July 31, 2005
Police quiz 11 suspects in London bomb probe
By Madeline Chambers
LONDON (Reuters) - British police were questioning 11
suspects on Sunday in their investigation into failed bomb
attacks on London's transport system as Italian authorities
worked on extradition proceedings for a further suspect.
hunting over the July 21 botched bombings on three underground
trains and a bus, which came exactly two weeks after four
bombers killed themselves and 52 people in similar attacks.
After an international manhunt for suspected Islamist
militants which culminated in a swoop on a housing estate in
west London on Friday, three of the men are in custody in
Britain and the fourth in Rome.
Italian authorities started preliminary extradition
proceedings on Saturday against Osman Hussain, arrested in Rome
Britain's junior Interior Minister Hazel Blears told Sky
TV: "Where people are fomenting terrorism in this country we
are going to take action. We will pursue people intensively to
make sure they come to justice."
The British government is working on new anti-terrorism
Police say they are still looking for anyone who may have
helped the bombers and have a total of 11 suspects in custody.
British media reported fears of a fresh attack on London
and said police and security forces were trying to track down a
possible command structure behind the bombers.
The Sunday Times, citing security sources, reported that a
third cell of Islamist militants was planning multiple suicide
bomb attacks on "soft" targets in central London.
Security experts described the pyramid structure of al
Qaeda to other newspapers.
"If you see the two groups of bombers as two separate teams
of foot soldiers on the very bottom, then there is a
possibility they are linked by the command structure in the
level above," a security source told The Observer.
"This is the level we are trying to identify and track
down," the source said.
The News of the World reported that it had handed fake
passports and forged documents to the police which it said it
found in a bag near Heathrow airport. The paper said the haul
pointed to the existence of further cells.
"The documents are now being assessed by detectives from
the anti-terrorist branch," said a police spokesman.
A Zambian intelligence source said in Lusaka on Saturday
the authorities had signed a deportation order for suspected
British militant Haroon Rashid Aswad, who would be handed over
to Britain once formalities were completed.
British police say they would like to question him but say
he is not a priority in the investigation into the London
The British government is treading carefully to ensure it
does not antagonize the country's Muslim communities.
Ministers are launching a series of meetings over the
coming months with community leaders to try to tackle the roots
of Muslim radicalism.