London mayor Livingstone: what caused 7/7 bombings?

Ken LivingstoneFrom the Google cache.

London mayor Livingstone: what caused bombings?

Linking: 53 Comments: 37

Date: 7/20/05 at 1:27PM

From the Leicester Mercury in England:

Livingstone: West makes terrorists

20 July 2005

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has blamed Western foreign policy in the Middle East for creating the conditions for terrorist attacks such as the July 7 bombs in the capital.

Mr Livingstone said that Western interventions to maintain control of oil supplies in Arab countries, dating back to the First World War, had produced the Islamist terrorism of extremists including Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida network.

He said that many young people in Britain were outraged by the double standards in Western foreign policy, reflected in America’s support for Israel and detentions without trial in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. …

Asked what he blamed for the rise of Islamist radicalism and terrorism, Mr Livingstone did not specifically mention Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, which he opposed.

But he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we have just had 80 years of Western intervention in predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil.

“We have propped up unsavoury governments, we have overthrown ones that we didn’t consider sympathetic.

“And I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s the Americans recruited and trained Osama bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs and sent him off to kill the Russians in Afghanistan and they didn’t give any thought to the fact that once he had done that, he might turn on his creators.”

Comments on this: here.

And here.

Bush and the 7/7 bombings: here.

From the Google cache.

UK Institute: Iraq war-London bombs link

Date: 7/18/05 at 6:36PM

From the blog of Craig Murray, ex British ambassador to Uzbekistan; sacked by Blair for opposing local dictator Karimov, Blair’s and Bush’s ally (with different links there):

July 18, 2005

Riding Pillion in the US war on terror

On Friday we posted an article in which Moazzam Begg discussed possible motivations for those behind the horrific London attacks.

Today, a report from The Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House lays waste to the UK governments claim that the conduct of the “war on terror” and the invasion of Iraq were not important factors in increasing the vulnerability of the UK.

According to the Chatham House press release:

“there is ‘no doubt’ that the invasion of Iraq has imposed particular difficulties for the UK and for the wider coalition against terrorism.

According to the paper, the situation in Iraq has ‘given a boost to the Al-Qaeda network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising’, whilst providing an ideal targeting and training area for Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists”.

“A key problem for the UK in preventing terrorism in Britain is the government’s position as ‘pillion passenger’ to the United States’ war on terror”.

Update May 2007: here.

Families of victims of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London have denounced a parliamentary investigation into the events as a “whitewash”: here.

MI5 and police attacked over secrecy as 7/7 inquest opens: here.

15 thoughts on “London mayor Livingstone: what caused 7/7 bombings?

  1. NEWS LINE lead article: Tuesday July 19 2005

    says Chatham House

    There is ‘no doubt’ that support for the US-led war on Iraq ‘puts the UK more at risk’ of terrorist attack.

    This is one of the main conclusions of a report published yesterday by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Social Research Council.

    The report, Security, Terrorism and the UK, stated: ‘There is no doubt that the situation over Iraq has imposed particular difficulties for the UK, and for the wider coalition against terrorism.

    ‘It gave a boost to the Al-Qaeda networks, propaganda, recruitment and fundraising, caused a major split in the coalition, provided an ideal targeting and training area for Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, and deflected resources and assistance that could have been deployed to assist the Karzai government (in Afghanistan) and to bring (Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden to justice.’

    The report added: ‘A key problem with regard to implementing the strategy against terrorism is that the UK government has been conducting counter-terrorism policy shoulder to shoulder with the US, not in the sense of being an equal decision-maker, but rather as pillion passenger compelled to leave the steering to the ally in the driving seat.’

    Britain, it claimed, was ‘at particular risk because it is the closest ally of the United States, has deployed armed forces in the military campaigns to topple the Taleban regime in Afghanistan and in Iraq.’

    It added that Britain’s ‘international intelligence, police and judicial co-operation’ in operations against al-Qaeda had also put it at risk.

    The report noted that British security services had for a long time been preoccupied almost exclusively by the North of Ireland conflict, especially the campaign of attacks by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

    The report said: ‘By the mid-1990s the UKs intelligence agencies and the police were well aware that London was increasingly being used as a base by individuals involved in promoting, funding and planning terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    ‘However, these individuals were not viewed as a threat to the UK’s national security, and so they were left to continue their activities with relative impunity, a policy which caused much anger among the foreign governments concerned.

    ‘As a result of giving lower priority to international terrorism, the British authorities did not fully appreciate the threat from Al-Qaeda.’

    Anti-war MP George Galloway welcomed the report.

    He told News Line yesterday: ‘I spoke out in parliament on July 7th after Blair and Bush claimed the London bombs were nothing to do with the war on Iraq.

    ‘I pointed out the exact opposite was true, and I was villified by New Labour stooges for doing so.

    ‘Now the Royal Institute of International Affairs and other leading bodies are backing the position that I have, which is also the view of the majority of the British people.

    ‘There has to be a drastic review of the policy which has led to this disaster.

    ‘That must start with the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and uncoupling us from Bush’s disastrous war on terror.’

    However, the Chatham House report gives succour to plans for new anti-terror laws by saying: ‘In an open society, such as the UK, it is notoriously difficult to prevent no-warning co-ordinated suicide attacks, the characteristic modus operandi of Al-Qaeda.’

    Home Secretary Charles Clarke met his opposite numbers from the Tory and Liberal Democrat parties, David Davis and Mark Oaten in preparation for bringing in a new round of draconian anti-terror laws.

    These are measures to outlaw ‘indirect incitement to terrorism’, ‘acts preparatory to terrorism’ and ‘receiving or giving training’ in terror techniques in the UK and abroad.


    Date: 07 JULY 2005
    Release date: IMMEDIATE
    Labour Against the War unreservedly condemns the bomb attacks in London today. We send our condolences to the families of those killed and to those who have been injured.
    It is clear that the intention of the bombers was to cause widespread disruption in London at a time when they would gain maximum publicity. We want to pay tribute to all the public service workers whose work has helped minimise the damage, rescue the trapped and tended to the injured.

    Labour Against the War warned that an illegal war on Iraq would lead to illegal attacks on civilian life in Britain. It was the war itself that created a recruiting ground for Al Qaeda when none previously existed and it is the ongoing military occupation that is further swelling the ranks of the terrorists.

    The Government must not compound its previous mistakes by taking draconian measures that further erode civil rights in our society: to do so would be a gift to Al Qaeda. We will find no answers to terrorists’ threats by closing down civil society in Britain. As long as we continue to be an army of occupation in the Middle East we will continue to be a target.

    ……………….. ……………….. ….
    Alan Simpson MP can be contacted at the House of Commons: 020 7219 4534 …

    ……………….. ……………….. ….
    Labour Against the War is the Labour Party and trade union campaign against
    military action against Afghanistan and neighbouring countries in the aftermath of 11.09.01.


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