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London bombings linked with al-Qaeda, says police chief

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, July 15, IRNA
London Bombing-Police Chief
Britain's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said Friday he expected to uncover a "clear al Qaeda link" with last week's London bombings and that there was also a connection with Pakistan and other countries.

"What we expect to find at some stage is that there is a clear al Qaeda link, a clear al Qaeda approach, because the four men who are dead, who we believe are the bombers, are in the category of foot soldiers," the police chief said.

In an interview with BBC Radio Four's Today programme, he described al-Qaeda as having "very loose affiliations" and said there is a Pakistan connection" and "also connections with other countries" but refused to be more specific.

The apparent foreign link comes after police identified the four men, who detonated the explosions that killed at least 54 people, as British-born Muslims, including at least two who are of Pakistani origins.

The disclosure that the bombers were home-grown and did not fit the stereotype of suicide-bombers has led to much soul-searching in Britain.

The police commissioner admitted that he was "puzzled" by many aspects but stressed the fact the bombers had been killed did not make future terrorist attacks "less likely."
Reports have suggested that police are looking for the mastermind behind the series of explosions, who may have entered the UK last month but left just before last Thursday's attacks.

Blair acknowledged that one man had entered the country, who was on a watch list, but said that there was "nothing at the moment that links him directly."
"What we have got to find is who encouraged them, who trained them, who is the chemist. Those are the things in which we are now so interested," he said.

Police efforts were reported Thursday to be concentrating on an Egyptian post-graduate student, named Magdi El-Nashar, whose flat may have been used.

Speculation in the British media is that the explosive used in the bombs was made from ingredients available at any pharmacy shop as opposed to being military explosives as earlier reported.

Investigations are trying to fill in the pictures of the lives of the four British-born suspects, their connections and how they all came to kill themselves in attacking soft targets.

So far there have been no reasons given for the attacks or whether there were messages of any attempted explanation left at least for their families.



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