Al-Qaida claims responsibility for London 7/7 bombings

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Al Jazeera has aired two video tapes by Al Qaida on Thursday evening. In one of them, the terror group's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for the July 7 London bombings and threatened further attacks. The alleged leader of the London bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, appeared on a separate recording and outlined his reasons for the bombings.

Speaking in English with a Yorkshire accent, Kahn stated that the Blair government is to blame for the attacks. He claimed that the West is backing governments who commit crimes against humanity. Western citizens should no longer feel safe, he said and threatened similar attacks upon them: "Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation"

Al-Zawahiri described the 7/7 attacks as "a slap to the policy of British Prime Minister Tony Blair" and called the attacks a response to the UK's foreign policy "just as 9/11 was a response to America's".

Scotland Yard said they are "aware of the tape; we will consider it as part of our ongoing investigation". British Foreign secretarcy Jack Straw said there was "no excuse, no justification for terrorism of any kind".

Gous Ali, a Muslim whose girlfriend was killed in the bombing, condemned the broadcast as being "wrong and all lies". "It's all brainwashing by some wacko scholar who believes his own version of the Koran and has made it his own battle. There is no holy war", he told the BBC.

Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said that holding the British Public responsible for the war "is just plain wrong - this country was bitterly divided and many millions, perhaps the majority, clearly opposed the war."

Experts are currently investigating the tape for possible clues.