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UK rules out public inquiry into London transit bombing

2005-12-14 12:18:00

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UK rules out public inquiry into London transit bombing
Last Updated Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:09:13 EST
CBC News

The British government was on the defensive Wednesday over its decision to not hold a public inquiry into the July 7 bombings in London.

* INDEPTH: London Bombing

"If we ended up having a full scale public inquiry ... we would end up diverting a massive amount of police and security service time," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday.

"I don't think it would be sensible."

Still, Blair's government says it does recognize the need for answers for both the public and for the families of the victims of the attacks.

Instead of a public inquiry, the government will publish a report from a senior civil servant documenting the evidence the government has collected.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke is reportedly considering how the report can be written so as not to compromise "intelligence sources or prejudicing any possible prosecutions," a Home Office spokesperson told the Associate Press on condition of anonymity.

56 die in attacks

Fifty-six people died when bombs went off on three subway trains and a bus.

* FROM JULY 7, 2005: More than 50 dead in London attacks

The attacks shocked the city where three million people ride the subway every day. Another 6.7 million ride above ground on buses.

The four bombers were identified as Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, Germaine Lindsay, 19, Hasib Hussain, 18, and Shahzad Tanweer, 22.

They were photographed by a surveillance camera in the train station in Luton, north of London just before the bombings happened.

From there, they travelled to the King's Cross train station in the capital where three of them entered the subway and set off their bombs. The fourth man blew himself up in a bus an hour later.

* FROM JULY 17, 2005: Britain's MI5 decided London bomber posed no threat: report

In the days after the attack, it came to light that British Secret Service did an assessment on one of the bombers while investigating another attack plot last year.

But the Secret Service decided he posed no threat and didn't keep tabs on him, a news report says.

Khan underwent a "routine threat assessment" during an investigation last year into a plan to blow up a truck outside a Soho nightclub, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The British security agency MI5 concluded that Khan posed no threat and did not put him under surveillance, said the British paper, citing a senior government source.

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