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London Bombings

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

CCTV pictures

It’s very difficult to comment on a situation like that in London, particularly when it is ongoing – even as I type, it would appear that an arrest has been made in Birmingham, and suspicious suitcases are being dealt with there. Above, I’ve put the CCTV pictures released by the police following yesterday’s attempted attacks. I would personally have thought that it can’t be too difficult to track down failed suicide bombers – after all, they didn’t expect to survive and so presumably wouldn’t have put plans in place to get away.

It is clear that these attacks, and attempted attacks, are terrible. We can only hope that fewer will happen in future, though that looks increasingly unlikely. It is important in all of these to keep one’s head, and I can only hope that the police haven’t lost theirs, with the reports today of a horrific killing by police this morning, which appears to me to have been an over-reaction to a perceived threat. The basic story is that a man under surveillance following the attacks refused to follow police orders, and so was shot five times at close range. I wasn’t there, and can’t claim to really know what went on, but I do wonder whether the situation was grave enough to use lethal action – and why was it necessary to shoot him five times? Perhaps the police were acting entirely professionally, as one would expect them to, but there are clearly questions which need to be addressed. We can’t go killing every Asian man in a big coat who doesn’t do as police ask.

In the two weeks since the 7th July attacks, there have been over 250 security alerts, and armed police officers are now stationed at every tube station and patrolling the streets. A second attack can only increase the fear, and it would appear that certainly American tourism is suffering. In other words, the terrorists appear to be succeeding in disrupting our daily lives, and – essentially – terrorising us. At the same time, it’s not good enough for the police to simply instruct Londoners to ‘get on with their normal life’. You can’t instruct someone to not be scared.

As I’ve said, it’s impossible to reflectively comment on an ongoing situation – and it appears that this situation will be ongoing for some considerable time – and I have no solutions to the problems I’ve mentioned. I’m sure I’ll post more about this in future, but for right now, I think I’ll leave it there.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Maximilian Goldenberg

    09.36, 23/07/2005

“I do wonder whether the situation was grave enough to use lethal action”

It clearly was grave enough.

According to the BBC propaganda site


“One of them was carrying a black handgun – it looked like an automatic – they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him,” he said.

Obviously being under pinned to the floor under several police officers rendered this man a threat to the police officers and everybody else, therefore since the official policy is,

again from the BBC propaganda site,


“The aim of opening fire is to stop an imminent threat to life.”

the officers had to shoot him.

It is obvious to anybody that the police did not want this man to talk, because his revelations would have been far too damaging to the Bliar administration.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    09.46, 23/07/2005

So all of the police officers on the ground – and by all accounts, there were a lot – were instructed to kill the man should they manage to corner him, as his testimony would be damaging to the Blair administration, which is on its way out anyway? And none of them are speaking to the press about this, despite the fact that it would make them an awful lot of money, and they are severely underpaid? Sorry, but I don’t buy that.

Comment from Maximilian Goldenberg

    12.09, 23/07/2005

Was the man armed?

What evidence is there that the man had any connection with the previous terrorist outrages?

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    12.17, 23/07/2005

I don’t suggest they were right to shoot him, I merely suggest that it was – as the saying goes – cock-up rather than conspiracy. To my mind, it sounds like a policeman rather lost it, and shot the man five times in some kind of rage. There certainly seems to be no reason to shoot him five times, particularly if he’s on the floor – and presumably police protocol wouldn’t allow them to shoot him if they thought he was a danger to the public as a potential suicide bomber as the shooting could (presumably) set the explosives off.

Comment from Jonathan Willoughby

    12.43, 23/07/2005

Perhaps you should take notice of Winston’s Black Dog’s comments
over at your colleague’s “EU Referendum” site.

“My worry is the attitude of Ian Blair. He quite brazenly admitted that the suspect was not one of the attempted bombers but was shot because he failed to obey police instructions.

If this is the future of British policing then the terrorists have won as they have achieved the objective of forcing us to change our lifestyle.

What next? People shot dead for not moving on if told when protesting against the EU?”


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    18.21, 23/07/2005

It has now been formally confirmed that the now-dead man had nothing to do with the bombings, confirming my suspicions.

I completely agree with the sentiments of Jonathan as quoted above, and indeed expressed similar sentiments when I said

We can’t go killing every Asian man in a big coat who doesn’t do as police ask.

Albeit with less of an EU bent.

Comment from Maximilan Goldenberg

    20.12, 23/07/2005

So like I was saying, the man had to be shot to be kept quiet.
It is now obvious to all that there is a conspiracy by the police to take out people who know too much or stand in their way. And then the excuse of a terror related attack is used as the cover for their nefarious acts.

And I note that nobody has bothered to mention that the Metropolitan Police knew all along about the second terror attack, which of course proves my point above about a conspiracy,
and this was reported in today’s Daily Mirror.


And there is more about the original attack at




Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    11.51, 24/07/2005

And I note that nobody has bothered to mention … this was reported in today’s Daily Mirror.

I think reading various media sources has made it clear that the intelligence services also had a fair idea about the first attack too, but I still can’t make the leap to conspiracy. Though, as always, you’re entitled to your own beliefs, as I am to mine.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    16.07, 17/08/2005

For future reference, I’ve made a new post with significant updates and corrections here

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