Sunday, August 07, 2005

London Bombings - Fingers still pointed at North African connections

UK and Saudi security forces are sure two men, of Moroccan descent were involved in both London Bombings. Sadly they will not be interrogated: Recently shot dead, Younis Mohammed Ibrahim al-Hayari, allegedly al-Qaeda's leader in Saudi Arabia, was killed in Riyadh three weeks ago and Abdel Karim al-Mejati died in a shoot-out in the central al-Qassim region in April.

Saudi security officials suspect both men of involvement in the attacks in London on July 7 and 21 and say that al-Qaeda is definitely operating in Britain. "It's beyond doubt they're active in your country," said one.

At al-Hayari's hideout, large quantities of chemicals and other bomb-making materials were found, while Al-Mejati is said to have (also) planned the train bombings in Madrid in March last year.

The Saudi connection is also firming up with Scotland Yard whether coded messages and money - transferred from Saudi to Britain via businesses at both ends before July this year ended up with the bombers.

A Saudi security adviser said: "We are trying to establish whether the money was directly linked to the individuals who carried out either the first or the second sets of bombings in London.

"The messages and the money transfers were highly professional. They were using SIM cards for six hours and then throwing them away."

Hussain Osman, 27, the suspected failed Shepherd's Bush bomber, had called a mobile phone in Saudi shortly before his arrest, while travelling by Eurostar from London to Rome.

Not just mobile 'phones, it would appear the web is becoming a key interface for Islamist terrorists and their masters. This story shows how al-Qaeda has devolved much of its training and jihadist exhortations to the web; out of the Madrassas'.

It will be interesting to watch the story develop as the UK and other authorities break down the live bombers in custody and build a picture of their networks.

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