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15. In any analysis, therefore, of what we now know about the background of the bombers and of the lead up to the bombings, it is important to emphasise that much of it was not known to the police and the Security Service before 7/7, and could not have been known to them. I should add that the bereaved families represented before me accepted, rightly, that the evidence called disclosed no failings by the Security Service that could properly be reflected in the verdicts as a contributory cause of the deaths (although that is not to say that they remain uncritical of some of the actions that the Security Service did or did not take at that time). I should also make it clear that there is no suggestion by anyone before me, and there is simply no evidence at all, that the Security Service knew of, and therefore failed to prevent, the bombings on 7/7.
Background 16. The story as far as this issue is concerned begins with a man called Martin McDaid. He was known to the Security Service and West Yorkshire Police (“WYP”) from about 1998. He was suspected of being an Islamist extremist 4 and of possible involvement in Jihad training. In January 2001, a group of about forty men were observed by WYP attending a training camp organised by known extremists, one of whom was McDaid. This was one of a number of such camps which did not apparently involve illegal activity. Although the significance of such camps was not as well appreciated then as it is now, the Security Service were nevertheless interested in them and particularly in those who attended regularly. Stills were taken from video footage of the surveillance (at least one of which included a clear shot of Khan) and shown to a number of sources. Nine of the men were identified including a “Tafalal Mohammed”, later identified as Tafazal Mohammed. Khan was, however, not identified until after 7/7. None of the vehicle registration numbers taken was traced to Khan. 17. Between July and September 2001 we know now that Khan travelled to Pakistan with Waheed Ali (also known as Shippon Ullah). Ali admitted at his trial for conspiring with the 7/7 bombers, many years later, that they had received terrorist training while there. 18. McDaid remained of interest to the Security Service and WYP. On 14th April 2003, he was given a lift for a very short distance (the journey took about 3 minutes) in a BMW car that was subsequently discovered to be registered to a Mr Sidique Khan of 11 Gregory Street Batley West Yorkshire. The driver was unknown. The only other record relating to Sidique Khan of Gregory Street was a caution, and the lift was not, therefore, considered significant. Despite the surveillance being carried out under a joint investigation between WYP and the Security Service, it seems that neither the surveillance report nor the record of the BMW was passed by WYP to the Security Service. Given the reference to Sidique Khan, Witness G accepted that, in hindsight, this had been unfortunate. 19. Another extremist was also under investigation at this time. Mohammed Qayam Khan (“MQK”) was the suspected leader of an Al Qaeda facilitation network in Luton. Operation Crevice began in the early part of 2003 as an investigation into the activities of the network. Calls were made on 13th, 19th and 24th July, and on 15th August 2003 (not 17th August, as the ISC reported) between a mobile phone associated with him and two mobile phones, one of which was registered to a Sidique Khan of 49a Bude Rd, Leeds. There had earlier been contact between the number registered to 49a Bude Rd and another number believed to be connected to MQK. The calls, amongst many, were not regarded as particularly significant. Calls were also made between two other ‘pay as you go’ mobile phones and another member of the network, Omar Khyam. A link between these two mobile phones and Khan was only established after 7/7 (one of the SIM cards was found at his address) and only an unjustified amount of intrusive investigative work would have led to the discovery of the link before that time. 5 20.During 2003, WYP investigated the Iqra bookshop which was based in Bude Road. It was conceived as a learning and community centre and registered as a charity. However, we now know extremists were involved with it to varying degrees. Khan and Tanweer were trustees for a short time and other suspected terrorist sympathisers visited (some of whom were also trustees). They included Tafazal Mohammed, McDaid, Khalid Khaliq (who was convicted in 2008 of possessing an Al Qaeda training manual), Waheed Ali and Mohammed Shakil. The last two were convicted in 2009 of conspiring to attend a training camp, but acquitted of conspiring with the London bombers. Another trustee, Sadeer Saleem, was also acquitted of conspiring with Khan and the others. There was some evidence of a regular transfer of extremist literature and records between the Iqra bookshop and the Leeds Community School and elsewhere by Khan and others. However, there was also evidence that Khan withdrew from the bookshop (probably in early 2003) after a dispute about a man called Hamza Yusuf. Mr Yusuf condemned suicide bombings. Khan, it seems, did not wish the bookshop to continue selling his work. 21. The bookshop was closed following the events of 7/7. The police have never recovered any material which tends to suggest the Iqra bookshop was a base for unlawful activity as opposed to somewhere that was visited by men with extremist views. There is a world of difference in law between those who promote terrorism and violence and those who simply promote their religion. On the evidence, therefore, I cannot legitimately conclude either that the Iqra bookshop was a hotbed of violent and unlawful extremism or that it should have been recognised as such by the authorities. 22.The radicalisation of suicide bombers is an extremely complex subject. I am conscious that the previous Government implemented a PREVENT strategy to address radicalisation of vulnerable members of the public and that the current Government is seeking to refine that strategy. The only evidence on the wider issue of prevention, before me, came from a member of the public, Mr Sarwar Khan, who lived in the Beeston area. He believed fervently that the way to dilute the message of the proselytisers and prevent radicalisation of the impressionable was far more community-based activity and better communication between the elders of a community and the young. He may well be right, but it is beyond my remit to consider this issue further. 23. There was also evidence about radicalisation from Mr Mark Hargreaves and Mr Martin Gilbertson. Mr Hargreaves described his meeting McDaid and others during the course of his youth work in the area and their attempts to radicalise the local youth. Mr Gilbertson suggested that he too encountered extremism during the course of his work for the Iqra bookshop. Further, he claimed to have alerted the WYP to that extremism before 7/7. However, to rely upon anything Mr Gilbertson told me, I would require verification by objective evidence. He was not an accurate or reliable witness. His accounts of how and when he claims to have contacted the police have varied, not just 6 with time, but quite radically during his short stay in the witness box. Despite a very thorough police investigation there is absolutely nothing to support his allegations and I do not accept them. Unfortunately, his claims have been widely publicised and have caused some of the families and survivors unnecessary distress. They have impacted upon the vital relationship between WYP and local communities. Various investigations into his claims have wasted a considerable amount of hard pressed public money and resources. I do not intend to waste any more upon them. I return to what we know. 24.At his trial after 7/7, Mohammed Shakil said he travelled to Pakistan with Khan in July 2003. During that trip, Khan used the pseudonym ‘Ibrahim’, and Shakil used the name ‘Zubair’. In Pakistan they met Omar Khyam and a man called Mohammed Junaid Babar. Babar later gave evidence to the effect that both Khan and Omar Khyam had attended a terrorist training camp in Malakand in Pakistan. 25. Of course, the Security Service knew none of this in 2003 but they were subsequently alerted to the possible significance of Omar Khyam during Operation Crevice. The Security Service received intelligence in 2004 that Omar Khyam and others were engaged in “attack planning”, in other words they posed an immediate threat to life. He and his fellow plotters became, therefore, the highest category of target in the UK. The sheer scale of Operation Crevice was such that almost all the key resources of the Security Service were directed towards disrupting a major threat to life. Omar Khyam was put under surveillance in February and March 2004. It is worth noting here that surveillance is a very intrusive, resource intensive measure. Given the limited resources available to any security service in a democratic state, for both practical and legal reasons, its use must be strictly controlled and always proportionate to the threat. 26.During the period they were watching Omar Khyam, the Security Service observed his meeting, amongst others, three then unidentified men. They were later discovered to be Waheed Ali, Tanweer and Khan (known at the time as Unidentified Males C, D and E). 27. On 2nd February 2004, Omar Khyam was seen to get into a green Honda Civic which had driven to Crawley and parked alongside his car. Two men got out of the Honda, and one remained to drive up and down the A23 with Khyam in what was plainly a meeting. Their visit lasted about forty five minutes in all. The Honda Civic, with its original three occupants on board (C, D and E), was then followed from Crawley to Leeds, where its journey ended. Its two passengers alighted at Lodge Road and at Tempest Road, Leeds, and the driver at 10 Thornhill Park Avenue, the address of the registered keeper of the car, Hasina Patel. Covert photographs were taken at Toddington Service station during the journey. WYP were asked by the Security Service for any details that they had on the Thornhill Park Avenue address. Hasina Patel’s name, date of birth and record came to light, but not the fact that she had 7 married Khan in a Muslim ceremony in October 2001, maybe because their marriage was not registered with the civil authorities. 28.On 20th February 2004, two very significant things happened. The authorities were alerted by a call to the anti-terrorist hotline to the fact that 600 kilos of fertiliser were being stored in a depot. The fertiliser was to be used by the Crevice plotters to make bombs. Whoever was responsible for the call is to be highly commended for their action. Their call may well have saved dozens of lives. The same day an electronics bomb expert called Khawaja arrived in the UK to meet key Crevice plotters. Conversations took place at Omar Khyam’s home address, during which there was discussion of bomb making, but, based on fairly complete surveillance and eavesdropping coverage, the Security Service did not believe D and E were present during such conversations. 29.On 21st February 2004, a ‘farewell’ meal was held for Khawaja. Surveillance of the meal was difficult. Omar Khyam and another man, thought to be Shujah Mahmood, left the house in which the meal was held and, after having bought a kebab nearby, were seen to be sitting in Omar Khyam’s Suzuki Vitara talking. Those conducting surveillance thought there were only two people in the car. Those monitoring the conversation (there was a bugging device in the car) thought that were possibly three individuals present. They heard possible references to ‘brothers’ arriving but not being ready, travel to Pakistan, ‘operation’, and to fraud. About 21.30 the occupants went back inside the house. A number of individuals left the area sometime after midnight in a variety of vehicles, including an unidentified Toyota Avensis. 30.Thereafter, the eavesdropping tapes were subjected to repeated and detailed analysis, initially by the Security Service and then by the Metropolitan Police Service both before and after the Crevice arrests on 30th March 2004. It was soon realised that there were at least three people in the car. 31. One version of the transcript, prepared much later by the police in February 2008 for the purposes of the Theseus trial (the trial of those alleged to have conspired with the London bombers), revealed that there were in fact five people in the car: Omar Khyam, Waheed Ali, Mahmood, Khan and, possibly, Tanweer. It is also possible that Khan and Tanweer attended the farewell meal for Khawaja. After 7/7, based upon a credit card in Khan’s name found at the scene of the Aldgate bomb, inquiries revealed that Khan had hired the Toyota Avensis earlier that day, 21st February. He gave his name on the hire documents as Sidique Khan and his address as 11 Gregory Street, Batley, Leeds, and provided a copy of his driving licence and credit card. 32. One of the earlier versions of the eavesdropping transcript of the 21st February meeting requires, however, further mention. A transcript, prepared in March 2004, referred to NM1 and NM2. Witness G’s evidence was that Security Service officers reading this transcript would have taken these references to mean Nominal Male 1 and Nominal Male 2. During the inquests I was 8 informed that NM1 and NM2 in fact stood for Northern Male 1 and Northern Male 2. I was asked to note the significance of the northern accents and other details which tended to show that the participants were indeed visitors from the north (as of course they were), and invited to conclude that this should have been picked up at the time. Had it been, it was argued, a link to the unidentified males C, D and E who had visited on 2nd February might have been established. It should be emphasised, however, that no-one now suggests that the Security Service could reasonably have identified Khan as a participant in the conversation or at the meal, before 7/7. In any event, as Witness G observed, the conversation did not reveal Khan to be a Crevice attack planner, only as a possible fighter in Pakistan or Afghanistan. 33. On 28th February 2004, C D and E again met Omar Khyam in the Honda Civic, stayed with him all day, attended a meeting and visited a number of builders merchants and were followed back to Tempest Road, Lodge Lane and Pickles Field, Batley, near Leeds. The round trip of about 500 miles was taking them about 9 hours each time. Checks on the Honda this time revealed it to be registered to a new keeper: ‘Sidique Khan’ of 11 Gregory St, Batley. Details of Sidique Khan’s car insurance were located which included his date of birth. 34. Checks also revealed that this Sidique Khan was linked to two other addresses: 10 Thornhill Park Avenue and also 99 Stratford St Leeds (where, according to the voters register, a ‘Mohammad Sadikue Khan’ was said to reside). There were, however, no other traces of Sidique Khan in the WYP systems, or recorded in Special Branch records. By this stage Omar Khyam was known to be plotting an imminent attack and the fact there was no detected discussion with D and E about an attack was judged significant in relation to the prioritisation of D and E as targets. 35. In the early hours of the morning of 21st March 2004, a green Vauxhall Corsa was seen leaving the near vicinity of Omar Khyam’s address. Checks revealed that the car was registered to Lombard Vehicle Management of the West Midlands who in turn had leased it to Just Car Clinic of Wakefield as a “pool car”, but no further steps were taken at that time to identify to whom the car had been lent. 36. Two days later, on 23rd March 2004, the green Vauxhall Corsa was seen again at a meeting with Khyam. Khyam’s Vitara and the Corsa then travelled to a number of different locations in and around Slough. Surveillance officers recognised the driver and, on 24th March, he was assessed to have been the same person as the driver of the Honda Civic, i.e. unidentified male E. A passenger in the Corsa was also recognised as having been unidentified male D. Unidentified male E and Khyam also visited an internet café. 37. Seen written on the side of the car on this occasion were the words: “Just Car Clinic” and a telephone number. Inquiries in February 2005 revealed that the 9 car had been given by Just Car Clinic to a Mr S Khan of 11 Gregory St, Batley as a courtesy car on 18th March 2004 whilst his own green Honda Civic was being repaired (the courtesy car had been delivered to 10 Thornhill Park Avenue). This was significant because although the Security Service was aware that the drivers of the Honda and the Vauxhall were one and the same, they had not in fact assumed that the driver of the Honda (unidentified male E) was in fact its registered keeper, Sidique Khan. 38.During a conversation in Khyam’s car, when a man with a Northern accent (possibly unidentified male D, namely Tanweer) is recorded as having been present, Khyam is heard to be discussing the recent Madrid bombings and financial fraud. Again, there was no reference to a planned attack. Others including Omar Khyam and a man called Akbar had been detected discussing targets, but never when D and E were present. 39. After the arrest of Omar Khyam and the main Crevice plotters on 30th March 2004, and once the immediate threat to life had been dealt with, all those whom Omar Khyam had met and to whom he had spoken were assessed to see if they were involved in some way in terrorist activity. There were over four thousand telephone contacts alone to be reassessed. Operation Scraw began in April 2004. This initially involved examining the cases of twelve main targets considered to be closely associated with attack planning. Later, others considered to be on the periphery of the plot,, including D and E, were added Attention was focussed primarily on the twelve. The assessment at that time, according to G’s witness statement, was that higher prioritisation and more intensive investigation into the two men (D and E) was simply unwarranted on the basis of the intelligence picture that had emerged. 40.In April 2004, Mohammed Junaid Babar, an associate of the Crevice plotters and other terrorists, began to provide information whilst in the custody of the FBI. 41. On 6th April 2004 Babar was shown one of the pictures of unidentified male D (Tanweer) that had been taken on 2nd February 2004 at Toddington Services. However the photograph had been cropped in such a way as to render him virtually unidentifiable. A photograph of E (Khan), cut in half, was not shown to Babar at all and thus no opportunity was presented to him to identify him. Witness G was unable to explain why the photograph of E was not shown, and accepted that there was no contemporaneous documentation explaining the position. He agreed with Mr Keith QC that the photographs could have been provided in a better condition. 42.The Crevice surveillance had produced other photographs, including some taken of D and E later in February and March 2004 which were of better quality. Babar was shown some more photographs relating to Operation Crevice on 30th April 2004, but these happened not to include any of D or E. However, as I shall mention in a moment, the use of the cropped photograph 10 did not in fact impact upon the operation because photographs of D and E were ultimately shown to Babar. 43. On 12th May Babar provided further information. He stated that two men calling themselves Ibrahim and Zubair had travelled to Pakistan in June 2003 and had met him and some of the Crevice plotters on their arrival at Islamabad airport. Shakil, it should be remembered, claimed (after 7/7) that he was the man calling himself Zubair. 44.In mid May 2004, a second overseas detainee indicated he had met two men from Leeds called Ibrahim and Zubair who had been sent on a fact finding mission by MQK. The second detainee, who had better reason to recognise the two men than Babar, was shown good quality photographs of D and E, but failed to recognise D or E, let alone to identify E as Ibrahim. 45. Amongst other work, the Security Service sent a “cluster message” to agencies in the North dated 8th June 2004 with the information they had obtained from Crevice on individuals with links to Leeds including Ibrahim and Zubair. They asked for information which might identify them. They referred to the Honda Civic, the registered owner Sidique Khan of 11 Gregory Street Batley, the previous owner Hasina Patel of Thornhill Avenue, the green Corsa, Lodge Lane, Tempest Road and Pickles Field, Batley. 46.Also in June 2004, the Security Service began an intensive investigation, known as Operation Rhyme, into a further group of attack planners based in the UK. This group was assessed to have a number of different plans to attack targets around the UK including the possible use of car bombs and radiological devices. 47. The Intelligence and Security Committee (the “ISC”) is the Parliamentary body whose role it is to examine the work of the intelligence and security agencies. In its May 2009 report entitled “Could 7/7 have been prevented?” the ISC described the effect of the number and scale of operations facing the Security Service during this period in this way (at paragraph 38): “MI5 were playing catch-up, moving resources from one plot to the next, whilst each time unearthing still more people of interest on the sidelines of each plot that they would need to return to and investigate when they had time.” 48.Meanwhile, the North East Regional Intelligence Cell (“NERIC") reported back in July 2004 that the records of NERIC and WYP had been checked. They provided a date of birth for Khan coupled with his police record (nothing relevant) and two further addresses linked to him, one in Holbeck and 99 Stratford Street Beeston. They produced a photograph dated February 2003. This does not seem to have been shown to anyone significant. They also mentioned a report by Hasina Patel of 11 Gregory Street, Soothill, Batley made on 29th May 2003 that a blue Vauxhall Corsa had been taken without consent. Her record and the address Thornhill Park Avenue were disclosed. Checks on 11 intelligence data bases for the residents of the addresses given produced no results. NERIC also reported that the only relevance to Lodge Lane they could find was that it was close to the Iqra bookshop. The search also noted the green Corsa was registered to Lombard Vehicle Management Ltd of Solihull. NERIC also stated that it had conducted checks, but was unable to provide any intelligence as to the possible identities of Ibrahim and Zubair. 49.In August 2004, the FBI showed Babar some more photographs. These included good quality photographs of D and E that had been taken on 28th February and 23rd March 2004 (these had provided for them by the MPS). However, Babar failed, for whatever reason, to recognise either man, or to identify E as ‘Ibrahim’. Thus, as it turned out, the earlier incident of D (Tanweer)’s cropped photograph and the failure to show the cut picture of E (Khan) to him on 6th April played no causative part in the failure to identify Khan or Tanweer. As a result of the lack of identification by both Babar and the second detainee (see paragraph 44 above), the Security Service inferred that D and E were not main Crevice plotters and were not linked to either Ibrahim or Zubair. 50.In August 2004 Operation Rhyme came to a head. Thirteen individuals were arrested and eight later convicted of being involved in a major terrorist plot. Targets in Rhyme were added to the pot of those to be reassessed and investigated further. 51. By September 2004 the focus of Operation Scraw was on two sets of targets: those individuals who featured in Crevice, assessed as being of greater concern than D and E, and those named by Babar. The priority was to identify an individual Babar said was prepared to be a suicide bomber and one who was believed to have undergone explosive training in Pakistan. 52. In November 2004, we now know, Khan and Tanweer flew to Pakistan. 53. Between January and March 2005, the Security Service received reliable intelligence which revealed that two men by the names of Saddique *** (surname not Khan) and Imran both from Batley in West Yorkshire had been trained in Afghanistan in the late 90s/early 2000s. Intelligence further suggested that Saddique lived in the Soothill area of Batley, and that both men were committed to the cause of extremism. Saddique (or Sidiq) *** was in his early 30s and attended the gym. He had travelled to Pakistan in 2001 for two months where he received military training in a mujahaddin camp. Imran visited a mosque in Bradford. During the same period, West Yorkshire Police reported to the Security Service that both Saddique *** and Imran had associates in West Yorkshire including an Asian man called Taf (assessed as likely to be Tafazel Mohammed, associate of McDaid). 54. No investigative steps were taken after 1 March 2005 to identify Saddique *** partly because of his relatively low profile and partly for operational reasons 12 that cannot be disclosed. Significantly, the Security Service do not suggest that it would nevertheless have been impossible to identify Saddique *** as Khan in March 2005. The ISC wrongly stated at page 38 of their second report, with regard to this intelligence, that “it was not possible to corroborate it or investigate to find out more”. 55. It should be remembered, however, that at this time men D and E, and also Saddique *** and Imran, were still lower down the order of priority targets than others investigated during Operations Crevice and Scraw. A number of suspects had been heard discussing specific targets for terrorist attack and the various methods of attack open to them. D and E had not. They had met a suspected terrorist in suspicious circumstances, they may have revealed a willingness to fight abroad and they may have been sympathetic to the extremist cause. Further, Saddique *** and Imran may have trained abroad and sympathised with extremists. However, that did not put any of them at the same level as imminent attack planners. The same could be said about Ibrahim and Zubair. 56. In March 2005, Babar gave further details of Ibrahim and Zubair. He said they came from Bradford (i.e. not Leeds, Batley or Beeston). To that limited extent, his information seemed, therefore, to distance D and E from Ibrahim and Zubair. Babar also reported that they arrived in Islamabad in late July 2003 to attend a terrorist training camp with the Crevice plotters. This raised their profile and in April 2005, Operation Downtempo began, the purpose of which was to identify Ibrahim and Zubair and establish if they were a threat. The Security Service sent WYP a summary of what they knew of the two men. Unfortunately, these inquiries had not borne fruit before 7/7. 57. One of the other pieces of information Babar had given was that the reason he had been present at Islambad airport on the occasion when he met Zubair and Ibrahim there was to pick up a number of individuals, one of whom he identified from a photograph as being Jawad Akbar. Akbar was one of those arrested as a Crevice plotter in March 2004. In preparation for the Crevice trial, the Metropolitan Police Service (the “MPS”) obtained further details of Akbar’s travel abroad. In June 2005, they made a formal request to the Pakistani authorities for information relating to Akbar and six other Crevice plotters. At that time the MPS had information that Akbar arrived in Pakistan on 25th July 2003. There was a stamp to that effect in his passport. 58.The Pakistani authorities interrogated their systems (for which they needed a name, date of birth and date of travel) and produced on 6th September 2005 an arrival time, flight number and departure airport for Akbar. The system does not produce a manifest for each flight. The MPS, after 7/7 and all too aware of Khan’s involvement with terrorism and the fact that he used the name Ibrahim, asked for his travel itinerary and in January 2006 discovered he was on the same flight. 13 59. After 7/7, on 14th July 2005, Babar identified Khan from a press photograph as being Ibrahim. 60.A comprehensive review of the huge quantity of material gathered for the Crevice trial has revealed nothing to suggest that Khan and Tanweer were actively and directly involved in planning the Crevice attack or attacks. A similarly comprehensive review of the huge amount of material gathered for the Theseus trial (of the London bombers’ alleged co-conspirators) suggests that Khan and his conspirators did not begin planning to bomb London until late 2004. 61. Khan’s goodbye video of 15th November 2004 indicated he thought that he was leaving the UK for Pakistan or Afghanistan for good and did not intend to return. Hasina Patel noted in her diary with surprise that he was due to return in January 2005. In fact Khan returned with Tanweer in February. The two premises 111 Chapeltown Road and 18 Alexandra Grove used as bomb factories for the 7/7 bombings were acquired on 11th April and late May 2005 respectively. Witness G made the point that with the constraints on intrusive surveillance, had surveillance even been started at the time of Khan and Tanweer’s return to the UK, it could not have continued until April when the occupation of Chapeltown Road began. 62.Post 7/7 enquiries revealed that between 22nd February and 15th June 2005 there were forty one telephone contacts between mobile phones attributed to Tanweer, Khan, and Lindsay and hydroponics outlets. It is unlikely these could have been detected by surveillance given the large number of untraceable “operational” phones used by the bombers and only attributed to them once their identities and details were known. 63. On the evidence, 18 Alexandra Grove was the main bomb factory from its acquisition until the bombers’ departure on the morning of 7/7. It was rented by a man called Samir Alani who returned to Iraq and left the keys with a relative. He in turn rented it out to Jermaine Lindsay (calling himself “Jamal”). 64.When discovered, 18 Alexandra Grove still had most of the bomb making equipment in place. Forensic investigators concluded that each of the bombs consisted of several kilograms of high explosive containing a mixture of pepper and hydrogen peroxide, initiated by an improvised electric detonator containing HMTD (a primary high explosive compound made using hydrogen peroxide). Such use was unique in the UK and possibly worldwide at the time. Each bomb was carried in a rucksack, kept cool by the use of ice packs (some of which were found left behind in a Micra car used on 7/7), placed on the floor at the bomber’s feet. There was evidence to suggest that each bomber had bent over his rucksack to detonate it. 14 65. Anyone who has any lingering doubts about the active involvement of the 4 men Khan, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay in the plot should refer to the evidence linking them all to the premises and the purchase of the equipment. There is no evidence at all that anyone else in the UK was involved on the day (the evidence which suggested otherwise proved unreliable) and/or that the bombers were duped in some way. On the contrary, the evidence establishes beyond any shadow of a doubt they were full and knowing parties to the plot, possibly aided and abetted by an unidentified individual in Pakistan who (it was discovered after 7/7) called Khan on one of his “operational” telephones a number of times in the build-up to the bombings and for the last time shortly after the bombs exploded.
Group: J7 Forum Team
Member No.: 18
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8. It is not generally a proper function of an inquest to attribute blame or apportion guilt to individuals, nor is it a proper function of a Coroner to express opinions in the verdicts returned. The Rules are clear and I have not strayed from those restrictions in the verdicts I have delivered. However, the exceptional circumstances of these Inquests mean that it is appropriate to name the bombers within this Rule 43 report, which is not subject to the same constraints. There are three principal reasons: the bombers are dead. There can be no question of prejudicing any criminal or civil proceedings against them and I cannot defame them. Further, I cannot consider the issue of preventability, one of the most important of the issues I have set, without stating in positive terms that they were the bombers. Finally, the evidence is utterly overwhelming.
9. To argue or find to the contrary would be irrational. It would be to ignore a huge body of evidence from a vast array of sources. Had there been a conspiracy falsely to implicate any of the four in the murder plot, as some have suggested, it would have been of such massive proportions as to be simply unthinkable in a democratic country. It would have involved hundreds of ordinary people, members of the bombers’ families, their friends, their fellow terrorists, independent experts, scientists, as well as various police forces and the Security Service. It would have cost millions of pounds to fabricate the forensic evidence. Independent barristers and solicitors who have had access to the source material (for example the CCTV footage) during the criminal trials and these proceedings would have had to be involved. Just to state the proposition is to reveal its absurdity.
The statement that the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four were innocent of the crime which put them under lock & key for many years was probably also dismissed as 'absurd, at the time.
Remember that the Inquest 'evidence' comprised many statements taken as recently as weeks before the commencement of the inquests in October 2010, over 5 years since the terrible events in question. Witnesses statements were lost/mislaid/ retaken etc.
In addition, the 'evidence' was coralled by the production of summary 'Incident/Evidence' Reports, again produced in late 2010 by the Metropolitan Police & issued to witnesses/family members.
This post has been edited by Sinclair on May 6 2011, 11:11 AM
1 Friday, 6 May 2011 2 (10.00 am) 3 Concluding remarks 4 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: I should like to begin by thanking 5 those involved in these proceedings. The list is a long 6 one. 7 First, I should like to thank the bereaved families 8 who lost their loved ones on 7 July 2005 for their 9 understanding, for their support and their quiet 10 dignity. They have waited for nearly six years for 11 these proceedings to reach this stage. Despite their 12 obvious grief, they have maintained their sense of 13 fairness and moderation. They want to find out what 14 happened, how their loved ones died, and whether the 52 15 deaths could have been prevented, but they do not 16 necessarily seek to cast blame. 17 When we began this process, there were reservations 18 in a number of quarters about the need to resume the 19 inquests into the deaths of the 52 people murdered in 20 London on 7 July 2005. However, these proceedings have 21 gone much further than simply recording the sad fact 22 that 52 innocent members of the travelling public were 23 unlawfully killed in a dreadful act of terrorism. We 24 have explored in detail the circumstances of the deaths 25 of each of the 52 individuals and the adequacy of the
1 emergency response. We have examined the background of 2 Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain 3 and Jermaine Lindsay, the extent to which any of them 4 had previously come to the attention of the authorities 5 and how they were assessed by the Security Service. We 6 have unearthed material which has never previously seen 7 the light of day. We have caused organisations to 8 reassess their own systems and to acknowledge that, 9 despite improvements already made, more may be possible. 10 As a result, I have been able to reach certain 11 conclusions on the performance before 7/7 and on 7/7 of 12 the various organisations represented before me. I feel 13 able to make recommendations which the families hope 14 will result in improvements to the benefit of the public 15 generally, improvements which may save lives. 16 The bereaved families have had most of their 17 questions answered. Mr Neil Saunders, on behalf of the 18 represented bereaved families, was kind enough to 19 acknowledge that they feel the inquests have been as 20 thorough as they could legitimately have expected. Even 21 if a particular family member disagrees with any of my 22 conclusions, they have each had the opportunity to see 23 the material for themselves and to have the evidence 24 tested, wherever they lived. The material which formed 25 the basis of the questioning and a transcript of the
1 days' proceedings was published on the website each day. 2 Families across the world affected by the London 3 bombings were, at the very least, entitled to that. The 4 same goes for the survivors, who are the next group of 5 people I wish to thank. 6 During the course of hearing evidence I ran out of 7 superlatives in describing the courage and heroism of 8 many of the surviving passengers on the Tubes and the 9 bus, and others who went to assist: from the desperately 10 injured who fought with death, to the passengers on the 11 bombed trains or passing trains, who, giving no thought 12 to their own safety, went to the aid of the dead and 13 injured. Members of the public played a huge part in 14 the rescue mission. Whilst I have had the opportunity 15 to express my gratitude to those from whom I have heard 16 evidence, I would also like to express my thanks to all 17 those from whom I have not heard for all their efforts 18 on that day. 19 There was a time when some of those who survived 20 wanted a public inquiry into what happened. These are 21 inquests governed by coronial law and, as such, they are 22 very different by their nature from a public inquiry. 23 However, throughout these proceedings, I made it plain 24 that I was happy to receive suggestions for possible 25 lines of enquiry from the survivors and from members of
1 the public generally. I have considered carefully every 2 message received. I hope and believe the survivors have 3 not felt left out of the process. 4 I am not aware of our having left any reasonable 5 stone unturned. One would hope, therefore, that these 6 proceedings will be an end to the investigation of what 7 happened on 7/7. Many of the witnesses dreaded giving 8 evidence before me. A large number are still suffering 9 from post-traumatic stress and reliving the events of 10 7/7 was the last thing they needed. I wish to thank all 11 those who were prepared to put their own suffering to 12 one side to help me and the bereaved families. 13 In that category, I include those who went to the 14 scene as part of the rescue missions. These included 15 members of the public, doctors and staff from the 16 British Medical Association, members of 17 London Underground staff, officers from the British 18 Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police Service and 19 the City of London Police, members of the London Fire 20 Brigade, the London Ambulance Service and volunteers 21 from London's Air Ambulance, otherwise known as HEMS. 22 I have seen the unedited photographs of each scene, yet 23 I still cannot imagine the full extent of the horror 24 that greeted them on that day. 25 For those tasked with investigating the scene, the
1 horror continued for many long, physically draining 2 days. I would like to thank the original investigators, 3 those who assisted me in my investigation and the 4 experts and the scientists who went out of their way to 5 provide the best possible analysis of the forensic 6 evidence. I am also indebted to the Ministry of Defence 7 who decided to devote considerable and hard pressed 8 resources to helping us. If the work of the experts 9 under Colonel Mahoney's "command" for us may in the 10 future contribute to the saving of lives in the 11 military, the families will feel something especially 12 positive has come out of this process. 13 I should mention again the Metropolitan Police 14 Service because it occupies a unique position in that it 15 performs a number of overlapping functions. Not only 16 were its officers among the first responders, the 17 Metropolitan Police was responsible for the 18 investigation into the bombings, known as 19 Operation Theseus, as a result of which it holds more 20 than 30,000 statements and 40,000 exhibits on its HOLMES 21 database. We have drawn considerably upon that 22 material, supplementing it where necessary. The 23 Metropolitan Police also acts as my Coroner's Officers 24 (in what they have called "Operation Ramus"). The 25 Operation Ramus team consisted of over 30
1 Metropolitan Police officers and staff. 2 I am greatly indebted to that team and Chief 3 Superintendent McKenna in particular for their 4 dedication and industry in assisting in the collation 5 and preparation of this material for the inquests. They 6 have been inundated by our requests for further 7 information and documents, to which they have responded 8 with commendable efficiency. 9 Similarly, I have made huge demands upon the other 10 police forces involved and also upon the 11 Security Service. I am acutely conscious that I have 12 taken men and women who perform the vital function of 13 protecting the public from their normal duties. I truly 14 hope that the impact upon their respective services has 15 not been too great and that there is now a general 16 acceptance of the importance of the process to the 17 bereaved and to the families and to the public. 18 To my mind, the concerns that I would not be able to 19 conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the 20 security issues in wholly open evidential proceedings 21 have proved unfounded. 22 Although it was necessary to hold some closed 23 procedural hearings, during which intense time and 24 effort was devoted by my team (in particular 25 Mr Andrew O'Connor) the Security Service and the police
1 to ensuring that as much relevant information as 2 possible was put into the public domain, I am happy to 3 report that they were very few. I should emphasise that 4 these hearings were procedural only. I did not hear or 5 consider evidence as such in the course of them. 6 Instead, the Security Service and the police put before 7 me material that was relevant to the issues, but which 8 they reasonably believed could not be disclosed in an 9 unredacted form without threatening national security. 10 The system did in fact work well. I can confirm 11 that a careful process was undertaken to ensure that 12 open summaries of the relevant content of this material 13 were prepared that were as full as possible, consistent 14 with the interests of national security. This process 15 was completed to my satisfaction. The resulting public 16 gists were detailed and, together with the disclosed 17 documentation and the lengthy oral evidence, this 18 material allowed the most intense public scrutiny of the 19 relevant issues. 20 I know that the extremely tight timetable I set was 21 meant that an enormous number of people from the various 22 organisations represented before me, such as witnesses, 23 support staff and inhouse lawyers have dedicated 24 significant time and resources to assisting this 25 process. I was promised the fullest cooperation by
1 everyone and that is what I have received. 2 I doubt that many lawyers will have been involved in 3 such a consistently harrowing and difficult case. The 4 legal teams before me instructed by the families and the 5 organisations have read and considered huge quantities 6 of documentation. Much of this was produced for us by 7 the police and the Security Service, but also 8 a considerable quantity was generated specifically for 9 these proceedings.It was then disclosed by me 10 following a lengthy exercise of collation and analysis 11 by my legal team. Many of the lawyers have given up 12 holidays and precious family time. I am very grateful 13 to them for their industry, their representation, and 14 for their care in ensuring that their questioning and 15 submissions focused on the central and essential issues. 16 Over 300 witnesses have been called; the statements 17 of about 200 witnesses have been read. We have managed 18 to adhere to our timetable, to the very day and very 19 hour set. We have conducted the most thorough and 20 complex review into the deaths of 52 people and we have 21 completed the process significantly under budget without 22 anyone claiming they have not had a proper opportunity 23 to be heard. This is a huge tribute to the skills and 24 industry of the inestimable Inquest team and I am 25 extremely grateful to them. I mention just six, the six
1 upon whom the greatest burdens fell for the greatest 2 length of time: Hugo Keith QC, Andrew O'Connor, 3 Benjamin Hay, Martin Smith, Tim Suter and Judy Anckorn. 4 At the beginning of the process, I decided upon 5 a lengthy list of relevant issues to be explored during 6 the inquests, contained in a document headed 7 "Provisional Index of Factual Issues". Many of them no 8 longer remain an issue because they have fallen away as 9 the evidence has been heard. It should not be thought 10 that because I make no mention of an issue, it was 11 unimportant. It simply means that, having conducted 12 a full, fair and effective enquiry, questions have been 13 answered in such a way that the issue need play no part 14 in my verdicts or in my rule 43 report. 15 It is important to record what my powers are before 16 I deliver my verdicts. It would not be appropriate for 17 me to write a full judgment or report of the kind 18 I would produce if sitting as a judge in the Court of 19 Appeal or chairing a public inquiry. I am limited to 20 recording verdicts and submitting a rule 43 report where 21 I consider it appropriate. If, therefore, anyone is 22 expecting a summary of all the evidence, the issues and 23 my conclusions upon them, they are mistaken. However, 24 as I have made clear, I believe that although the format 25 may not be the same as a judgment or a report, the
1 cumulative effect of the hearings themselves, the 2 verdicts and the rule 43 reports will be in essence what 3 the bereaved and the survivors would have required of 4 a public inquiry. 5 Section 11(5) of the Coroners Act 1988 requires 6 that: 7 "An inquisition - shall be in writing under the hand 8 of the coroner ... shall set out, so far as such 9 particulars have been proved - who the deceased was; and 10 how, when and where the deceased came by his death." 11 Rule 36 of the Coroners Rules 1984 echoes that 12 provision in describing the functions of an inquest. 13 However, it adds, rule 36(2): 14 "Neither the coroner, nor the jury, shall express 15 any opinion on any other matters." 16 Rule 42 provides: 17 "No verdict shall be framed in such a way as to 18 appear to determine any question of: 19 "(a) criminal liability on the part of a named 20 person; or 21 "(b) civil liability." 22 Last year, I ruled that these would be "Jamieson" 23 type inquests following the judgment of 24 Sir Thomas Bingham, Master of the Rolls, in R v North 25 Humberside Coroner, ex parte Jamieson  QB 1.
1 However, as Mr James Eadie QC observed during closing 2 submissions, there were times when the casual observer 3 would have been hard pressed to tell the difference 4 between these inquests and a wider ranging article 2 5 "Middleton" type inquest following (R (Middleton) v West 6 Somerset Coroner  2 Appeal Cases, 182). My 7 decision, however, does impact upon the content of the 8 verdicts. 9 It now appears to be common ground that there are 10 very real constraints upon me in completing the 11 inquisitions. These were explained by 12 Sir Thomas Bingham in Jamieson. He used the words 13 "a brief, neutral, factual statement" to describe the 14 permissible content of a verdict which does not offend 15 the Coroners Rules 1984 in non-article 2 inquests. He 16 gave three examples. 17 "The deceased was drowned when his sailing dinghy 18 capsized in heavy seas." 19 "The deceased was killed when his car was run down 20 by an express train on a level crossing." 21 "The deceased died from crush injuries sustained 22 when the gates were opened at Hillsborough Stadium." 23 Plainly he meant brief, neutral and factual and not, 24 as Mr Patrick O'Connor QC appeared at one time to argue, 25 lengthy and contentious. Such a verdict would plainly
1 offend rules 36, 42 and the principles governing 2 non-article 2 inquests, unless, of course, the evidence 3 permitted a proper conclusion that failings of some 4 description played a causative part in the death. 5 However, it is also now common ground that the 6 evidence I have heard does not justify the conclusion 7 that any failings on the part of any organisation or 8 individual caused or contributed to any of the deaths. 9 In this regard, I will turn in a moment to address the 10 issue of survivability. All agree that concerns about 11 what happened before 7/7 or on the day cannot properly 12 and lawfully be reflected in the verdicts. That does 13 not mean, of course, that legitimate concerns which give 14 rise to possible risk to life in the future cannot be 15 reflected in a rule 43 report, to which I shall also 16 return. 17 With the considerable assistance of my legal team, 18 I have prepared, and I alone have reached verdicts of 19 unlawful killing on the 52 innocent people killed by the 20 four bombs. I shall now ask Mr Hugo Keith QC to read 21 out each of the names of the deceased. 22 MR KEITH: James Adams, Samantha Badham, Lee Baisden, 23 Philip Beer, Anna Brandt, Michael Brewster, 24 Ciaran Cassidy, Rachelle Chung For Yuen, 25 Benedetta Ciaccia, Elizabeth Daplyn, Jonathan Downey,
1 Richard Ellery, Anthony Fatayi-Williams, David Foulkes, 2 Arthur Frederick, Karolina Gluck, Jamie Gordon, 3 Richard Gray, Gamze Gunoral, Lee Harris, Giles Hart, 4 Marie Hartley, Miriam Hyman, Ojara Ikeagwu, 5 Shahara Islam, Neetu Jain, Emily Jenkins, 6 Adrian Johnson, Helen Jones, Susan Levy, Sam Ly, 7 Shelley Mather, Michael Matsushita, James Mayes, 8 Anne Moffat, Colin Morley, Behnaz Mozakka, 9 Jennifer Nicholson, Mihaela Otto, Shyanu Parathasangary, 10 Anat Rosenberg, Philip Russell, Atique Sharifi, 11 Ihab Slimane, Christian Small, Fiona Stevenson, 12 Monika Suchocka, Carrie Taylor, Mala Trivedi, 13 Laura Webb, William Wise, Gladys Wundowa. 14 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Thank you. I have attached the 15 inquisition forms to this ruling and I hand them down 16 today. I do not intend to distress the families 17 unnecessarily by reading out each one individually. 18 Some, I know, will find I have been forced to include 19 detail that they had hoped could be avoided. Some will 20 find I have not included as much detail as they would 21 have wished. I hope they understand that much as my 22 Inquest team and I have borne the wishes of the families 23 in mind at every stage of the proceedings, when it comes 24 to formal matters such as the recording of the verdicts, 25 I am subject to the constraints imposed by the rules on
1 entirely, the subject of consensus between the 2 interested persons. 3 The effect of the amendment to rule 43 in 2008 was 4 significantly to enlarge its scope. Whereas previously 5 the power could only be exercised with a view to 6 preventing similar deaths to those under investigation 7 at the inquest, a report can now be made relating to any 8 risk of further deaths, whether or not similar to the 9 deaths under investigation. 10 One consequence of this broadening of the scope of 11 the rule 43 power is that there is now a significant 12 distinction between the circumstances in which a coroner 13 is required to summon a jury under section 8(3)(d) of 14 the Coroners Act 1988 (which remain narrowly focused on 15 concerns relating to future similar deaths) and 16 circumstances justifying a report under rule 43. For 17 the record, whilst I have concluded, as set out below, 18 that there are a number of matters that justify the 19 making of a report under rule 43, I do not consider that 20 the conclusions I have reached on these matters are such 21 as to engage the mandatory requirement in 22 section 8(3)(d) to summon a jury. 23 I was addressed in some detail on the wording of 24 rule 43 and the criteria for exercising the power to 25 make a report. There are four features worthy of note.
1 First, the condition for the exercise of the power 2 is that the coroner has a concern as to circumstances 3 creating a risk to life. This is a relatively low 4 threshold. The rule does not require, for example, that 5 I have concluded or am satisfied that such circumstances 6 exist. Second, the substance of the concern must be 7 circumstances creating a risk to life, but those 8 circumstances need not already exist at the time of the 9 decision to make a report. The concern must be of 10 a risk to life caused by present or future 11 circumstances. Third, the concern must be based on 12 evidence. Fourth, the coroner must be of the opinion 13 that action should be taken to respond to the concern as 14 to risk to life. However, it is neither necessary, for 15 appropriate, for a coroner making a report under rule 43 16 to identify the necessary remedial action. As is 17 apparent from the final words of rule 43(1), the 18 coroner's function is to identify points of concern, not 19 to prescribe solutions. 20 The focus of the evidence that I have heard during 21 this inquest has, of course, been on the events of 22 7 July 2005. A great deal of evidence has been given 23 about the systems in place and the equipment used by 24 Transport for London and the emergency services on that 25 day. With regard to the "preventability" issues, I have
1 also heard evidence as to police and Security Service 2 capabilities and techniques in the years 2004 and 2005, 3 although the open nature of these proceedings has meant 4 that evidence could not be adduced regarding some 5 sensitive details. In addition, I have heard evidence 6 regarding changes and improvements that have taken 7 place, with the same proviso in relation to the 8 Security Service since that time. 9 In some instances, any concerns regarding systems 10 that were in place in 2005, and which would have 11 justified the making of a report, have been dispelled by 12 the evidence of improvements that have been made since. 13 There are other areas in which such evidence as I have 14 heard about developments since 2005 have not been 15 sufficient to allay my concerns: they are the subject of 16 my report. 17 The interested persons were in agreement that, in 18 order to explain the recommendations that I am making, 19 and to put them into context, it would be helpful for me 20 to summarise some of my factual findings on relevant 21 areas of the evidence. I agree that, in the 22 circumstances of these inquests, this is an appropriate 23 course to adopt, and I have done so. I have also made 24 reference to some (but not all) of the recommendations 25 that I was invited to make in submissions but which
1 I have decided not to pursue, and I have briefly given 2 my reasons for doing so. Again, the interested persons 3 were in agreement that I was entitled to do that. 4 I should also add that, given the exceptional nature of 5 the inquests, my rule 43 report is bound to be far more 6 detailed than would usually be the case. 7 I should now mention the question of "survivability" 8 which relates directly to my verdicts. When we began 9 the inquests, a number of the families questioned 10 whether or not their loved one might have survived if 11 help had reached them sooner. I am also acutely 12 conscious of how important it can be to some bereaved 13 families to know the exact circumstances of the death of 14 their loved ones. I have therefore reviewed the 15 evidence on this issue with the greatest of care, not 16 just in relation to Carrie Taylor and Shelley Mather 17 (whose families specifically maintained their requests 18 that I do so), but in relation to all the deceased. For 19 some, their injuries were so severe they would have died 20 instantly. For others, the position was less clear-cut. 21 Some survived for minutes, hours, even days after the 22 explosion before, sadly and finally, succumbing to their 23 injuries. 24 I was considerably assisted in my task by the work 25 of Colonel Mahoney and his team of experts. They were
1 asked to explain the mechanics of death for someone 2 injured in an explosion generally and to consider the 3 cases of a number of the deceased who did not make it to 4 hospital where either the evidence indicated at first 5 blush they might not have died immediately or because 6 I had accepted a request from legal representatives to 7 look at the issue for a particular deceased. 8 We required Colonel Mahoney's assistance because the 9 decision was taken not to hold internal post-mortem 10 examinations of the 52 victims. Some of the families 11 approved of that decision and some did not. Those in 12 the latter group invited me to recommend that "coroners 13 should receive guidance" on the holding of internal 14 post-mortems even where the effective cause of death is 15 known, "if it is thought issues of survivability might 16 arise". They also asked me to consider recommending, in 17 effect, that bereaved families be given a greater say in 18 the decision-making process. I understand that this is 19 an issue that has troubled and continues to trouble 20 some. However, I ruled that this issue is outside the 21 scope of the inquests and I have heard no evidence at 22 all on how decisions of this kind are taken and what the 23 reasons for this particular and very difficult decision 24 were. I should say, for the avoidance of doubt, that 25 having heard nothing on the subject, I have no reason to
1 doubt that the reasons were entirely sensible and the 2 decision justified, but ultimately the issue is not 3 a question for me. 4 I return to the evidence of Colonel Mahoney and his 5 team. Colonel Peter Mahoney is the Defence Professor of 6 anaesthetics at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. 7 He and his team have extensive experience of treating 8 military personnel injured by bombs and/or of reviewing 9 the deaths of those killed in explosions. They are 10 skilled at addressing the question of whether someone 11 injured in an explosion who suffers a particular 12 combination of injuries will be expected to survive. 13 Colonel Mahoney's evidence was that an explosion is 14 a rapid release of energy that sends out a high pressure 15 shock wave followed by a blast wind which is the heat 16 and explosive material radiating rapidly outwards. The 17 combined effect is called the blast wave. Those who are 18 unfortunate enough to be caught up in and injured by an 19 explosion suffer what the Colonel categorised as blast 20 injuries. Obviously the closer the victim is to the 21 seat of the explosion, the greater the risk of death, 22 and the further away, the greater the chances of 23 survival. Very small distances can make all the 24 difference to the chances of survival. 25 He divided blast injuries into different categories;
1 the most significant being primary blast injuries which 2 usually involve serious trauma to internal organs 3 containing air such as the lungs and bowel. There may 4 be no or limited signs of external injury in those who 5 have predominantly suffered primary blast injuries. 6 I also heard that in an enclosed space, such as an 7 underground carriage or a bus, the incidence of primary 8 blast injuries is likely to be greater than in an open 9 environment. This is due to the concentration of the 10 shock wave. The blast wave, as it spreads out in an 11 enclosed space, can reflect off surfaces so that the 12 effects of the blast are concentrated in particular 13 areas. 14 A particular and, sadly, common example of primary 15 blast injury is blast lung. I heard evidence that the 16 lungs are particularly vulnerable to such injury. Blast 17 lung is categorised as bleeding into lung tissue. Blood 18 flowing through injured areas of the lung does not 19 contain sufficient oxygen; essentially the lungs become 20 stiffer and breathing more difficult. Blast lung can 21 evolve and worsen over the hours and days after an 22 explosion. It is a progressive illness and respiratory 23 function can deteriorate very rapidly. Although 24 Colonel Mahoney took care to emphasise that there were 25 always variables and exceptions, scientific research
1 showed that a significant proportion of those who 2 suffered such injuries, but did not die immediately, 3 would subsequently succumb due to blast lung. 4 Bearing this evidence in mind, I have considered 5 whether any of the deceased could, on the balance of 6 probabilities, have survived the injuries they suffered 7 in case that had any impact on my verdicts in their 8 inquests. I do not intend to dwell upon the detail 9 because, in relation to the vast majority of the 10 victims, I am not now asked to do so. I have concluded, 11 bearing in mind Colonel Mahoney's caveats and the 12 severity of the injuries suffered by some of those who 13 survived, that the medical and scientific evidence in 14 relation to all 52 victims leads to only one sad 15 conclusion: I am satisfied on the balance of 16 probabilities that each of them would have died whatever 17 time the emergency services had reached and rescued 18 them. Consequently, there is nothing for me to add in 19 relation to this issue in box 3 of any of the 20 inquisition forms. 21 Turning to Carrie Taylor in a little more detail, as 22 I am asked to do, she survived, on the evidence, for 23 approximately 30 minutes or so after the explosion. She 24 was thought to speak to some of the witnesses. However, 25 one witness described her as unresponsive and
1 Dr Quaghebeur, a fellow passenger who was on the scene 2 throughout, described her as making involuntary 3 movements and being uncommunicative. 4 Colonel Mahoney's carefully reasoned conclusion was 5 that the nature of her injuries, in particular the flash 6 burns and partial traumatic amputation of her leg, 7 indicated that Carrie was close to the source of the 8 explosion at Aldgate; closer than the initial assessment 9 which put her about 2.6 metres away. I fully understand 10 that Mr Taylor does not accept the analysis that she was 11 closer, particularly as Carrie was shielded from the 12 blast by at least three other passengers. However, 13 I can find no evidence to contradict the expert 14 assessment that the nature of her injuries indicates 15 a close proximity to the blast. I accordingly accept 16 that it was likely that she was exposed to several shock 17 waves, each with the potential of causing some degree of 18 primary blast injury. I am persuaded by 19 Colonel Mahoney's evidence that it was very likely that 20 Carrie suffered significant blast lung injury and that 21 she was thrown by the force of the blast from her 22 initial position with the likelihood of significant 23 other injuries including head and spinal injury. On the 24 balance of probabilities, in my judgment, it was 25 unlikely that Carrie Taylor would have survived.
1 Consequently, there is nothing for me to add in relation 2 to this issue in box 3 of the inquisition form for 3 Carrie. 4 Thus, the only legitimate comfort I can give Mr and 5 Mrs Taylor is to agree with them that absent an internal 6 post-mortem, no one can now be absolutely certain that 7 Carrie would not have survived. Colonel Mahoney said 8 there are no certainties in this area. However, as 9 I have said, on the balance of probabilities, the expert 10 evidence points to only one conclusion: it is unlikely 11 she would have survived, whatever time she was 12 extricated from the carriage. 13 In relation to Shelley Mather, Colonel Mahoney 14 concluded that, given the nature of the fragmentary 15 injuries that she suffered, it was likely that the 16 device on the Russell Square train exploded close, but 17 not next to her. Her injuries indicated that the device 18 exploded to her left. She probably survived for 19 approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes after the explosion. 20 I heard evidence from Susan Harrison, who was badly 21 injured in the blast, that she was blown on to Shelley. 22 After the explosion, they were holding hands and 23 speaking to each other. When paramedics arrived at the 24 scene, Shelley was still conscious and presented as 25 gasping for breath with a distended abdomen. A number
1 of unsuccessful attempts were made to decompress her 2 chest; a build-up of air from an air leak inside the 3 chest, known as a pneumothorax, was suspected as a cause 4 of the breathing difficulties. There is nothing to 5 suggest that those efforts at chest compression would 6 not have successfully drained a pneumothorax, if one 7 existed. 8 Shelley's breathing difficulties continued after the 9 decompression. Colonel Mahoney concluded, therefore, 10 that the most likely explanation was that Shelley had 11 a severe blast lung injury. She had been close to, but 12 not next to the bomb, when it was detonated. Her 13 distended abdomen also indicated the possibility of 14 other internal injury or that Shelley was swallowing 15 a lot of air. This could also indicate blast lung. 16 Taking the evidence as a whole, noting in particular the 17 valiant efforts made by the medics at the scene, 18 I conclude that on the balance of probabilities it was 19 unlikely that Shelley would have survived her injuries 20 even if she had been extricated from the scene earlier. 21 In a moment, I will ask Mr Smith to hand out the 22 inquest forms to the legal teams and any unrepresented 23 bereaved families who are present. Before I do, it is 24 my intention to publish the inquisition forms on the 25 inquest website as the formal record of each of the
1 52 inquests; does anyone wish to make submissions on 2 that before I do so? 3 I announced on 11 March 2011 that I intended to make 4 a report under rule 43. I intend to publish it now, and 5 I have obtained the agreement of the Lord Chancellor (to 6 whom I am indebted), with whom a power lies to publish 7 such a report. It will be available, therefore, about 8 now on the inquests website for anyone who wishes to see 9 it. Mr Smith will be sending out the rule 43 report to 10 those to whom it is addressed later today and he will be 11 copying it formally to all interested persons. 12 Unless anyone has anything else to add, I therefore 13 propose formally to close the inquests into the 14 52 deceased. 15 There is one other matter to which I must now turn. 16 I also have jurisdiction over the inquests into the 17 deaths of Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, 18 Hasib Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay and thus the 19 responsibility of deciding whether or not I should, in 20 my discretion, resume any or all of those inquests. 21 Under section 16(3) of the Coroners Act 1988, an inquest 22 may be resumed only if, in the opinion of the coroner, 23 they have sufficient cause to do so. 24 In my ruling in May of last year, I adjourned 25 consideration of this issue to give time to the families
1 of these men to advance submissions if they wished to do 2 so. However, nothing was put before me at that time 3 that would have justified resumption of any of their 4 inquests and I made it clear that I would require good 5 and proper reasons before doing so. 6 On 11 March 2011 I ordered that any person wishing 7 to make representations should do so by 18 March. In 8 the event, none of the families have sought to argue 9 that any of these inquests should be resumed or, indeed, 10 submitted any representations at all. The only 11 submissions I have received have come from an 12 organisation calling itself the July 7th Truth Campaign. 13 I have considered those submissions, but in the light of 14 all the evidence I have heard during the 52 inquests, 15 I consider they have not provided any sufficient reason 16 to resume the inquests into the four bombers. In any 17 event, I consider that the organisation does not fall 18 within the legal criteria for an interested person 19 contained in rule 20(2) of the Coroners Rules 1984. 20 In the light of the position adopted by their 21 families, and given that the inquests into the deaths of 22 the 52 victims have led to the most rigorous scrutiny of 23 the events of 7 July 2005, I can find no cause 24 whatsoever to resume the inquests into the deaths of the 25 four men.
1 Thank you all for your assistance. 2 MR KEITH: My Lady, before you rise, may I record, on behalf 3 of all those of us who have engaged in these 4 proceedings, our gratitude and appreciation of your 5 dedication, your conscientiousness and your humanity in 6 your conduct of these proceedings? 7 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Thank you, Mr Keith. 8 (10.47 am) 9 (The inquests adjourned) 10 11
Group: J7 Forum Team
Member No.: 18
Joined: 24-January 06
QUOTE (Rule 43 report)
#54 No investigative steps were taken after 1 March 2005 to identify Saddique *** partly because of his relatively low profile and partly for operational reasons that cannot be disclosed. Significantly, the Security Service do not suggest that it would nevertheless have been impossible to identify Saddique *** as Khan in March 2005. The ISC wrongly stated at page 38 of their second report, with regard to this intelligence, that “it was not possible to corroborate it or investigate to find out more”.
So 'operationally', the identity of MSK was not disclosed.
Note that the Rule 43 report make no mention of "Khalid" / Salahuddin Amin, who handed himself into the Pakistan authorities in April 2004, after the UK 'Crevice' arrests of late March 2004.
Salahuddin Amin returned to the UK from Pakistan on 8th February 2005 & was immediately arrested upon arrival at Heathrow. According to the Home Office Report, Khan & Tanweer travel to Pakistan on 19th November 2004 and also returned on 8th February 2005.
The 'Crevice' prosecution case (the longest in UK legal history, commencing March 2006) was built on the evidence obtained from the torture of Salahuddin Amin & from the testimony of 'supergrass' Mohammed Junaid Babar.
A court hearing of 16th December 2005 (published 13th January 2006), is an important milestone in the connected events of Op Crevice [Salahuddin Amin] & the prior knowledge of MSK & ST.
This post has been edited by Sinclair on May 7 2011, 01:24 PM
2.22pm: Shiv Malik has more from the families' press conference:
The families' anger with the verdict is palpable. June Taylor, whose daughter Carrie Taylor died in the Aldgate bombing, has been pretty quiet throughout the press conference. A few minutes ago she stood up and told the packed room that the families have been "shafted from pillar to post" by both the Labour and Conservative governments. She is now distraught and being attended to.
2.16pm: Here are quotes from family members calling for a public inquiry.
Marie Fatayi-Williams, whose 26-year-old son Anthony died in the bombing of the No 30 bus, said only a public inquiry could address her concerns. She said:
For me, these are the issues that still need to be known - what did MI5 know before and how has it come to light or not come to light?
Graham Foulkes called for an independent inquiry with "a much broader scope and a much broader remit" than the inquest.
2.15pm: The press conference has now finished.
2.12pm: Shiv Malik is at the press conference. It's for the families represented by Anthony Gould solicitors. The question of whether lawyers will now petition for a full public enquiry has been raised. Shiv writes:
The background to this is that in the six years since 7/7, there was a lot of legal wrangling by the families to try to get the courts to force the government to hold a public inquiry.
The families of the bereaved hoped that an official public inquiry would have a much wider remit to ask questions about what exactly the security services knew and did not know about Khan and his associates before the bombings. (Remember, for months after the bombings the government was still saying that the bombers were all "clean skins" who were not on the radar of the security services.)
This court process was supposed to have been settled by the offer of a coroner's inquest with widened parameters.
But Graham Foulkes, whose son David was killed by Khan in the Edgware tube bombing, has always believed that the lines of this inquest were too narrow and has said that he would now like a full public inquiry.
Solicitor Clifford Tibber has told the press that there were ongoing legal proceedings and he wasn't able to comment further.
This might not be the end.
2.09pm: Graham Foulkes says it would have made a lot of difference if MI5 had come to them after the bombing and admitted they made a mistake. "I think their whole attitude has been one of arrogance."
2.06pm: Some of the families of the victims are giving a press conference now. Graham Foulkes (see 10.01am) is talking about how he was refused travel cost to travel the 200 miles to the inquest, at the same time as the MPs' expenses scandal broke.