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Six Bomb Blasts Around Central London

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  • by MoonFog (586818) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:04AM (#13001444)
    Source [sky.com]

    A previously unknown group calling itself "Secret Organisation al Qaeda in Europe" said it carried out the attacks.
    My thoughts go out to everyone in London!
    • by iainl (136759) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @09:41AM (#13002619)
      Having read the statement, I'd have to say there's a couple of problems.

      1) "Secret Organisation al Qaeda in Europe"? That's a hastily made-up name if I ever saw one. It's against 'normal' Al Qaeda's modus operandi to go claiming responsibility so quickly, so why the new 'secret' version would be so forthcoming baffles me.

      More seriously,

      2) The actual statement talks about how Britain is trembling in fear 'to the North, South, East and West'. Well, having heard from people who have a bus in mangled bits RIGHT OUTSIDE THEIR FECKING WINDOW, they've failed in that one. Everyone is just pissed off they've got several miles to walk home, because there's no public transport.

      We did terrorism for years, thanks to the IRA (funded by certain Americans, but we don't care as we can tell the difference between individuals and states, unlike Al "smash the Infidel by blowing up a bunch of random people" Qaeda). We got bored and went back to work before these little wankers even started.
      • by william_w_bush (817571) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @12:01PM (#13004240)
        england's ability to get over a terrorist attack without 50 celebrities doing dozens of tributes, having everyone buy tons of flags, and spending 4 years in group media-therapy makes me feel less proud to be an american...

        jesus we have people in texas and alabama yelling about how badly we have to attack countries so they can finally "feel safe".
  • Responsibility (Score:5, Informative)

    by Simon (S2) (600188) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:05AM (#13001447) Homepage
    BBC News have reports on Spiegel Online that is displaying [spiegel.de] the text that Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for today's attacks in London.

    (translation [spiegel.de])
  • by dj_paulgibbs (619622) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:05AM (#13001452)
    London Underground - ALL suspended until further notice (not likely to be today) It is advised NOT to travel into London Marylebone, Cannon Street, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston, Victoria, Paddington, and Charing Cross are all closed until further notice Thameslink Rail services are not running AT ALL. Brighton and East Croydon stations are closed due to a security alert. According to National Rail Enquiries, Southern trains services are running "normal" services OUT OF LONDON only. Gatwick Express is still running but terminating at Clapham Junction. Heathrow Express has been terminated until further notice. It seems trains are running as far as Clapham Junction. Stations are being periodically closed and re-opened after they have been security checked so do call National Rail enquiries to check your journey first. Trains are of course going to be delayed by varying amounts as a result. Checking your journey by calling national rail enquiries is of course recommended - 08457 484950 option 2 Websites - http://www.networkrail.co.uk/ [networkrail.co.uk] and particularly http://nrekb.com/london_underground.html [nrekb.com]
  • Mobiles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zouden (232738) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:05AM (#13001455)
    The BBC is speculating that the reason it's been difficult to reach people on their mobiles is because the government switched the network off, in anticipation of phone-triggered bombs.
    This is apparently part of the government's planned response to this sort of situation (the bombs in Madrid were triggered by mobile phone).
    • Re:Mobiles (Score:5, Informative)

      by ettlz (639203) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:09AM (#13001494) Journal
      The Government switches off mobiles in London automatically in any state of emergency (terror-related or otherwise) to keep the spectrum free for the emergency services. (See, for example, the Channel 4 documentary Mark Thomas's Secret Map of Britain.)
  • FYI... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:05AM (#13001457) Homepage Journal
    Vodafone and others have warned that emergency services will have priority on the GSM networks. Expect congestion and unreachable people if you try to join them on their cell phones.

    Londoners have been warned to stay at home. Commuters have been warned to avoid London.
  • Mobile phone net (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sallust (614100) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:06AM (#13001469) Homepage
    For those of you interested, the mobile phone network has been switched to a Security Services only mode so members of the public can only make emergency 999 calls.
  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ironwill96 (736883) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:07AM (#13001483) Homepage Journal
    I'm amazed at how /.ers make jokes about everything, including people dying in terrorist attacks. We didn't find it very funny when someone crashed planes into our skyscrapers but when Europeans die it's a joke?

    Let's be a little bit considerate. Not all /.ers are U.S., i'm sure we have lots of British readers here.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AccUser (191555) <mhg @ t a o s e.co.uk> on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:17AM (#13001600) Homepage
      Cracking jokes in stressful situations is known to help people cope. My wife used to work in Accident & Emergency, and from the things she told me, Paramedics have the sickest sense of humour.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tgd (2822) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:23AM (#13001684)
      People die in a lot of ways.

      More people, statistically, will die today on US highways than have been reported so far in London.

      An order of magnitude more will die of smoking related diseases in the US.

      Even more will die of starvation globally. Or natural causes.

      People make jokes about things that stress them out. Its how people cope, and people shouldn't be made to feel bad about it. Its human nature. Its the political correctness bullshit that its somehow wrong that keeps people from dealing with this kind of emotional stress. Joking is a BIG part of getting past things like that.

      Yes, it may be insensitive, but you can't think of a thing to say that isn't going to offend someone somewhere.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kidbro (80868) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:36AM (#13001802)
      I am European. I am an ex resident of London, and I have friends in London.
      And yes, I'm making jokes about it.
      Making jokes about something does not mean you don't take it seriously. Neither does it mean you disrespect anybody. It just means that you, for a moment, want to make someone laugh.

      Yes, I made jokes about 9/11. I made jokes about when 60 people died in a fire in the house next to mine, and I made jokes about when a colleague I really liked killed himself in car crash (yes, it was most definitely his own fault).

      If you think that means these people are "just a joke" to me, you... I lack the words, even - it's that stupid.
  • by wazzzup (172351) <astromac@fastma i l . fm> on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#13001486)
    We stand and mourn with you today. I am truly sorry for the losses you have incurred and weep with you in this terrible moment.

    I hope someday my children will understand terrorism as a savage relic of the past but I do not hold much hope for that.

    Be strong people of England.
  • by Codeala (235477) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:09AM (#13001492)
    The latest news directly from the ad-free and registration-free BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk/2005/london _explosions/ [bbc.co.uk]

    (/. don't allow me to post anonymously...)
  • by white1827 (848173) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:09AM (#13001500) Homepage
    To preface, we here in the US are certainly sending our thoughts and prayers to the UK today. However, I am disappointed to hear that the stock markets are selling off just because of terrorism. This sort of mindless panic is exactly what they are trying to achieve. To truly defeat terrorism, we have to learn to chin up and plod onward with our lives. If we cower in fear and panic, we allow them to win.
  • As it breaks... (Score:5, Informative)

    by irokie (697424) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:10AM (#13001510) Homepage
    Been following this for the last 3 hours.
    Apparently the Army are now on the streets of london, trying to help EMTs get to the injured, there's a train full of people still stuck underground. Public transport hs been shutdown in London and people are being advised to stay where they are and not go into the city.
    Reports are that there were 6 bombs, 3 on buses and 3 on subway trains.

    Tony Blair is on his way back to London from the G8 summit in Edinburgh

    Allegedly, al Qa'eda are claiming responsibility, but i haven't been able to find a definite source on this.

    BBC.co.uk has been swamped, but news.bbc.co.uk is still available (last i checked)

    This pisses me off royally... London was set to celebrate getting the Olympics today, huge open air celebrations, but that's all been cancelled. With all the humanitarian work that's been happening in the last weeks, you'd think that malcontents would be a little less belligerent. Progress is being made.
    Now the British (who have masses of experience dealing with terrorists) will be pissed off, and the Americans have an excuse to throw their weight around even more...

    Also, from talking to people in a few places, everyone seems to be thinking "Are we next?". Yes the British went into Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're been fairly well controlled for the most part. This is extremism at its worst. I don't want to kill the people who did this, i want to slap them in the face and tell them to cop themselves on... this is exactly the opposite of progress.
  • Some details (Score:5, Informative)

    by LizardKing (5245) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:11AM (#13001525)

    I was in the midst of this when it happened. The Metropolitan line was halted, then the Jubilee. The train driver announced a "power surge on the combine", which is probably a prearranged message to prevent panic in an emergency. Trains were then brought into the nearest station and the passengers requested to evacuate. The tube staff were very calm and efficient, and I didn't see any panic. There was defnitely a sense that something unusual had happened, and people were mostly silent as we filed out to the sound of recorded evacuation messages.

    Anyone trying to contact friends and relatives, please don't panic if you cannot get through. the cellphone networks are being taking in and out of public service so that the emergency services can use them reliably. Same may be true for regular phone lines.

    • Re:Some details (Score:5, Informative)

      by ynnaD (700908) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:32AM (#13001773)
      I too was on the tube when this all happened, and can confirm the above.

      I was on the central line eastbound going from oxford circus at about 09:20, and there was an announcement that due to a suspect package Bank and one other station was closed. On the next stop the driver then announced that the whole underground system was closed to a power failure and asked everybody to leave the station immediately.

      Afterwards, found that my mobile did not work at all. I walked back to victoria station to try and catch a train home and found it closed off. One of the policemen there said that the mobile network had been closed in london (hence a lot of people using phone boxes), and that all public services were cancelled.

      I managed to then walk down to clapham junction and catch a train home from there.
  • Watch the Law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:12AM (#13001533)
    It will be interesting to see how the government reacts to this. I'm almost certain they will use this to push through laws like the ID cards and maybe even worse.
  • Clever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:12AM (#13001538) Homepage
    Whomever did this was very clever. If you look at a map of the London underground/subway, the bombs have taken out all the tube lines in Central London. In effect, the transport network has been crippled.

  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot AT spam ... OT calum DOT org> on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:16AM (#13001594) Homepage
    Mind you, it's not much of a difference from the days when terrorists would go to dinners at the White House, to fundraise [google.co.uk], and use the hundreds of thousands of dollars given by misguided "Irish" Americans to buy guns and bombs to kill innocent UK civilians in pubs, bars, shops, and town centres [bbc.co.uk].
    Seems to have gone out of favour after 11th Sept 01. Funny how it's not funny when it starts happening to you, isn't it?
    • by kahei (466208) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:52AM (#13001995) Homepage

      FFS man, have you been asleep??

      The IRA are noble freedom fighters who are combating oppression by striking at the heart of their oppressors, and that's why the USA has generously aided their noble cause.

      Al-Qaeda are evil terrorists who are spreading misery by targeting civilians and landmarks, and that's why the USA has nobly opposed their evil agenda.

      Could the difference BE more obvious? They don't even wear the same headgear; the IRA typically wear balaclavas because they are a perfectly sensible measure to avoid vicious British retaliation, and Al-Qaeda typically wear scarfy things because they are sinister and menacing symbols of terror.

      They aren't funded the same way either. The IRA are funded partly by contributions and partly by the drug trade, which they are forced to get involved with brutal oppression leaves them no choice. Al-Qaede are funded partly by contributions and partly by the drug trade, which they are involved with because it suits their naturally evil state of mind.

      If the difference still isn't clear, hang out with some Americans until it is.

  • A Note of Solidarity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:36AM (#13001810) Homepage Journal
    I saw 9/11 on a giant screen. I was working next to a trade floor at
    the time. The company had installed a really large set of screens at
    the end of the floor to keep traders up to current events. Various
    financial news channels would be on at any given point in time, and on
    slow days, the occasional sporting event.

    Jeff, a new hire along with me, stopped by my desk. He said, you have
    to see this, a plane just hit the World Trade Center. So we went back
    to the floor and stared at dumb amazement at the big screen, and
    watched the whole sorry show. I remember talking at that time with
    other people. All of is new it was an act of war, but some of us
    realized that our country would never be the same again. We looked at
    other as the buildings collapsed, and said, "well, we are a police
    state now." Despite all the platitudes of life moving on as normal, we
    all knew in some way that our country as we knew it was gone.

    There were some rumours of planes also targetted buildings in
    Philadelphia, where my mother worked. There was of course no way to
    get in touch with anyone. All the phones were jammed and the main web
    sites were blocked because they were being pounded on so much. I
    managed to do as much work as I could, as if I could blot it out. They
    let us go early that day. Many of the traders had collegues in New
    York.

    When I came home that day my wife had found the largest American flag
    we had and hung it up. She had actually been rather opposed to hanging
    up American flags. One of those liberals that thought patriotism was
    tacky, she wrote in her then journal. "Today I know what it means to
    be American." And then, we turned the TV off and the radio off. I
    couldn't watch it any more. I didn't want to think about it. But
    later on that evening I had occasion to go the store and I turned on
    NPR for a quick update.

    There was the BBC, and with typical British class and elegance they
    dispatched with all the usual platitudes and did the simple thing.
    They conjured up an orchestra which played the Star Spangled Banner.
    And that time was the only time I actually cried at all over 9/11. And
    I will never forget that moment of solidarity with the British people,
    will never forget that in more than my lifetime, from World War II, the
    Cold War, and now in Iraq, the cause of freedom, freedom of the seas,
    freedom from tyranny, freedom of the press, and freedom of trade, has
    been a joint American and British project. For generations now, the
    United States has never had a better friend or more noble ally than the
    United Kingdom.

    I hope that casualties are few in London. I hope that the number of
    people that perished are small. I hope that the wounded will recover.
    I hope that your nation does not go as crazy as ours did. The world
    needs the voice of British reason to counter American romance. Today
    I'm going to go buy a Union Jack and hang it up on my house. Your
    former colonies are with you. We are all British today.
  • by jonathan_ingram (30440) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:37AM (#13001822) Homepage
    There's already an excellent Wikipedia article on the bombs here [wikipedia.org] -- it's being continually updated, contains emergency phone numbers, and seems to be a good accurate summary of what we know so far.
  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @08:43AM (#13001894) Journal
    I'm from the UK (an hour from London) and can I just say something here.

    I couldn't careless. The IRA did this loads of times, lots of people have died in the same situations spread out over a couple of weeks. It used to be a fact of life that this happens. 1 event isn't a huge issue.

    Save the pity and shock for else where. It's not needed and hopefully we won't whore this like September 11th was.

    I know this'll get marked troll but I think it's an opinion we NEED to see put out. Some of us couldn't careless, it won't stop our lives any more then seeing a giant pink elephant would.

    It happened, it's over and done with, next please.
    • by horza (87255) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @09:11AM (#13002243) Homepage
      Just texted my brother who commutes and works right around where the bomb blasts are to ask if he was ok. He texted me back say, "Sure. Just watching out for low flying planes ;-)".

      I agree, we are used to this from the IRA days. My condolences to anyone who has lost someone. These lunatics need to be stopped. Still against ID cards though, no matter how the government will try and spin this in its favour.

      Phillip.
    • by GypC (7592) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @09:43AM (#13002640) Homepage Journal
      I have to agree that the best thing the British and the Western media could do is report the facts, get on with other news, dust ourselves off and continue on as if nothing happened (while behind the scenes we work as hard as ever to discover and terminate terrorist cells).

      It won't happen, but it would be the best course of action.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @09:01AM (#13002115)
    Thankfully, I was late, so I missed the worst of it. My train was held at one of the stations on the way in because of "power surges" in multiple locations. I finally made it to Fenchurch Street (just by the Tower of London) and, having heard that the District Line was suspended, set off about finding a bus.

    The stop that the signs directed me to was on a road that the police were cordoning off as I arrived. I saw several police cars and fire engines, and a group of dazed-looking people being escorted away from some buses, clutching bits of paper. (I'm assuming that the paper was for taking statements)

    Given that it was a reasonably nice day at the time, I decided to walk the rest of the way. On the journey (which took about an hour or so) I heard lots of sirens and helicopters, and saw quite a few police cars and fire engines (including one with "COMMAND UNIT" painted on the side). I also saw an unmarked car driven by someone not in uniform, tearing along with siren blaring and a stick-on light flashing. That gave me pause; the plain-clothes guys don't get called out for "power surges", even if they've caused a transformer or two to blow.

    Now, everything's pretty quiet. The 'phone networks are getting back to normal, although for a while it was hard to get through - it took me a couple of dozen tries to get through to my girlfriend and parents (who knew more about what was going on than I did, walking through central London), but nothing that you wouldn't expect from everyone calling everyone else (eg as they do on NYE).

    Apart from that, and the complete shut down of transport in central London (including the whole of hte Tube network), everything is more or less as it is any other day. The streets are a little quieter, and some shops are closed, but apart from that you could be forgiven for not realising that anything had happened. That won't be the case in the areas directly affected, but here in the West End, it's almost like any other day.

    The news is a different story, of course, and there are rumours and counter rumours flying around like crazy. Talk of people being shot by police, suicide bombers in Canary Wharf (lots of financial companies there), more bombs being found, uncomfirmed reports of it being a terrorist attack; it's hard to tell what's true and what isn't.

    (As I type this, I can hear more sirens out in the streets below)

    My heart goes out to those that were caught up in it, and the people who have lost loved ones or who simply can't contact them to find out.
  • by twem2 (598638) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @10:38AM (#13003392) Journal
    Total deaths so far 43, from 4 bombs.
    3 were on underground trains and 1 on a bus.

    As a Londoner I've been expecting this, its inevitable, you can never have a free society and prevent every terrorist. The thing we must do is, like we did in the 70s under the threat from the IRA, is continue our lives and not let the terrorists dictate our actions and lives.
    We must not let our government use this as an excuse to impose more authoritarian laws and continue to spread the message of freedom and liberty, in its social, personal, political and economic guises.
    We must not give in to the terrorists and become like them. They want us to attack innocent people who just happen to be arabic or muslim, it will help swell their ranks.
    • by horza (87255) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @11:34AM (#13003939) Homepage
      The attack won't change anything. It will leave some families scarred by the loss of a loved one, and an awful lot of really pissed off commuters. We've been through plenty of terrorist attacks already and I'm sure our able emergency services have done their best to treat the injured as quickly and effectively as possible.

      A free society is something you have to fight for. Always. Just because we've had an easy ride the past few years doesn't mean the battle is over. Just as this attack isn't the start of anything. It's one more lunatic group who's cult philosophy involves murdering innocent people.

      I agree that I don't want these nuts to change my way of life, and I don't want the government to introduce any knee-jerk authoritarian legislation. Or ID cards. I also don't want to hear any talk of 'terrorists'. I want those responsible identified. And I want them punished.

      Phillip.
  • by Elphin (7066) on Thursday July 07, 2005 @12:59PM (#13004952) Homepage
    I've just received the following email via our datacenter, never seen one of these before, requesting preservation of digital communications, logs etc.... here's the message in full.

    ------------
    A coordinated terrorist act requires communication between the parties involved. It is therefore likely that the perpretrators behind the multiple explosions in central London today have used telecommunications systems in the planning and execution of their act. The investigation into this crime will take many months and it is likely that the siginificance of specific communications data and current stored content will not become immediately apparent and there is a real risk that important evidence could be lost.

    On behalf of all of the agencies involved in the investigation of this incident, I am requesting that, to the extent of what is reasonably practicable that you preserve all existing communications data and content of stored communications (email, SMS, voicemail) held by you in order that it is available to the investigation of this crime.

    Data is exempt from the 1st Data Protection Principle if it is processed for the purpose of prevention and detection of crime or the apprehension and prosecution of offenders. (Section 29 (1) Data Protection Act 1998.)

    This request relates only to the preservation of data and content which is currently stored. Any access requests to such data will be made through the appropriate legal process.

    I will keep this matter under constant review and will notify you immediately of any change of circumstances. I will in any case update you on a monthly basis as to the on-going requirement for the preserved data.

    Below I have included a list of the of data types that this request addresses. This list is not exclusive and you are asked to preserve any data that can be used to identify communications that have taken place and links to the parties.

    * Content of email servers
    * Email server logs
    * Radius or other IP address to user resolution logs
    * Pager, SMS and MMS Messages currently on the network's platform
    * Content of voicemail platforms
    * Call data records (includes mobile, fixed line, international gateways & VoIP)
    * Subscriber records

    Any questions in relation to this request should be addressed in the first instance by email to xxxx@xxxx.org. The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit is an operational unit of the National Crime Squad of England and Wales.

    Signed

    Jim Gamble
    Deputy Director General
    National Crime Squad
    Chair ACPO Data Communications Group

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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