Speculation has begun about who exactly is behind the July 7th bombings. The Sunday Times names Mustafa Setmariam Nasar. The grounds for this is information allegedly received from Spanish authorities.

Nasar, who is Syrian,is thought to have been behind the March 11 bombings in Spain and is considered by Spanish intelligence to have established a ‘sleeper cell’ in the UK. Spanish police did arrive in London on Friday to assist in the enquiries, but there can be a variety of reasons for this.

The Sunday Telegraph also run the story:

Ministers now believe that the bombings – which left at least 49 people dead in Britain’s worst terrorist attack – were the work of a “very, very small number” of individuals who arrived from mainland Europe or North Africa on false passports within the past six months.”

The Mail on Sunday and the News of the World run what may seem to be the rival theory of native born British involvement as detailed by a former Metropolitan Police Chief John Stevens. In fact the two ‘theories’ may simply form different parts of one single picture: Mustafa Nasar may be the brain, and the UK born participants (if they in fact are such) may well be those who placed the bombs. At this stage no combination is obviously ruled out.

Attentive readers of the link in this post yesterday will have noted that Mustafa Setmariam Nasar also goes under the name of Abu Musa?ab al-Suri, and under this name he apparently recently revealed that he is working on a manifesto for designing the future of jihad. According to the Jamestown Foundation in his vision of the future he calls for “a new holy war that employs nuclear, chemical and ?bacteriological? (biological) weapons, and dirty bombs”.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

4 thoughts on “Suspects

  1. Based partly on a huge newspaper article on the history and personality of Mohammed B, the killer of Dutch moviemaker Theo van Gogh, I will write my own piece on why we should not embrace the idea of a global war on terrorism but for now I think I should ask your attention for this very interesting post by Billmon based on remarks by Juan Cole.

    “Juan Cole has noticed something odd about the communique from the alleged perpetrators of the London bombing, Qaida al-Jihad in Europe: It includes a not-so-veiled appeal to Arab nationalism as well as to Islamic fundamentalism.

    This may be nothing more than a blunder by a gang of Bin Ladin wannabes who know a hell of a lot more about killing innocent people with explosives than they do about the theology of the movement they claim to represent. But it could also be a sign that the tactical alliance between secular nationalists and religious fanatics formed to fight the Americans in Iraq is now being mirrored elsewhere ? or, alternatively, that the jihadis now operating under the Al Qaeda brand hope to mirror it elsewhere, even if it means abandoning the doctrinal purity of the movement’s founders.

    Here’s the key line from the communique, as translated by Dr. Cole:

    Community of Islam: rejoice at the good news! Community of Arabism: rejoice at the good news! The time of revenge has come for the crusader, Zionist British government.”

  2. The Blair/Bush duo have lied and deceived their own citizens before with their false claims of WMD’s in Iraq to justify the confiscation of Iraq’s oil wealth.

    Therefore whatever Blair’s government claims today about who might be behind the bombings is highly suspect ; it is very important to watch closely what will happen next.

    Will these bombings be used to rally the British populace into backing another attack on another innocent country ?

    Will the British back another mass murder campaign that will lead to the deaths of another 100,000 civilians in say Iran ?

    The first step the Brits should take now is to arrest Blair and all those who were behind deceiving the British people with the illegal Iraq campaign and all the false claims about WMD etc.

    Once Blair is in jail (Guantanamo Bay would be a good place to lock him up as Blair’s buddy Bush claims that prisoners are well treated there) then you can start to have a serious investigation of who was behind the London bombings.

  3. @ Frans

    Yes I’d seen the Juan Cole piece (he’s daily reading as far as I am converned). I would say two things. Firstly his conjecture is interesting *if* the text in the end is valid. I have refrained from using this since I think there are still plenty of doubts. Also Cole suggests Egypt or al-Zawahiri’s environment as a possible background for the person who wrote the text (I don’t imagine it was a typo). Well……. note that Mustafa Nasar comes from Syria. I won’t go further, since I’m already out of my depth.

    Secondly I think Juan is a bit too ready to dismiss UK-born involvement. Remember the guy who had Daniel Pearle’s throat slit live on video was UK born (and went to my university, the LSE) so nothing here should surprise us or be ruled out. Prudence is warranted, and we need to await more info.

    Regarding the murder of Theo van Gogh I’d also appreciate your assessment of this based on what you know or have read. The suggestion here is that there is once more a Spanish connection. I don’t know.

  4. It may be just a detail, and it may have no real importance, but the New York Times has a story about Islamic activists in London, and they mention that “Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a 47-year-old Syrian-born cleric….warned in a newspaper interview in April 2004, that “a very well-organized” London-based group, Al Qaeda Europe, was “on the verge of launching a big operation” here”.

    Well…. the original website claim for the London attack was made by a group calling itself ?The Secret Organisation of Al Qaeda in Europe?.

    More evidence?

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