Almost three hours after six blasts rocked London Thursday morning, British Prime Minister Tony Blair blamed “terrorist groups” for the attacks.
In a statement in Gleneagles, Scotland, where he is hosting leaders of the richest nations at a Group of Eight summit, Blair said that “It’s reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks,” adding that he will travel to London within the next couple of hours.
However, there was no immediate confirmation from British authorities that they were treating today’s blasts as an attack by “militants”.
Public transport system was closed in London and subway stations were evacuated after six explosions in the financial district and center of the capital killed at least eight people and wounded scores.
An unidentified firefighter said that five explosive devices were found on the subway network.
The blasts struck financial district Underground stations including Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Aldgate East, police said. An explosion was also reported at Kings Cross and Edgware Road stations in central London, and a bus exploded near Russell Square, the firefighter said.
The blasts coincided with the G-8 summit where leaders plan to discuss ways to fight poverty in Africa and curb climate change.
German security analyst Rolf Tophoven started to draw a link between London blasts and those of Madrid that took place in March 11, 2004
“There are lots of parallels with the Madrid blast…We have to assume it’s a terrorist attack,” he claimed.
Al Qaeda accused
Similar claims were made by Budapest-based security analyst Sebestyen Gorka. “The first thing that’s very obvious is the synchronized nature of the attacks, and that’s pretty classic for al Qaeda or al Qaeda-related organizations,” he said.
“If we’re talking about several attacks on one day, then there’s a good likelihood we’re talking about a known quantity here…The similarities to Madrid are clear.”
Speaking to ABC television in the United States, U.S. terrorism expert Richard Clarke described the blasts as” highly complex, coordinated attack. This is clearly in my mind related to the fact that the prime minister of the United Kingdom is at the other end of the country hosting the leaders of the industrial world.
“If it is Islamic terrorism — Jihadist terrorism — they are sending a message that the leaders of the industrial world are being mocked and laid low by the Jihadist terrorists,” he claimed.
London attacks prompted a 0.7 percent drop in the pound against the dollar and declines in share prices.
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