J7 Analysis - The Hire Cars At Luton
An Analysis of the Cars reported to be found at Luton Station
A summary and analysis of the cars reported to have been used by the alleged suicide bombers on July 7th.
The confusing saga of the cars which were reportedly used by the alleged bombers to travel to Luton has taken a lot of unravelling, since it is full of contradictions, and there are many aspects which simply don’t stand up to analysis.
The first major inconsistency is that at least two sources claim that a car was towed away from Luton station on the day of the attacks as `a matter of routine’:
“A car which could hold vital clues to the London bombings stood undiscovered in a Leighton compound for five days.
It was revealed late on Tuesday night how the vehicle had been routinely recovered from Luton railway station hours AFTER four bombers struck tube trains and a bus in the capital last Thursday.
Police and intelligence services investigating the outrages swooped on a car still parked at Luton station on Tuesday morning and linked it to the suicide bombers.
That was then linked to a second car which had been towed to J & K Recovery Ltd in Grovebury Road, Leighton
By Tuesday evening Beds Police, working alongside the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police, sealed off a 100 metre cordon around the depot and began a painstaking search for evidence and explosives – as had been found in the Luton car.”
Source: Leighton Buzzard Online
“A second car was also taken away from the railway station on the day of attacks as a matter of routine. It was only later police realised it could be linked with the first car. It is now being examined by police at Leighton Buzzard.”
Source: Evening Standard, July 13th 2005
Yet other sources give a different version of events:
“At Luton, a total of five controlled explosions were carried out as bomb disposal experts and forensic teams searched the rental car.The explosives found in the car were detonated separately. A second car was later recovered by police and is being forensically examined in nearby Leighton Buzzard. Police refused to say exactly where it was recovered. A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said the vehicle was not found at the train station but it was also being linked to the terrorist attacks.”
Source: Daily Record
“It appears that the four, described by security sources as "cleanskins" - with no convictions or known terrorist involvement - reached their rendezvous via two or three hired cars, one of which had been located yesterday at Luton station. Explosives were found in the car, police revealed last night. Police were also examining a second car found at the station. It was taken to a storage facility at Leighton Buzzard.”
Source: The Guardian
These reports are fairly ambiguous but give the distinct impression that both cars were found at Luton Station on July 12th – with one car examined at the scene and the other car towed away.
If the other reports are correct, what appears to be Germaine Lindsay’s Fiat had already been towed away on the day of the attacks and was not linked to the attacks, or the other car, (which is generally assumed to by the Nissan Micra rented by Shehzad Tanweer) until July 12th when they discovered and examined the Micra in Luton station car park.
So, the first question to ask is, why was the car towed away in the first place? There are many reports stating that the car was ticketed according to the rules of the car park.
“The rented car of one of the bombers, Germaine Lindsay, that was left in Luton had a seven-day parking sticker on the dashboard. A large quantity of explosives were stored in the trunk of that car, perhaps for another attack.”
Source: International Herald Tribune
It is a strange thing that it had already been towed away before any apparent link with the bombers and Luton had been established.
The second question is, if the second reports are correct, and the Fiat was taken away to Leighton Buzzard after the Micra had been examined, why should that be so? Why tow away one car that may be suspected of containing either bombs or explosives but carry out controlled explosions on another in the exact location it had been found?
The Mirror has a contradictory account of which car had a seven day ticket on the dashboard:
“The Nissan Micra rented by bomber Shehzad Tanweer was left in the station car park in Luton, Beds - where bombers Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay, Hasib Hussain and Sidique Khan caught a train into London - with a seven-day parking ticket stuck inside its windscreen.”
The article goes on to say:
“SUICIDE bombers planned a massive blitz on July 7 with another SIXTEEN devices, it was revealed yesterday. The Islamic extremists who killed 56 people in the London rush-hour left enough explosives, batteries and equipment in their car to launch several more attacks, said police.
Scotland Yard insiders said not all the bombs were complete but were in various stages of assembly. A senior source said: "There is more than one type of bomb. There was a huge quantity of material which, when the scientists got to work, they realised would make about 16 viable bombs ranging in weights, from about a kilo to three kilos."
Source: The Mirror
There are differing reports as to which cars contained explosives. The Daily Mail reported that it was the Micra:
“The London suicide bombers had enough extra explosives in their car to mount two further waves of terror attacks. Police are investigating the possibility that up to nine bombs, primed and ready to use, could have been left in the hired Nissan Micra used by the gang.
Forensic experts will today continue to examine the remains of the car left outside Luton station when the men caught a train to King's Cross. Bomb disposal teams carried out nine controlled explosions on the vehicle using, it is believed, a procedure for dealing with bombs already fitted with detonators.”
Source: Daily Mail
This is backed up by ABC News:
“Sources familiar with the investigation tell ABC News an additional 12 bombs and four improvised detonators were found in the trunk of a car believed to be rented by suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer. Police believe the bombers drove the car to Luton, where they boarded trains to London.”
Source: ABC News
However, The Times said:
“More explosive material was found in the boot of a car at Luton railway station. Bomb disposal experts had to carry out nine controlled explosions. The car, a red Fiat, has been linked to Lindsay, the fourth bomber who lived in nearby Aylesbury.”
Source: The Times
The Australian newspaper also said:
“Lindsay's red Fiat was also found loaded with nine smaller bombs, leaving police speculating about the purpose of the excess explosives if the attackers intended to kill themselves.”
Source: The Australian
It is also unclear whether the contents of the cars are `explosives’ or `bombs’. The pictures leaked to ABC news show ready made bombs, and also detonators. The term `explosives’ can mean any kind of explosive material.
Did one car contain explosives and one car contain the bombs? According to ABC news it is the Micra that contained the bombs contained in the leaked ABC news photographs.
This doesn’t appear to make logical sense, though, if we bear in mind that the Micra is an extremely small car. The suggestion is that not only did 3 quite tall men manage to fit themselves inside it, but also 3 large rucksacks, plus a spare one apparently left under the front passenger seat and a large number of bombs - the exact number of which, as demonstrated by the above reports, is unclear.
A Nissan Micra seems an odd choice of hire car for what the men are accused of using it for. Some reports suggest that Tanweer was using a hire car because his own Mercedes was being fixed.
"Another bomber had just spent a large sum to repair his car. The men carried driver's licenses and other ID cards with them to their deaths, unusual for suicide bombers."
Source: TBR News
If it is true that Shehzad Tanweer was only driving the Micra because his own car was being repaired and not because he somehow wanted to put investigators off the scent (although it would be an ill-considered way of doing it, since he hired it in his own name and used his own credit card as payment) then they could have used any other vehicle to get to Luton. Nissan refer to the Micra as their ‘Baby car and John Doe II at Team 8+ points out that the boot/trunk of a Micra is 251l. [source]
Sounds quite ok? Well, a rucksack of the size the alleged bombers are carrying has a volume of around 80l. So, it would appear that you have the following piled into a Nissan Micra from Leeds to London on the morning of July 7th:
1. Three men of the size of Tanweer, Khan and Hussain
2. Three, probably four, rucksacks of the size seen on photo above (Keep in mind that the bombs were made in Leeds and apparently had to be cooled. So it seems very unlikely that Lindsay arrived with his own bomb)
3. Another rucksack:
“leaving behind in the hire car two bombs consisting of explosives packed into plastic bottles with fuses attached and packed around with nails. These were found in a rucksack beneath the front passenger seat.”
Source: The Times
“Another 14 potential bomb components, including cakes of high-explosive, were found in the boot."
Source: The Times
And for a journey of nearly 200 miles from Leeds to Luton you rent one of the smallest car that exists instead of your usual Mercedes? [Team 8 Plus ]
Even more intriguingly, it seems Hasib Hussain had access to a van…
"El-Nashar said that in June, Lindsay asked for help finding a place to live in Leeds, saying he wanted to move there from London with his wife and child.
He said he located quarters for Lindsay through his landlord and was then introduced by Lindsay to a man called Mohammed, who turned out to be Hasib Hussain, another of the July 7 bombers.
Hussain said he had a van and would help Lindsay move his belongings from London."
Source: Associated Press
"Tanweer and Hussain were among people who regularly visited Khan for meetings, sometimes in a white Transit van, when he would serve them drinks and snacks on polystyrene cups and plates."
Source: The Times
If Hussain did have a van, this would surely have been a more sensible mode of transport for the assumed ‘suicide mission’.
Germaine Lindsay apparently had only himself and perhaps a rucksack to transport. If there were no explosives or bombs found in Germaine Lindsay’s car, this fits in with reports that it was towed away on the 7th as a `matter of routine’, as opposed to being towed away AFTER the discovery of the Micra. But, either way, why tow it?
The discrepancies as to the time when the second car was towed away to Leighton are puzzling. John Doe II, at Team8+ also notes
“As the explanation that the Luton car first contained explosives and then bombs while the Leighton car contained nothing is the absurdest explanation we should assume for the sake of the argument that the Leighton car contained bombs. But then why not assure that the car remains where it was parked? What sense do bombs make if they end up being towed away?
But here is a completely different account:
“A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said the vehicle was not found at the train station but it was also being linked to the terrorist attacks. He said they had received a tip-off from the Metropolitan Police and had acted to recover the vehicle”
Source: Daily Record, 7/13/05
But what kind of tip-off could that had been? And what was it based on? (Keep in mind that most likely we talk here about Lindsay’s car and Lindsay wasn’t identified on July 12). And most importantly why then was the car not treated with the caution one would treat a car that might contain bombs?” [Reference]
It does appear that the Micra, and whatever its contents were, was discovered first at Luton station. What is less clear is when and how it was linked to the other car, the Fiat. Please note that it is not completely clear that the second car is a Fiat. It has been most widely reported as such but the model (ie Brava, or Punto) does not seem to have been confirmed which is strange as preciseness of detail would help in the quest for eye-witnesses.
According to the Telegraph:
"It was early on the morning of July 7 that he drove his own car, a red Fiat Bravo, to Luton, where he met the Yorkshire trio who had driven south in a hired car."
Source: The Telegraph
Yet according to the Guardian, Lindsay was the owner of a different model, the Brava:
"Neighbours would see him hurrying to and from his red Fiat Brava"
Source: The Guardian
The Brava is simply a 5-door version of the Bravo, so it could be argued the two are easily confused. The Brava coupé is quite similar in shape to a Fiat Punto, so perhaps it was simply a reporter’s best guess as to what the model was. If the reports of it being the car which was towed away on the day of the attacks are true, though, then it's fair to suggest the reporters didn't even get to see it. It is quite strange how one of the cars has had its model clarified (all the sources seem universally agreed that it's a Nissan Micra) and the other one not. Most reports seem to be playing it safe by just referring to it as a `Fiat'.
Yet another oddity, which was only picked up on in a couple of reports, was that Lindsay had apparently left a gun in his car.
Antiterrorist sources say detectives found two bombs, a gun and ammunition in the boot of a car abandoned by the London bombers at Luton railway station.
Source: Evening Standard, 7/18/05
Meanwhile in Britain it emerged that police had found two bombs, a gun and ammunition in the boot of a car left at Luton train station by the bombers.
Source: NewsEditor“Detonators and enough of the acetone peroxide-based explosive to make two bombs were found in Lindsay’s car at Luton, along with a gun and ammunition, a senior anti- terrorist source said.”
Source: The Times
Why did the police not disclose the finding of the gun if it was in the same car as the bombs? The Times, in a later article, asks the question:
“Why did Jermaine Lindsay have a gun in his car?”
Source: The Times
But fails to ask why Lindsay – or Tanweer depending on which report is the correct version – had all these extra bombs that they left in the car with no apparent extra terrorists bothering to come and use them during the five days in which they could have done so. And if, as has been widely accepted, these men were suicide bombers, they would presumably have realised they would not be coming back for the spare rucksack and everything else they reportedly left behind. Either way, there appears to be no logic in the issue of the bombs or explosives – and indeed the gun - being left in the car.
By late September, the Micra had changed colour from red to silver [The Times, Daily Mail] and it's interesting to note that the Mail, in a later article which was not made available online, described the car as being `silver blue' as did The Mirror. The Guardian reported it as a `blue Nissan Micra'.
Four different colours - how did something that could surely be easily verified become so obfuscated? If easily verifiable facts such as the colour of a car cannot be established in "the largest criminal inquiry in English history" then what hope is there for establishing other crucial details about the events of 7th July 2005?
It is also an odd thing how the police were reportedly alerted to Luton in the first place in order to find the cars. A member of the public reported the apparently suspicious sight of men alighting from a car in a car park:
"Police were alerted to the Luton car after a member of the public reported seeing four men getting out of it on Thursday morning."
Source: News 24
What was so strange about four men getting out of the car that the member of the public felt it was related to the investigation, and that the police felt it significant enough to follow up? Even stranger, why would four men have been getting out of one car, when we were told they travelled separately in two cars?
There seems only one thing to say with any certainty regarding the issue of the cars that these men are said to have used that day…that there is no consistency at all in the reporting of it. For almost every account there is another that contradicts it and a myriad of questions arising from the lack of verified information on the subject. As time has gone on it has only become more mystifying.