A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Friday, September 02, 2005

July 7 London Attack Linked to Al Qaeda

Yahoo News: Al-Qaida Video Shocks British Muslims---

LEEDS, England - British Muslims said Friday they felt profound shock watching a video of a London suicide bomber seeking to justify the carnage — erasing any doubt a homegrown cell carried out the July 7 attack and that its members were inspired by al-Qaida.

For one of his friends, the sight of purported ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan — speaking in a Yorkshire accent and wearing a red-and-white keffiyeh in the farewell message broadcast on al-Jazeera — verged on the surreal.

"We were all shocked and horrified when we saw the video itself," Irshad Hussain said in this gritty northern city where Khan grew up. "We are just devastated for what we had just heard and what we had seen on TV. ... I couldn't believe it was actually him talking on the screen."

Khan's farewell message was broadcast Thursday alongside a video of al-Qaida's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, warning of more attacks.

Labour Party lawmaker Shahid Malik — a Muslim who represents the Dewsbury neighborhood in West Yorkshire where Khan had lived since February — told the BBC that the tape would put to rest rumors that he and the three other bombers were somehow set up.

"There is a hardcore rump within the British Muslim community that didn't actually believe somehow that Sidique and his cohorts were responsible," Malik said. "Rampant conspiracy theories mushroomed out of control."