least, one answer) must be: the British government, which can now even more portray itself as "fully committed" to the "war against international terrorism", and taking "all possible measures" to ensure the safety of those residing in Britain (even if this requires the curtailment, or partial elimination, of what some "quaintly" call "civil liberties").
But before we accept the official story fully, we should ask ourselves whether there is not some other explanation of the events.
On July 15, one day before the Daily Mirror article appeared, another article was published, by William Bowles and Edward Teague. It is at http://www.williambowles.info/ini/ini-0348.html, entitled "Dead men tell no tales — Were the London bombings a set up?" This article also suggests that the "bombers" did not intend to kill themselves. But it goes further, and suggests that they did not even intend to detonate any bombs. In fact, that they were not even aware that the rucksacks that they were carrying contained explosives.
William Bowles gives us an alternative story. One which purports to fit the facts, just as the official story does, but which has different assumptions and, more importantly, different implications.
Consider the facts:
The four knew each other, they had travelled together that day, two from Leeds, a friend from Leeds who had moved to Luton and a Jamaican guy who had recently arrived in Aylesbury.
The four men caught the Thamesmead train from Luton to London, Kings Cross carrying rucksacks. They looked, said a policeman who has seen CCTV footage from Kings Cross Main Hall as though they were going on a walking holiday, smiling and joking.
They split up, three to die within some 20 minutes, the fourth an eighteen year old, another hour later on a bus where he was sat on the back seat upstairs.
Although one of them owned a spanking new, red Mercedes, they rented a car that they left at Luton before proceeding on to London by train. This is a common method for drug couriers to use as the number plate scanning technology used by the police makes drug couriers very vulnerable to being identified.
At least two had criminal records for petty crime, shop-lifting and fraud and two of the men from Leeds had made a few trips to Pakistan, a well known source of heroin (most of the heroin consumed in Europe and the US comes from Afghanistan and much of it trafficked through Pakistan). And the neighbourhood in Leeds where three of the young men came from is a well-known source for drugs.
If we assume they were simply running what they thought were packets of drugs, they may well have done it before, perhaps even have conducted a 'dry-run' or two and of course, 'ask no questions', just do the run and pick up the bread.
They are given instructions, perhaps to meet someone on the tube or bus, where they have been instructed to hand over the backpacks, perhaps to look for a pre-arranged signal or sign that identifies the recipient. 'Drop off the packets and pick up your £1000 when you get back'. Easy-peasy, money for old rope as they say. For four young working class men, the allure of quick, easy money is difficult to resist, the perfect patsies.
Assume therefore, that they thought they were carrying drugs, perhaps picking up the packages in Luton for shipment to London. To reduce the possibility of interception, it is quite common to deliver the drugs separately.
The bombs are actually timed to go off at the height of the rush hour and conveniently, the carriers are all killed. No witnesses, no way of tracing back to who set them up. The police are now saying that their 'handler' has in all likelihood, already left the country.
[Remainder of article omitted.]
So ... according to this narrative the four men who died thought they were carrying heroin in their backpacks, not explosives. They never intended to kill anyone. They were simply doing a job that they had done before, and each was expecting to take home a thousand quid at the end of the day (which is why they bought return train tickets back to Luton).
Obviously someone intended to kill a whole lot of people in the underground. Someone constructed bombs from high explosives (perhaps C4 plastic explosive) and placed them in the backpacks that they men carried onto the trains (and onto the bus). But according to this alternative that someone was not the young men from West Yorkshire; it was, rather, the people who gave them (what they thought was) the heroin to deliver. And those people intended that the four men, and a lot of others, would be killed, and that Britain (and the rest of the world) would experience "shock and awe" in the manner of 9/11.
Why would those people do such a thing?
Firstly, it enables the British government to blame Muslims for the atrocity. Muslim "extremists". Not your average law-abiding Muslim, but nevertheless Muslims. This makes all Muslims in Britain suspect in the eyes of white-skinned Britons and, more importantly, it reinforces the stereotype of the "Muslim terrorist". It somehow "justifies" the "War on Terror", directed mainly against Muslims, Arabs and generally anyone living in, or coming from, a Muslim country.
Secondly, it enables the British government to declare that it could happen again. They can say that the "suicide bombers" were, to all appearances, just like the hundreds of thousands of other young Muslim men living in West Yorkshire and other places with large Pakistani populations. Hell, they even constructed their bombs from ingredients which can be bought at any chemist shop. So, since it could happen again, anytime, major defensive measures must now be taken, including, of course, the requirment that all British residents be fingerprinted and iris-scanned and carry identity cards at all times (which must be presented in order to obtain access to government services, and perhaps even to purchase tickets on buses, trains and planes).
Which story makes more sense to you? That the bombings were deliberately carried out by young men, born and raised in Britain, who participated in society (teaching and helping others) and who had a lot to live for (the wives of two of them were pregnant on 7/7), for reasons which remain obscure but somehow have something to do with a shadowy (supposed) organization called "Al-Qaeda"? Or that the young men who carried the bombs onto the trains did not even know that they had bombs in their rucksacks, but were set up by people who had access both to drugs in large quantities and to high explosives (perhaps members of the British "clandestine agencies")? Think about it.
William Bowles has responded to the Daily Mirror article in his Forcing the facts to fit the theory, where he writes:
A story in the Daily Mirror, 16/7/05 titled 'Exclusive: Was it suicide?', attempts to use essentially the same facts presented here but still make them out to be bombers. There are a lot of problems with this approach, especially in the light of the latest information to emerge. ...
The more one learns, the more the notion that these were four bombers, whether suicidal or not, looks unlikely. ... Taking all these facts into account, it points to a very sophisticated operation that has all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored operation.
State-sponsored. But perhaps not the British state. And perhaps not one state. The "state security" agencies of different countries collaborate, especially when an operation by one of them is to be carried out on the territory of another (as when, most likely, the French facilitated the elimination of a certain popular member of the British royal family in August 1997).
Now, let's think ... What other state might have been involved?
A reader, Ian Bourne, wrote:
I rather "like" the idea that the four individuals with their rucksacks thought they were making "drug" deliveries and would have been expecting to be paid for thier efforts. It fits the little we know much better, but is nowhere as convenient for the powers that be. I was very suspicious of the bus bomb immediately: any sort of bomber would know that you don't sit on the top deck of a bus — it has no structural strength and most of the blast will be lost — you sit on the bottom deck, where the whole structure is strong and the blast will cause much more death. Given the strength of tube train carriages, I still think that the number of dead is remarkably small (though still appalling).
I'm not sure we need to look to the British Secret Services for the source of this plot, though they may well be complicit. If, as the media keeps telling us, this attack bears all the hallmarks of "al Qaeda", I would like to phrase it slightly differently: this operation bears all the hallmarks of a Mossad operation. This is more plausible to me, especially as we know for sure that Mossad exists — we have rather more evidence than for the existence of "al Qaeda" — and this really is their style. I'm not sure that MI5, competance withstanding, would want to pull something like this off on home territory; so let Mossad do it for you. Lower risk; little chance of anyone tracing anything back to anyone in the British service, except that some idiot seems to have made a phone call to the Israeli embassy before the bombs went off. What a silly thing to do.
As always, we must ask: Cui bono? "Al Qaeda" seems to be mostly a creation of the Western clandestine agencies and it's not impossible that Mossad operatives pulled this off to inflame the British against Muslims and to advance the Zionist dream of domination of the Middle East.
On July 18 Xymphora finally got around to talking about the drug mule hypothesis (he seems to have picked it up from the William Bowles article quoted above). A bit late, and I was wondering if this story was too much of a "conspiracy theory" even for Xymphora to mention it, but he has, and regards it as "the most likely scenario".
Who are the British authorities trying to protect?
Someone tricked the four into believing they were drug mules. Once we accept that fact, we have to accept that there is absolutely no reason to believe the Official Story that this violence was connected to Islamic terrorism. It could have been set up by anybody, including the intelligence organization of any country. Of course, the fact that four Muslim men were chosen as the patsies gives us a clue as to who might have been involved.
But the benefit to Israel (namely, demonization of Muslims leading to increased public support for military aggression by the US and Britain against other countries in the Middle East), while providing a motive, probably does not tell us the whole story. Perhaps we should look for a more specific benefit, or perceived benefit, concerning Britain itself.
The British establishment had long been aware that Britian's "shoulder to shoulder" support of the US in its "war on terror" had made Britain a target. Indeed, John Pilger said exactly this as far back as September 2001 in his article Blair has made Britain a Target. And recently Chatham House released a report stating that Britain was especially at risk of terrorist attacks because of its total support of US actions in the Middle East.
So the British establishment was aware, long before 7/7, that the suicide bombings which have become common in Iraq might suddenly appear in Britain. If that were to happen, out of the blue, the British government would be in big trouble. So perhaps a plot was hatched to deal with this possible threat (how likely it really was is another question). If a "terrorist attack" could be staged, and if the blame could be pinned on "Muslim extremists", then the British government would have a "justification" to go after what they might see as a possible danger: the radical imams in British mosques who preach a violent interpretation of the concept of jihad. And, yes, on July 20 we find the Home Secretary, Charles Clark, talking of introducing legislation which would enable Britain to deport any imams it didn't like, shut down radical Islamic websites, and so on. Perhaps 7/7 was part of a pre-emptive strategy on the part of the British government to counter what it sees as a growing threat to Britain from the millions of Muslims now living in Britain. Or at least, the threat from "Muslim extremists", although your average Anglo in West Yorkshire is not going to spend much time trying to distinguish "Muslim extremists" from "Muslims". So a consequence of this strategy is that all Muslims living in Britain become suspect, and pubic hostility can be directed toward them. This can be very useful for the British government. Rather like the way in which the Nazis directed public hostility toward the Jews in Germany in the 1930s. They provided a focus of discontent, allowing the government to distract the attention of the people from its own failings.
In matters such as this there is no simple truth. No doubt some in the British government would like to see a race war in Britain, as this would vastly increase powers given to the police and "security services", and (as noted above, and along the lines of state policy described in Orwell's 1984) would allow the government to set up Muslims as a kind of domestic enemy to focus the minds of the majority of Brits toward a manufactured object of animosity and away from the real source of their problems (namely, their own government).
However, the London bombings should be seen in the larger context of the present geopolitical power struggle. Firstly we should note that they occurred just two weeks before a scheduled vote in the US House of Representatives concerning the extension of the "anti-terrorism" provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act which were set to expire at the end of 2005. The House voted to make permanent 14 of the 16 major provisions (the other two are to be considered again in ten years). Curious how "terrorist attacks" just happen to occur shortly before "anti-terrorist" legislation is to be voted on.
Secondly we should note a possible connection between the Sharm El-Sheikh bombing on 23 July and Egypt's announcement four days earlier that there was no link between the Egyptian chemist Magdi al-Nashar, named as a suspect in the London bombings, and Al-Qaeda or those bombings. In the eyes of those orchestrating the War on Terror, Egypt was not playing its assigned role, and so had to be punished. And it was not MI6 which set off the bombs at Sharm El-Sheikh, killing over 60 people and dealing a major blow to Egypt's tourist industry.
Who benefits from all these bombings? On the one hand, global capitalism (acting mainly through the CIA and the Pentagon), with its drive toward control of all the Earth's economic resources. On the other hand, a small Middle Eastern state, established illegitimately, whose policies are based on an ideology of racial/religious supremacy and which has managed to put itself in a position (with the help of its nuclear capability) to influence the foreign policies of numerous Western governments so as to further its own expansionist and world-dominance aims. The British government has to be worried not just by the prospect of plastic explosives being detonated in a few trains in the London Underground but also by the prospect of a nuclear bomb being detonated in Central London (perhaps within the City itself). While both the CIA/Pentagon and Mossad have the ability to detonate a Hiroshima-type nuclear device in London, and are both so devoid of morality that each would actually do something like this if it was in their interests, only one of them would actually be prepared to obliterate the seat of British corporate capitalism in the City of London if the British government did not accede to its demands. Lord Balfour's chickens have finally come home to roost.
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