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Before London Bombing, Leaked UK Memo Warned Iraq War a Key Cause for Growth of "Extremism" in Britain


By Democracy Now!

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British police now believe that four-British-born men of Pakistani descent carried out last week's deadly bombings in London that killed at least 52 people. We go to Britain to speak with author and activist Milan Rai about how a leaked British government study concluded that British foreign policy, and the Iraq war in particular, was a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. [includes rush transcript]
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British police now believe that four-British-born men carried out last week's deadly bombings in London that killed at least 52 people and injured 700.
Police said all four men are of Pakistani descent and at least three are believed to have died in the explosions.

The four suspected bombers were aged between 19 and 30 and were so-called "cleanskins" -- with no convictions or known connections to terrorist organizations.

Police first learned of the four men when the family of one of them called the police last week to report their 22-year-old son, Hasib Hussain, was missing. Closed circuit television film from around 8.30am the day of the bombings shows four young men, all wearing identical large rucksacks similar to those carried by infantry soldiers. The three subway bombs went off 20 minutes later.

Police said personal documents belonging to three of the men were later found at three blast sites. Police have not recovered any timing devices at the bomb sites and it is possible that all four men blew themselves up deliberately.

Police raided six homes in and near the northern industrial town of Leeds on Tuesday and arrested a relative of one of the suspects. The relative was brought to London for questioning. The raids led police to a bomb factory in Leeds. Explosives were also found in a car at Luton railway station.

Meanwhile, British home secretary, Charles Clarke, today warned that Britain must be prepared for more attacks. He said, "We have to assume there are others who are ready to do the kinds of things that these people did last Thursday." Britain remains on its highest-ever security alert.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's office said on Tuesday there was no link between last week's bombings in London and the Iraq war.

In the House of Commons a day earlier, Blair rejected a suggestion that Britain was more at risk from a terrorist attack because of its involvement in Iraq. Blair said, "It is a form of terrorism aimed at our way of life, not at any particular government or policy."

Not everyone may agree. In the aftermath of the bombings last week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour was reporting live from the streets of London when her broadcast was interrupted.

Christiane Amanpour, reporting for CNN from London.

We go now to Britain to speak with Milan Rai, author of "Regime Unchanged" and "War Plan Iraq" and one of the founders of Voices in the Wilderness, UK. He is currently coordinating the group Justice Not Vengeance and has been doing extensive analysis of the aftermath of the London bombings. He joins us on the phone from Hastings, England.

Milan Rai, of Justice Not Vengeance.

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RUSH TRANSCRIPT
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AMY GOODMAN: Well, not everyone agrees. In the aftermath of the bombings last week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour was reporting live from the streets of London when her broadcast was interrupted.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You know the reaction of the British people was the reaction of the British people. These are people who have gone through terror, war bombings, the Nazi bombings of World War II, known then as the Blitz, and here we go, we have the British people intervening right here in --

LONDONER: Tell the truth about why this war happened! Don’t touch my bike! Tell the truth about what happened here! We’re in Iraq. That's why. That's why it happened.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Thank you.

LONDONER: There were fifty killed in Iraq.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: As you can tell, and this is actually important, you are seeing a live version of what is aggravating a lot of people here in England and around the world.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Christiane Amanpour on CNN reporting from the streets of London last week, being interrupted live on the air, a man saying, “It's about Iraq.

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In the House of Commons a day earlier, Blair rejected a suggestion that Britain was more at risk from a terrorist attack because of its involvement in Iraq. Blair said, "It is a form of terrorism aimed at our way of life, not at any particular government or policy."

I can safely say that Mr Blair is talking rubbish. And he knows it... What is going on!? I feel like I am living in a George Orwell novel. The British press are disgracing themselves and I for one will never forget it.

By the way, anyone out there think that Piers Morgan (fired editor of the Daily Mirror) was Dan Rather'ed before Dan Rather?

I think we all know why MOST terrorists strike at us. The Muslims I work with ( just want to work and feed their families)tell me what we already know, the "terrorists" don't hate our freedom or way of life they hate our occupation and destruction of their homes, they hate the theft of their resources and telling them how to live. That sounds like America 230 years ago to me. How quickly we forget!

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