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Balancing Fear: Why Counter-Terror Legislation was Blocked after the Oklahoma City and London Bombings
Unformatted Document Text:  On the morning of July 7, 2005, as rush hour was drawing to a close, a series of explosions carried out by radical jihadist suicide bombers hit the London public transportation system. At 8:50 a.m. a bomb exploded on a subway train leaving Edgware Road station killing seven people and wounding 40. At the same time, a bomb exploded on a train traveling between Liverpool Street and Aldgate Station killing ten people and wounding over a hundred. In the deadliest attack of the day, also on the tube and also at 8:50 a.m., 27 people were killed and dozens injured when a bomb exploded on the Picaddilly line train near King’s Cross station. About an hour later, at 9:47 a.m., a bomb exploded on the upper deck of the No. 30 bus as it traveled through Tavistock Square; fourteen people were killed and dozens wounded 10 . All told, 56 people, including the four bombers, were killed and over 700 wounded due to the attacks on July 7, 2005 11 . Two weeks later to the day, on July 21, 2005, four more bombers failed to carry out an identical attack targeting three underground stations and a bus. The bombers were thwarted by the failure of their bombs to fully explode 12 . The first reports about the bombings held that the attackers were Britons of Pakistani origin who were born, raised and radicalized in the UK 13 . But whereas three of the bombers were British nationals of Pakistani origin who lived in West Yorkshire (the fourth was a Jamaican-born British national), their radicalization had strong foreign connections 14 . Two of the bombers visited Pakistan in 2004. Further, an al-Qaeda 10 For detailed descriptions of each bombing and a subway map of the attacks see http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,1538819,00.html. 11 See CNN’s report on the London bombings at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/london.bombing/ as well as The Guardian Online’s report at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/july7 for more details. 12 See http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,1544853,00.html. 13 See, for instance, Chance, Matthew, “Britain’s Home-grown Terrorists,” CNN.com, 14 July 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/07/14/homegrown.terror/. 14 For a full report on the bombings and on the possible foreign connections of the bombers see the House of Commons’ “Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7 th July 2005,” (London: The Stationery Office, May 2006). Pages 20-21 deal with foreign connections of the bombers. 8

Authors: Rubin, Gabriel.
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background image
On the morning of July 7, 2005, as rush hour was drawing to a close, a series of
explosions carried out by radical jihadist suicide bombers hit the London public
transportation system. At 8:50 a.m. a bomb exploded on a subway train leaving Edgware
Road station killing seven people and wounding 40. At the same time, a bomb exploded
on a train traveling between Liverpool Street and Aldgate Station killing ten people and
wounding over a hundred. In the deadliest attack of the day, also on the tube and also at
8:50 a.m., 27 people were killed and dozens injured when a bomb exploded on the
Picaddilly line train near King’s Cross station. About an hour later, at 9:47 a.m., a bomb
exploded on the upper deck of the No. 30 bus as it traveled through Tavistock Square;
fourteen people were killed and dozens wounded
. All told, 56 people, including the
four bombers, were killed and over 700 wounded due to the attacks on July 7, 2005
.
Two weeks later to the day, on July 21, 2005, four more bombers failed to carry out an
identical attack targeting three underground stations and a bus. The bombers were
thwarted by the failure of their bombs to fully explode
The first reports about the bombings held that the attackers were Britons of
Pakistani origin who were born, raised and radicalized in the UK
. But whereas three of
the bombers were British nationals of Pakistani origin who lived in West Yorkshire (the
fourth was a Jamaican-born British national), their radicalization had strong foreign
connections
. Two of the bombers visited Pakistan in 2004. Further, an al-Qaeda
10
For detailed descriptions of each bombing and a subway map of the attacks see
http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,1538819,00.html.
11
See CNN’s report on the London bombings at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/london.bombing/ as
well as The Guardian Online’s report at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/july7 for more details.
12
See http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,1544853,00.html.
13
See, for instance, Chance, Matthew, “Britain’s Home-grown Terrorists,” CNN.com, 14 July 2005,
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/07/14/homegrown.terror/.
14
For a full report on the bombings and on the possible foreign connections of the bombers see the House
of Commons’ “Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7
th
July 2005,” (London: The
Stationery Office, May 2006). Pages 20-21 deal with foreign connections of the bombers.
8


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