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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
At-a-glance: 7 July reports
Key findings of two reports, both published on 11 May, on the bomb attacks in London on 7 July 2005, in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured hundreds of others:


The 45-page parliamentary intelligence and security committee report found:

  • If MI5 and MI6 had had more resources, the chances of stopping the attack could have been higher

  • MI5 had come across two of the bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, on the peripheries of other investigations

  • But information on the pair was limited, so MI5 "understandably" decided to concentrate on other priorities

  • Tanweer and Khan had both visited Pakistan, where it was "likely" they had contact with al-Qaeda figures, and some operational training

  • The blasts were caused by home-made organic peroxide-based devices - dangerous to manufacture but not requiring a great deal of expertise

  • After the attacks, MI5 found it had Germaine Lindsay's phone number, and a number registered to "Sidique Khan"

  • No intelligence indicates that there was a fifth or further bombers; media claims that a "mastermind" left the UK the day before the attacks have been discounted

  • The degree of al-Qaeda involvement remains unclear and under investigation

  • There was no prior warning of the attacks from any foreign intelligence

  • The threat from al-Qaeda remains, and Iraq continues to act as a motivation and focus for terrorist activity in the UK

  • Three other terrorist plots have been thwarted since 7 July

  • Actions since 7 July, including the setting-up of new MI5 and MI6 stations at home and abroad, show more could have been done sooner

  • It was "not unreasonable" to lower the threat level from severe general to substantial ahead of 7 July, in May 2005

  • The system of threat levels and alert states needs to be clearer and more useful, with better public information

  • A belief that suicide attacks would not become the norm could have affected the alertness of the authorities

  • Even with more "intrusive activity" from MI5 and MI6, it is highly unlikely that all attacks will be stopped

  • The "home-grown" threat and the radicalisation of Britons may not have been fully understood by officials

  • The threat is as likely to come from those who appear part of society, with jobs and children, as those from poor backgrounds, and from many ethnicities

  • Collaboration between agencies such as police, intelligence and security has improved both at home and abroad

  • Although improved, collaboration between agencies such as MI5, MI6 and the police must improve further

  • Whether the plan to merge police forces goes ahead or not, more should be done on strategic, national issues such as counter-terrorism - but policing must not be removed from its local roots

  • At present, there is not believed to be a group with both the intent and the capability to attack the UK, but the threat level remains "substantial"


    Among details in the 40-page official government report or "narrative" on the events of 7 July, were:

  • It is not known when the four suicide bombers first developed the idea of an attack in the UK

  • But a visit by suspected ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer to Pakistan from late 2004 to early 2005 may have been important

  • The bombs were made with readily available materials and needed "little expertise" to manufacture

  • The group was motivated by "fierce antagonism to perceived injustices by the West against Muslims"

  • At about 0830 on 7 July, four men matching their descriptions were seen in London hugging

  • They appeared "happy, even euphoric"; they then split up

  • After three bombs went off on three Tube trains, Hasib Hussain appeared at King's Cross station; he tried in vain to contact the others by mobile phone, and bought a battery and visited a McDonald's outlet

  • Hussain appeared relaxed and unhurried; he then got on a number 30 bus which later exploded

  • The backgrounds of the four men appear largely unexceptional

  • It is not known how or when Khan developed his extreme views; by 2001 he was serious about religion, but he criticised the 11 September attacks in the US; some noticed a change of character in 2002

  • Shehzad Tanweer was very religious but those around him observed no sign this had turned to extremism

  • Germaine Lindsay was a convert to Islam and strongly influenced by known extremist preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, now in prison

  • Hasib Hussain undertook a Hajj visit to Saudi Arabia in 2002; after this, he began wearing traditional clothing

  • Some time after this he wrote "Al Qaida No Limits" on his RE schoolbook; he saw the 11 September attackers as martyrs

  • Khan, Tanweer and Hussain's social life was based around a mosque, club, gym and Islamic bookshop in Beeston

  • Lindsay and Khan may have met in Huddersfield

  • In May 2005, the group rented a house in the student area of Leeds, and turned it into a "bomb-making factory"

  • Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay probably visited London on one reconnoitring visit, in June 2005

  • The attacks are estimated to have cost the bombers less than 8,000; they seem to have been self-financed

  • The behaviour of three of the bombers ahead of 7 July appeared broadly normal

  • Lindsay was behaving erratically and possibly criminally before, but not in a way to suggest terrorist intentions

  • There is no firm evidence as to whether there was any al-Qaeda support

  • But the target and type of attack are typical of al-Qaeda and those inspired by its ideologies

  • Police are still investigating the attacks - they have 12,500 statements; 26,000 exhibits of which more than 5,000 are being forensically examined; 142 computers; and more than 6,000 hours of CCTV footage

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