Index 12 & 13 Advance Warnings
Official version of events
The attacks were not expected. In fact the security alert rating for London had recently been downgraded. The four bombers were acting alone and were not known to the security services. (It was subsequently conceded that two of them had been the subject of attention but this was not followed up as they were not considered to be a significant threat.)
Had the authorities received intelligence that something was being planned for the 7th July or thereabouts? Were emergency plans in place that in the event failed to stop the explosions but may have helped mitigate the effects of them?
Exhibits (AW10) + (AW11- AW20)
AW4. Suggests that Britain was warned in advance by US sources as a result of information gleaned from an Al-Qaeda operative Abul Faraj Al-Libbi.
AW8 is from the BNP and must, therefore, be treated with caution. It maintains that a group of terrorists were arrested whilst attempting to plant bombs in tunnels on the night of 6th/7th July.
There are strong indications that something was known in advance. Whether there was some kind of “sting” or “stake out operation” in place as might be inferred from the French Interior Minister (AW1) is open to conjecture. Possibly the BNP story is true and the police only became aware a few hours in advance that something was going on?
Source: BBC News
It has been disclosed that MI5 had placed two of the July 7 bombers under surveillance before their attack, but judged them not to be a threat.
Source: The Times
Both France and Saudi Arabia had advance warning that Britain was about to be attacked by al-Qaida, according to a classified report and claims by the Saudi ambassador to London. The warnings came at a time when the British intelligence services had concluded that there was no imminent attack planned.
Source: The Guardian
Reports from US intelligence sources quoted in London suggest that Britain was warned two months ago that Al-Qaeda was planning a “Madrid-style” attack on the London transport network. Captured Al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj Al-Libbi, who was arrested in Pakistan and who is now in the custody of the Americans, has apparently briefed US intelligence interrogators to this effect.
Source: Arab News
There has been speculation regarding links between the bombers and another alleged al-Qaeda cell in Luton, which was broken up in August 2004. That group was uncovered after al-Qaeda operative Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan. His laptop computer was said to contain plans for tube attacks in London, as well as attacks on financial buildings in New York and Washington. The group was placed under surveillance, but on 2 August 2004 the New York Times published his name, citing Pakistani sources. The leak caused police in Britain and Canada to make arrests before their investigations were complete. The U.S. government later said they had given the name to some journalists as background, for which Tom Ridge, the U.S. homeland security secretary, apologised.
When the Luton cell was broken up, one of the London bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan (no known relation), was briefly scrutinised by MI5 who determined that he was not a likely threat and he was not put under surveillance.[22, original source]
"The Pakistani interior minister, Faisal Hayat, as well as the British home secretary, David Blunkett, have expressed displeasure in fairly severe terms that Khan's name was released, because they were trying to track down other contacts of his," Schumer told CNN.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner-Sir Ian Blair said: "This may be the terrorist attack we have been waiting for. It probably is."
Source: London Evening Standard
The key plotters behind the July 7th 2005 London bombings planned to trap and drown tens of thousands of innocent people, the BNP can exclusively reveal. A team of terrorists with a fifth bomb – intended to explode in the tube network directly under the River Thames – was arrested the night before.
The arrests were made when uniformed officers in police patrol cars stopped the terror gang, apparently by fortunate accident. Within minutes of their notifying their superiors they were ‘swamped’ by plain-clothes police, Special Branch and/or MI5 officers and the whole affair was taken out of their hands. They were ordered to tell no-one about the incident and several who have since tried to find out what happened to the small group of Islamics they arrested have been unable to do so. The men have vanished without trace.
Moreover, the Mossad office in London received advance notice about the attacks, but only six minutes before the first blast, the paper reports. As a result, it was impossible to take any action to prevent the blasts.
“They reached us too late for us to do something about it,” a Mossad source is quoted as saying.
Source: YNet News
6.29am The Northern line was "suspended between Morden and Stockwell from 06:29 due to a defective train at Balham" (According to Transport For London) [Source]
7.10am A Northern Line train stops in tunnel for 15 mins between Tooting Bec and Balham. Passengers finally have to disembark at Balham (exiting via driver’s carriage at front of train) and see many firemen around, scrutinising the bottom of another train already at the station. (5)
7.57am The Piccadilly Line was "suspended between King's Cross St Pancras and Arnos Grove from 07:57 to 08:28 due to a defective train at Caledonian Road." Reports of a fire at the station exist and fire engines were reported outside Caledonian Road station. [Source]
8.07am Bakerloo Line was "suspended between Paddington and Elephant and Castle in both directions from 08:07 due to a defective train in Piccadilly Circus." [Source]
8.25am A fire engine parks outside Caledonian Road station.
Source: J7 Timeline
But Hussain bungled it. Investigators suspect that he was meant to take a Northern line train from King’s Cross, but that morning the line had been closed.
Source: The Times
I couldn't get on Northern Line at Tooting Bec at 7.50am this morning so got train from Balham to Victoria. At Oxford Circus we were told the Bakerloo line was suspended so I went to Notting Hill to catch the district and Circle line to Paddington. This train was then held at Bayswater were we were told there was "no traction" at Edgware Road and advised to get the bus which I did.
Kerri O'Reilly, London
Source: BBC News
Well it was Covent Garden Tube, they closed it as I got out at 8.15 am this morning.
Regarding the bombings, one thing that hasn't been reported as far as I can
tell (apart from by someone who wrote in to Sky News who had heard about it on the radio) is that Bank station (one of the main stations on the central line in the City) was closed from at least 7:20am (when my boyfriend was taking the central line into work) and was still closed at 8:50 when I was getting off at Chancery Lane in the City. Whilst the driver of my tube gave no reason for the closure, my boyfriend said that his driver had announced that Bank had been closed because of a 'suspect package' and that his tube expressed straight through.
This kind of closure is relatively unusual - especially for the station to remain closed for an hour and a half or perhaps more. Was another bomb intended for Bank? Did the authorities know of a bombing attempt early in the morning? It all seems too coincidental.
Source: The Age
Although I wholeheartedly agree that it must be extremely difficult to prevent a terrorist from carrying out an atrocity if they are determined to commit one and that the only people that should accept responsibility are those that perpetrated it I can't help feeling that our intelligence sources knew something was afoot.
Yesterday late afternoon, my partner and I drove back through London after a mini-break to Brighton rather than face the M25. Hackney seemed to be crawling with police cars and I even saw an armed officer patrolling the streets, which seems ironic considering the bus involved in the blast at Tavistock Place has been reported as the number 30 Hackney to Marble Arch service.
Source: BBC News
An email from a friend:
I’ve just had a call from a friend who works for the US Navy over here and they have an MOD briefing suggesting they were expecting 5 bombs – so it looks highly possible that there will be more.
posted by Summer at 3:07 AM PST on July 7
On the afternoon and evening of 7th July 2005, information came to light about a private company running a terror rehearsal operation at the time that real explosions were reported to have occurred on the London transport network.
Source: J7 - The Terror Rehearsal
By an extraordinary coincidence, all the experts who formulate such plans are together in a meeting at the headquarters of the London Ambulance Service - and they are discussing an exercise they ran three months ago that involved simulating four terrorist bombs going off at once across London.
Source: The Independent
Still, it's hard not to feel a little disbelief at some of the day's chance occurrences: the bus bomb that exploded outside the British Medical Association, for example, or the scene at the helipad on top of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, the headquarters of the air ambulance service, where large numbers of current and former helicopter-trained doctors and paramedics happened to be gathering for a study day.
Source: The Guardian
The Senior Managers Conference at Millwall was abandoned and a Silver command structure started to be put in place using Ambulance Operations Managers from the conference.
Source: London Ambulance Service