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Blair rejects calls for probe into London bombings
2005 07 11


Comment: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" - Albert Einstein

British Prime Minister Tony Blair will reject on Monday Conservative calls for launching a government investigation into the deadly attacks that hit London on Thursday July 7, 2005, claiming that such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators.

Downing Street said the prime minister insists that an inquiry into the attacks which claimed the lives of at least 49 innocent people and injured more than 700 would be a "ludicrous diversion."

Instead of launching a probe to know who’re the real perpetrators of the bombings, and in statement to the Commons on Monday, the British PM is expected to speak about the direction his government must take to ensure no similar attacks take place in the future.

Mr. Blair seeks co-operation among the European Union governments to face the threat of similar attacks - a view, the home secretary, Charles Clarke is expected to drive home at an emergency meeting of EU interior ministers this week.

He will ask his counterpart governments to ensure operators keep data on telephone and internet exchanges during for a year.

Mr. Clarke has said that he’s "very optimistic indeed" that those behind London bombings would be tracked down soon, but he raised fears that more attacks could take place until they arrest those who carried out the attacks. "That is why the number one priority has to be the catching of the perpetrators."

The police has arrested three British nationals on an inward flight at Heathrow early Sunday but said that any link to Thursday's bombings was speculative.

The three detainees were expected to be released later yesterday, police sources said.

Dozens of bomb alerts in London, the evacuation in the Birmingam city centre, as well as the quick arrests reflect fears of both police and the general public that more attacks can take place in the country.

On Saturday, British police said that the bombs that shook the city's underground system last week exploded within 50 seconds of each other and were made of high explosives, not homemade material.

The three bombs went off nearly simultaneously at about 8:50 a.m. Thursday, said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said, revising earlier accounts that they occurred within a 26-minute span.

An explosion tore through a double-decker bus nearly an hour later.

New information about the timing of the explosions also suggested they were detonated with synchronized timers rather than by human bombers, although officials said nothing had been ruled out.

"A slightly different picture has emerged around the timing of the incidents," Paddick said Saturday at a news conference. "It would appear now that all three bombs on the London Underground system went off within seconds of each other."

Forensic evidence was still being examined but the type of explosives suggested a degree of sophistication. The material could have been military or commercial.

"It is high explosive," Paddick said. "That would tend to suggest that it is not homemade explosive, but whether it is military explosive, whether it's commercial explosive, whether it's plastic explosive, we don't want to say at this stage."

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