Friday, July 08, 2005

London calling - Despondent yet defiant

Independent Online Edition > Crime : app2

As the shock subsides everyone here is tring to get back to normal. This link will take you to all the coverage from today's "Independent" newspaper, starting with some eyewitness accounts from the bus explosion.

As forensic teams dig deeper into whatever traces the perpetrators of this horror may have left behind, it seems increasingly certain that the single bus incident was the work of a suicide bomber. London is no stranger to terror attacks and we are constantly wary of unattended packages and the like - but if this is the case it will be a first. It also means some of our future vigilance will turn to people themselves more than objects they may have planted. If this results in a culture of suspicion the legacy of this attack may be more insidious than we think.

Given that the suicide bomber detonated some time after the other bombs, it also raises the spectre that the whole assault could have been conducted, if not orchestrated, by a single person. I'm no expert, but the pattern of explosions around the junction of the Piccadilly and Circle (underground) lines looks like a group of pre-set devices may well have been planted from a single station before the culprit went aboveground and onto the bus. Of course, this assumes the trains were moving in the appropriate direction to arrive where they exploded and I certainly don't have the information to qualify that possibility. The thought however, is alarming.

As I write, the police will not confirm that the bus explosion was caused by a suicide bomber, so speculation is rather pointless. Meanwhile, in a rather quieter way than usual, life in London is returning to normal, proving that in the long run such atrocities, whilst remembered, will not serve to change our lives.

For completely unrelated reasons, I'm off out of town tomorrow - so, barring any later bulletins today, it will be Sunday or Monday before I'm back here. The website, including latest clicks, will be updated before I leave but may be dormant for a while thereafter.

Later, whenever.

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