Thursday, 25 November 2010

The London Bombings - The Need to Know the Truth

The ConDem government has failed in its attempt to have part of the evidence at the inquiry into the London bombings of 7 July 2005, held in private. The High Court backed the decision of the coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, to allow bereaved relatives of the attack, to hear all the evidence. The government is expected to appeal the decision, claiming that it will compromise national security, which is the fail-safe argument used by the authorities when they want to cover something up.

At the time I was working close to Edgware Road tube station, where one of the four bombs was detonated, and it was at the usual time I arrived at the station. That I wasn’t there at fateful time is a matter of luck really. I arrived at my local Piccadilly line tube station at about 8.15am, only to find the station closed. An underground worker informed me that there was a ‘power failure’. I took an overland train to Finsbury Park station, intending to get onto the Victoria line to Kings Cross, but found the Piccadilly line was now working, so took that to Kings Cross.

As I was ascending the escalator at Kings Cross, to make my connection onto the Circle line to Edgware Road, the emergency sirens sounded, with instructions for everyone to evacuate Kings Cross station. This must have been around 9am. On exiting, I milled around with hundreds of other passengers at the front of the station, waiting for an all clear to continue my journey. At about 9.10am, a police officer rushed towards us, waving his arms, shouting ‘get away from the station’.

I decided to complete my journey to work on a bus, and managed to get onto one going to Marble Arch, where I could walk the rest of the way. I arrived at work at about 10.15am, and my colleagues there were still talking of power failures, but I had noticed a cloud of black smoke hanging over Edgware Road station. Then news started to come through of the bombings.

I feel extremely lucky that I wasn’t caught up in any of this, but have also reflected that the events I witnessed were suspicious. Why was the Piccadilly line closed at 8.15am, but open again around 8.45am? Why did the emergency alarm sound at Kings Cross some ten minutes before any of the explosions? And why was the story of a power failure put about by the authorities? Also, why have we seen so few photo images of the bombers on the day, when the London Underground has hundreds of CCTV cameras?

It has now come to light that at least two of the bombers were known to MI5 to be in contact with terrorists nearly a year and a half before the attack. This is not a conspiracy theory rant, indeed the holding of evidence behind closed doors only fuels these type of rumours. But we need to know what the security services knew and when, and why they failed to stop bombers. Not only the relatives of those killed in the bombings need to know the truth, but the public at large needs to have confidence in the security services, so this inquiry should be conducted in the open, for all to see.

No comments: