Well the Times seems to have the main scoop today. As suggested in my post on suicide bombers yesterday, it is important that they have been identified, but much of the ‘upstream work’ may not be so immediately productive. Police do seem to have a lead from the CCTV images at Luton in that there is apparently a fifth man identified there (which suggests that the station may have been more than a convenient rendez-vous). This ‘fifth man’ would seem to be additional to the ‘mastermind’ and the ‘chemist’. The ‘mastermind is – according to the Times – a Pakistani national, who entered and left the UK before the bombings took place. The ‘chemist’ is alleged to be Egyptian-born chemistry lecturer (or biochemistry PhD according to who you read) Magdi El-Nashar who is is “understood to have rented one of the Leeds addresses where explosives were found”. He is now reported to be back in Egypt. (Egypt rings a bell, since Juan Cole’s lexical analysis of the initial claim from a group calling itself ‘Secret Organisation of al-Qaeda Jihad in Europe’ suggested that the author of the text might be of Egyptian origin). The idea that this group might be the ‘intellectual authors’ of the bombing is given some credence by the ‘burning cross’ theory. (This supposes that the bus-bomber in fact wanted to board the Northern Line). The original claim statement said “Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters.”
Obviously much of the above is still at the conjecture stage, but it does suggest a fairly complex network behind the four suicide bombers, and it also suggests that there is much more relevant information to come before we will get anything like a full picture.
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