Microsoft Word Template Designed Criminology Essay

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This assignment will help you to understand what factual details to study, to analyse the data and be able to judge the impact of a particular terrorist event on the affected location and/or society.

It will also help you to understand how a particular terrorist event fits into the overall strategy of the terrorist group(s) involved, and whether it is consistent with its/their aims and objectives.


The purpose of this assignment is to produce a case study on a major terrorist event. It will focus on why I believe it to be a "major terrorist event" and how the event unfolded also identifying the group and personnel associated. We will also highlight Targeting, Tactics and Rationale behind the attack. Furthermore the assignment will assess the impact of the event and wider implications. Finally it will provide an assessment on how this attack fits into the group's aims, objectives and strategy.


On the 7th July 2005, terrorists carried out simultaneous attacks on central London underground during the morning rush hour. At 0850 hrs the first attack occurred in a circle line tunnel between Aldgate station and Liverpool Street. The second attack happened in a circle line tunnel at Edgware Road to Paddington. The third train targeted was located in a Piccadilly Line tunnel at Russell Square to Kings Cross. The fourth attack occurred at 0947 hrs on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square. This act of terrorism was significant as "it was the first successful Islamist terror attack in the United Kingdom (UK) [1] it transpires that the four terrorists involved were raised and lived in the UK. This attack confirmed the extent of the Global Salafi Jihad reach of Al Qaida (AQ) targeting infidels.


Listed below are the detailed actions of the perpetrators on the 7th July 2005 prior and during the attacks that shocked the UK and the world:

0358hrs, A blue Nissan Micra hire vehicle was spotted via Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) in Hyde Park Road, leaving Leeds heading south on the M1. The car contained Shehzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Mohammad Sidique Khan.

0454hrs, Tanweer was spotted again at the M1 Woodall Services paying for fuel.

0507hrs, the fourth suspected terrorist, Jermaine Lindsay arrives at Luton Train Station in his Red Fiat Brava.

0649hrs, CCTV captures the Nissan Micra arriving at Luton Train Station and parks next to the Fiat Brava. All occupants exit their vehicles and removed large rucksacks from the boot.

0715hrs, All four were captured on CCTV wearing large rucksacks on their backs heading through the ticket barriers.

0721hrs, the four men are then seen together heading towards the King's Cross Thames link train. Tanweer at this point is constantly changing the position of the rucksack on his back, which suggests that he finds it heavy on his shoulders, as " it is estimated that in each rucksack there was 2-5kg of high explosives" [2] 

0740hrs, the train departs Luton train station heading for London. The men as you would expect stood out from the other passengers due to them being in casual attire and carrying rucksacks, but none of the passengers raised suspicion.

0823hrs, the four are seen on CCTV at Kings Cross platform heading towards the London Underground system. At 0830hrs "4 men fitting their descriptions are seen hugging, and appear happy even euphoric" [3] the men at this point head in different directions. Lindsay and Hussain headed towards the southbound Piccadilly line, Khan towards the Westbound Circle Line and Tanweer towards the Eastbound Circle Line.

0850hrs, CCTV of Liverpool Street platform shows footage just prior to the first explosion. The platform was heaving with commuters, Tanweer at this point could not be seen. The train leaves the platform then shortly after black smoke is seen exiting the tunnel, observers at this point start to run towards the exits.

The explosion caused "Seven people, excluding the suicide bomber, were killed and 171 people were injured in the attack" [4] it's been assessed that Tanweer was sitting at the rear of carriage two, with the rucksack positioned on the floor.

The second explosion at Edgware Road Station occurred shortly after the first, with Khan situated in the second carriage by the first set of double doors. Prior to initiating the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Khan was reportedly seen tinkering with the top of the rucksack prior to it initiating. The explosion killed 7 and injured 163 people [5] and blew a hole in the tunnel wall, damaging a train travelling in the other direction.

The third explosion occurred half way between Kings Cross and Russell Square station. It's been assessed that Lindsay was positioned at the back of the first carriage, due to the extent of the damaged which occurred to the front of the second carriage. The explosion killed 27 and injured a further 340 people [6] , which due to the size of tunnel, (Tube Tunnel, single track tunnel) the blast therefore, was confined which produced a higher rate of deaths and injuries.

0855hrs, Hussain for some reason had not initiated his device and was seen leaving Kings Cross Underground and towards Euston Road. It was during this time he tried to contact the other three bombers, judging by his telephone call records. He stopped at WH Smiths to buy a new 9v battery which was supposedly needed to initiate his device. This would explain why his device did not explode in the same time frame as the other terrorists.

0919 hrs, At Euston station Hussain boards the number 30 double decker bus heading east from the Marble Arch. He placed himself on the upper deck.

0974 hrs, when the bus was at Tavistock Square he initiates his device nearly one hour after the first explosion which killed 14 people and injuring 110. [7] 

The initial onset of this incident caused confusion amongst the emergency services as they were getting reports of the first explosion being cause by power surges, and numerous unattended bags being found which raised people's concerns. By 0930hrs the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) was activated as it is the Governments national crisis managements facility. COBR is "attended by officials from all the appropriate central government departments, along with the Metropolitan Police." [8] This control centre stayed fully manned till the 15 July 2005 as its role was to co-ordinate the emergency services and government departments to return the situation back to normal as quickly as possible and to carry out further investigation to ascertain who carried out the attacks.

On the 8 July 2013, the emergency services were concentrating on preservation of life and also secondly inspecting the scenes to obtain clues and possible links to the individuals who were responsible.

On the 12 July 2013, Clues found at the scenes enabled the West Yorkshire police to carry out searches of properties belonging to Khan, Tanweer ,Hussain and another property at 18 Alexandra Grove. The raid at 18 Alexandra Grove was due to the police deeming it to be the bomb factory. At the address "chemical residues, bulbs, wires, batteries and traces of high explosives were said to have been discovered in a flat in Leeds where the four devices were prepared" [9] .

Subsequent intelligence led the police to locate and search the Nissan Micra which transported 3 of the terrorist from Leeds to Luton train station. On further inspection the police found a number of small glass / plastic jars containing Organic Peroxide Explosives (OPE) Hexamethtlene Triperoxide Diamine (HMTD) or Triacitone Triperoxide (TATP) "The devices were covered in nails and might have been used to throw at the police if they were caught" [10] 


In the days following the incident various groups claimed responsibility for the attacks. These being, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade and the Secret Organisation Group of Al Qaeda in Europe, both of which have supposed close links to AQ.

Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade:

The group formed August 2003 and has become an organisation linked with AQ's Ayman al-Zawahiri, it has been suggested that the group either carries out or oversees AQ operations in Europe. The organisation has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, i.e. London Bombings, 2004 Madrid train bombings, North America blackouts 2003 and more. The legitimacy of these claims is doubtful as the North American blacks out were due to a technical fault, rather than terrorist activity. The group claims for attacks which are attributed to AQ and has acknowledged the calling for a holy war against all western countries and upholds the ideology of AQ, therefore attacks "western civilians for their complicity in atrocities committed by western governments against Muslims worldwide". [11] 

Secret Organisation Group of Al Qaeda:

It was revealed within hours of the incident responsibility was claimed by the "The Secret Organisation Group of Al Qaeda in Europe" on a well known Islamic website Al-Qal3ah. However it "remains unclear whether they actually committed the attack. Little is known about the group's size, structure, capabilities or leadership, which fosters the possibility that they may not be a legitimate organisation at all" [12] It has therefore been concluded that it is "far more plausible that the London bombers, inspired by AQ and espousing a similar ideology, acted independently while others sort recognition for the attack". [13] 

Below is a brief insight into the individuals who have been identified as the perpetrators who carried out the attacks on 7 July 2005:

Mohammad Sidique Khan(Supposed leader) - Born in Leeds on the 20 October 1974, his parents were of Pakistani origin and he was the youngest of six siblings. At school he was a quiet boy who suffered from bulling, which may have been the reason for his perception of life to change and therefore turning to religion. This however, did not affect him academically as he went onto study for a degree in Business Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University. In 2001 he became a primary teacher as a mentor to kids with special needs. He gave talks to children of 13 -19 years of age at local community centres and mosques and as a result he became a figure on which young people looked up to. It was at such meetings that he built close relationships with Tanweer, Hussain. Khan reportedly went missing from work from 20 September 2004 to 19 November 2004 and sent a letter of resignation stating that he would not be returning to work. It has been established that Khan and Tanweer had visited Pakistan from 19 November 2004 to 8 February 2005 [14] . This visit may have been a key time for meetings and training to be carried out prior to the attacks.

Shehzad Tanweer- Born in Leeds on the 15 December 1982, he was the second youngest of four siblings. His parents had moved from Pakistani to the UK for work where they settled and achieved British Citizenship. Tanweer had a normal school life excelling at most subjects, but shown an interest in religion at 16, and by 2002 religion became a major part in his life as he frequently visited a religious school in Dewsbury. After leaving school he studied Sports Science at Leeds Metropolitan University obtaining an HND in 2003. After University he worked at his parents chip shop until 2004 at such time he became unemployed. It was during this period he was able to travel to Pakistan with Khan.

Hasib Hussain- Born in Leeds on 16 September 1986, his parents were of Pakistani origin and he was the youngest of four siblings. He did not do well at school as he left with grades "C and below at GCSE level". In 2002 he and his family went on a trip to Saudi Arabia, on return he wore traditional Muslim clothing and was open to friends and teachers he supported AQ and he had a desire to be a Cleric. After school (2003) he went onto further education by studying Advance Business Programme till 2005.

Jermaine Lindsay- Born in Jamaica on 23 September 1985, he and his mother moved to Huddersfield in search of a new life. Lindsay was academically successful and keen at sports. His mother turned to Islam and he quickly followed becoming fluent in Arabic, and wearing traditional Muslim clothing. He went to many pray sessions and became closely connected with the extremist preacher Abdallah Al Faisal. During 2003-2005 Lindsay was employed as a carpet fitter, but subsequently became unemployed prior to the bombings. It is unclear when he meet up with the other 3, but he became close friends with Khan by the mid 2004.

Target/ Tactics Rationale:

The perpetrators indiscriminately targeted innocent civilians during the busy morning commute in London transport system. The transport systems are vulnerable to terrorist attack due to the fact that they are "open, and offer high concentrations of people, and provide the potential to cause large-scale disruption and fear". [15] It has been estimated that "6 million passengers daily use the buses, over 3 million use the tube and nearly 1.5 million use trains within the capital" [16] Due to the numerous entry points and the high numbers of passengers and no control / inspection points (i.e. at airports) it is extremely difficult to secure and inspect personnel boarding. Therefore it was easy for the four individuals to carry Improved Explosive Devices (IED's) packed in their rucksacks on to transport network and causing death and destruction as they simultaneously initiated their devices. This style of attack has become commonly associated with AQ and groups who take on their ideology. It fits perfectly into AQ's modus operandi of targeting the infidels.


The attacks have impacted the London/UK on numerous fronts, these are, Damage to London's transport system, Fatalities/ injuries, Wider implications being Economy and Socially.

Damage to London's transport system- The actions of the terrorist disrupted the entire city's transport. All Network Rail stations in London were forced to close due to the damage inflicted on the trains and the underground tunnels. Some services re opened later that evening, however, Kings Cross remained closed till the following day. The London bus network was also suspended but was able to re-start that evening.

Fatalities / Injuries- Due to time the explosion occurred, and the close confines of the personnel around the IEDs, death and injury rates were high. Excluding the terrorist 52 people were killed and a further 700 became casualties of this act of terrorism.

Wider Implications

Economy- The incident caused the pound to fall 0.89 cents which meant a 19 month low alongside the U.S dollar. The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) fell 2 hours after the initial explosion by 200 points. This fall initiated special measure to restrict panic buying to help stabilize the market. Later that day the figure rose to 71.3 points. The markets regained on 8 July and it became clear that the damage caused by the bombings was not as great as initially thought.

Socially- As the investigation gathered pace and as police identified that the perpetrators were British Muslims the government informed all "Muslim organizations of a possible anti Muslim backlash" [17] as seen after the 11 September 2001 attacks and the Madrid Bombing 2004. Furthermore Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) warned Muslims against "unnecessary journeys and urged Muslims to take precautionary measures, for the fear of reprisals." [18] Such reprisals occurred after the bombings as "Police in London recorded 180 racial incidents, a total of 58 faith-related crimes were recorded, compared with one in the same period last year". [19] Attacks against Mosques covering the UK were carried out. The political British Nationalist Party (BNP) also fuelled the ever growing hatred by issuing campaign leaflets showing the bombed bus stating "maybe it's time to start listening to the BNP", such leaflets were condemned by other parties.


Information on the Secret Organisation Group of Al Qaeda in Europe "is very limited. However it "remains unclear whether they actually committed the attack. Little is known about the group's aims, size, structure, capabilities or leadership. I have come to the conclusion that these four individual were inspired by AQ and a similar ideology, and acted independently. Khan released a video stating "Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible……. Until we feel security, you will be our targets. And until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation." [20] This statement implies that these four men have accepted the call by AQ, to all Muslims to take up the fight against the infidels across the globe. Thus engage in terrorism as part of the Global Salafi Jihad. This was a typical AQ style of attack, their aims were to produce mass casualties, and to create disruption, despair, and to create a climate of fear. No warnings were given prior to the attack primarily to ensure maximum effect. The attack would have produced more casualties if the 4th device had been initiated on a train in confined surroundings, rather than on a bus. Therefore, not being as successful as possibly expected, this may have been the reason for a further attack on London's Underground on the 21 July 2005 when another four people tried to carry out the same style of attack on London's Underground, but were unsuccessful due to the IED's main High Explosive filling not detonating. 2857,