They wanted to be known': Suicide bombers had IDs
Boston Herald | July 13, 2005
By Jose Martinez
A worried mother's phone call from Leeds to police hours after explosions ripped through the London Underground and a double-decker bus gave the first clue as to who was behind Western Europe's first-ever suicide bombings.
His name was Hasib Hussain, 19, a youth from Leeds whose decapitated head was found at Tavistock Square - a tell-tale sign he died clutching the 10-pound backpack of explosives used to destroy the No. 3 bus.
Investigators believe his mates, all about the same age from the same northern city, used similar bombs to blow themselves up aboard crowded subway trains Thursday morning. Two militant Islamic groups have claimed responsibility for the bombings that killed at least 52 people and injured more than 700. Fifty-six people remained hospitalized.
Police had no need of DNA evidence to identify the suspected bombers as the men were all carrying personal documents.
``It is as if they wanted their identities to be known,'' a police source told the Times of London. ``Their names will never be forgotten.''
Based on the documents found at the bomb sites, authorities yesterday raided several homes in the suburbs around Leeds, an ethnically diverse city with a large Muslim population about 185 miles north of London.
Khalid Muneer, 28, a spokesman for the Hyde Park Mosque in Leeds, said the community was surprised by the raids and police claims that the bombers may have come from there.
``I've seen no calls in this area for jihad against British or American forces. You will not get that sentiment expressed around this mosque,'' he said.
British soldiers blasted their way into what turned out to be an unoccupied row house, and authorities executed search warrants on five other homes in the area in search of computer files and explosives. One of the bomber's relatives was arrested, according to the British news agency Press Association.
``This is not good for Muslims,'' Mohammed Iqbal, a town councilor who represents the City-on-Hunslet section of Leeds, told The Associated Press. ``We have businesses here. There will be a backlash.''
Investigators believe 24-year-old Shehzad Tanweer rented a Nissan Micra and drove to Luton, where he joined the other three aboard a Thameslink commuter train to King's Cross. They arrived about 8:30 a.m. and, according to the Times, can be seen conferring on the concourse before moving out, each carrying a rucksack.
Hussain is clearly visible in the distinctive shirt described to police by his mother, who said her son said he was bound for London to see friends.
Investigators have not said who they believe made the military-grade explosives or whether the four bombers had outside help