Armed with new evidence that includes closed-circuit surveillance video footage, authorities say London’s bombing attacks last Thursday were “very likely” carried out by four suicide bombers – including at least three British citizens of Pakistani descent.
On Tuesday, police in search of explosives and computer files raided six homes in Leeds, about 185 miles north of London, as part of their investigation into what is being called the first suicide bombings in Western Europe. The questions looming are how the suspects obtained their explosive devices, who taught them how to deploy them, and what other potential terrorists remain at large.
In custody is one man, identified by the British Press Association as a relative of one of the suspected bombers. Police are reportedly continuing to search for remains of the bombers in the London underground and await coroner reports confirming the identities of the perpetrators.
According to reports, three of the suicide bombers are believed to be Leeds residents Shahzad Tanweer, 22, described as a cricket-loving sports science graduate whose father runs a fish-and-chips shop; Hasib Hussain, 19; and Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, the married father of an 8-month-old baby. The Times of London, on its Web site, reports that police are still trying to identify the fourth bomber.
The men’s journey last Thursday reportedly began in Leeds and proceeded, via rental car, to Luton (30 miles north of London), where they apparently boarded a commuter train to London’s King’s Cross station.
According to Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, the closed-circuit video showed all four men arriving at King’s Cross by 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, about 20 minutes before three nearly simultaneous explosions began in the subway. Another blast, about an hour later, went off above ground on a double-decker bus.
Police say at least 52 people were killed in the attacks, and more than 700 have been reported injured. On Tuesday, police closed Luton’s train station and removed nine controlled explosives from a parked car, the BBC reports.
Khalid Muneer, 28, a spokesman for the Hyde Park Mosque in Leeds, said that his community was surprised by the raids and police claims that the bombers may have come from there.
“That connection would surprise us all, even shock the whole community. We still think it’s too early to say,” he told the Associated Press, adding that the large group of Muslims who live in the area were not opposed to Britain.