Its been fascinating to watch , from afar, the development of
the London bombings investigation.
There are really two investigations: the official police probe and,
in a parallel universe, the media investigation which is the
important one. Check the actual news releases on the London Metropolitan
Police website, and youll find precious little: On 7 July three
bombs exploded on London trains and one on a bus; something to do with
four young Islamic chaps, apparently; many dead; the suspects seem to
have died in the explosions; public asked to help. Two weeks later three
bombs fail to explode on trains and one fails to explode on a bus; four
coloured chaps run away; get caught on CCTV; public asked to help. Thats
Scotland Yard for you: all British reserve; guarded and imprecise; cards
played close to the chest.
media probe is a different thing though. Its driven by leaks from
sources that claim to have the inside running on the police investigation.
The sources always speak on condition of anonymity, they
suspect that, or are probing whetherthis or
that suspect had links with somebody or something.
Scenarios appear and collapse with alarming frequency. Tidbits of information
about the lives of the presumed bombers are elevated to critical significance.
Total gibbering irrationality is no obstacle to publication and the
collapse of the theory is never attended by explanation or apology.
Along the way, the sleazy scribblers have built up a sprawling, politically-charged,
semi-official conspiracy theory.
First up, the 7/7 explosives were confidently reported to be military-grade
professional stuff. That lasted a couple of days, until the police raided
a house in Leeds and found, according to anonymous sources, a bathtub
full of the home-brew explosive TATP (or Mother of Satanas
the tabloids claim the al-Qaeda folks call it). Instantly TATP became
the media position.
The house had been leased by an Egyptian biochemist named Magdy el-Nashar,
but hed fled to Egypt. Suddenly the media had a master
bomb-maker and the fugitive was duly seized by the Egyptian
police at his parents home. But after a few hours the Egyptian
Cabinet no less pronounced el-Nashar to be an innocent
man whod come home for a holiday. We have to trust the Gypos:
we render terrorism suspects to them to be tortured, so
I guess they must know a terrorist when they see one. As the days passed
the bathtub full of explosives quietly morphed into traces of the common
household products from which TATP is made. The scribblers had committed
themselves to the amateur bomb scenario but their only suspect hadnt
panned out. No problem. The hot lead went cold, but the scribblers scribbled
Then there was the yarn about the car-load of bombs left at Luton Station.
There were reportedly nine bombs (neatly coinciding with
the nine controlled explosions said to have been used on
the car), or maybe it was four
until, at last report,
it was two pill-box-sized thingies. I guess there wasnt
much left of them to show us after the controlled explosions. The four
bombers were also said to have been caught on CCTV praying at the car.
A juicy detail
but weve never seen that either. Nor have
we been shown the CCTV of the supposed bombers with the man they reportedly
spoke to at Kings Cross station. Funny that.
of all perhaps, was The Great Perfume Purchase lead. A downmarket tabloid
revealed that, a few days before he supposedly blew himself
up, Lindsay Germain had purchased £900 worth of designer perfumes
from three shops requesting particular brands. It was breathlessly
hypothesised that this was because perfume is 99 per cent alcohol
which would add an incendiary effect to the bombs. But why the bombers
needed to purchase Boss and Yves St Laurent, when they could have got
a bigger bang with cheap rubbing alcohol was never explained. And why
didnt the master bomb-maker get serious and run up some napalm
out of petrol and egg white? To this possum, the designer perfume purchase
looks more like a small-time drug dealers money-laundering technique.
Shortly before the failed bombings of 21/7, the theory that the four
bombers were patsies gained traction. The police sources say
version of the dupes scenario held that the 7/7 bombers had intended
to plant the bombs and withdraw safely, but were tricked by the master
bomber: when they pressed the button to start the timer they perished
with their victims. It fitted the facts a bit better than the suicide
bombers theory but not as well as the notion that they were unsuspecting
couriers, totally innocent of intent to kill.
But just as the innocent-dupes scanario began to gain ground, the investigation
of 7/7 was overshadowed by the failed 21/7 bombings. Curiously,
all four bombs failed to go off and all four perps managed to disappear,
in spite of the by-then heightened security on public transport. How
likely is that?
Three weeks into whats billed as a fast moving investigation,
it looks to me like the cops really havent a clue who did it.
They might do better if they broke out of their conceptual lock about
almost undetectable al-Qaeda cells composed of unremarkable, law-abiding,
fun-loving, young muslims with no previous form and began to ask the
old and essential question: who benefits. But if they did
that, theyd have to take a long, hard look at some of their colleagues
in MI5, the CIA and Mossad. Far safer to let the fuzzy media version
prevail, salute the flag and sing Land of Hope and Glory.
I wrote the above for the Sydney City Hub (a monthly) a few days before
1 August. Since then the number of bombs supposedly left in the car
at Luton has spiralled to "16" and the characteristically
unreliable US ABC has even published what purports to be X-ray photos
of one of them.
duped the London bombers?
By GAVIN GATENBY
18 July 2005
and MI5 sources, The Mirror.co.uk, a mainstream British internet publication,
has now admitted the probability that the four London bombers were in
some way duped by a master bomber . This theory has been widely reported
internationally (for example by the Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 2005).
In the Mirrors scenario the master bomber cynically tricked his
team into thinking that when they pressed the button, they were setting
off a timing device that would give them sufficient time to leave the
target area. Instead, they pressed the buttons, detonated the bombs
and killed themselves as well as their victims. ...
are considerable problems with the version of the dupes scenario publicized
by the Mirror. READ
THE FULL ARTICLE >>>
any spin necessary
Why imperialist spokesmen are distancing the London bombings
from the Iraq war
10 July 2005
of the surprises of the London bombings has been the line taken by prominent
imperialist spokesmen. Tony Blair, Charles Clarke, John Reid, Condoleezza
Rice and John Howard have all been careful to say, or imply, that the
bombings were not specifically related to their nations invasion
and occupation of Iraq.
At first glance, this is a bizarre position, but on further reflection
the reason for it is obvious.
THE FULL ARTICLE >>>