British Police Arrest 3 Suspects In Deadly London Transit Bombings Of 2005

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 1:38 pm
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ British counter-terrorist police said Thursday they arrested three suspects in the deadly suicide bomb attacks on the London transit system in 2005. Two of the men were picked up just before boarding a plane to Pakistan.

No one has ever been charged in connection with the July 7, 2005, bombings, which were the deadliest attack on London since World War II. The four bombers and 52 commuters died in blasts on three subway trains and a double-decker bus, and more than 700 people were injured.

London's Metropolitan Police said two men, ages 23 and 30, were arrested at Manchester Airport in northwest England as they prepared to board a flight to Pakistan. The third man, 26, was detained at a house in Leeds, a city in northern England where police were searching five houses.

All were arrested on suspicion of committing, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism, and authorities aid they were being taken to a central London police station for questioning.

The houses being searched were all in Beeston, a working-class area of Leeds that was home to three of the 2005 bombers. Officers also were searching an apartment and a business in east London.

The coordinated attacks on London commuters were the first suicide bombings on European soil. The attack was followed two weeks later by a copycat plot in which four bombs failed to detonate.

Three of the suicide bombers _ Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Hasib Hussain, 18 _ were British-born men of Pakistani descent who grew up in the ethnically mixed Leeds area, about 200 miles from London. The fourth, Germaine Lindsay, 19, was born in Jamaica and raised in Britain.

The revelation that seemingly unremarkable British residents could become suicide bombers caused soul-searching across the country and raised fears of a threat from homegrown terrorists.

An official account of the attacks published last year concluded the plotters who inspired and prepared the bombers were likely still at large.

The investigation seemed to have stalled, but the Metropolitan Police said officials remained ``determined to follow the evidence wherever it takes us to identify any other person who may have been involved, in any way, in the terrorist attacks.''

Two suspects were previously detained by British police in 2005. One was released without charge, and the other was charged with wasting police time.

In addition, Magdy el-Nashar, an Egyptian chemist, was taken into custody by Egyptian authorities a week after the attack when British officials said he was suspected of possibly having links with some of the bombers.

He was let go after three weeks, and Egyptian authorities said he had no involvement in the attack. El-Nashar told reporters then that he casually knew two of the suicide bombers while earning a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Leeds.