This is London | May 1, 2007
The families of the 52 victims who died in the July 7 bombings expressed their anger at the security services’ failure to prevent the atrocity.
Furious relatives said there was an “overwhelming” case for a full independent inquiry into a catalogue of missed opportunities.
Graham Foulkes, who lost his 22-year-old son David in the Edgware Road blast, said when he heard the revelations from the trial he was “absolutely overwhelmed with a sense of sheer disbelief”.
“I feel like we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes,” he said.
“The consequences of that level of incompetence were such that my son was killed. That is truly appalling.”
He added: “I think John Reid summed it up when he said his department was not fit for purpose.”
Grahame Russell, whose 28-year-old son Philip, a banker with City firm JP Morgan, died in the Tavistock Square blast, said the Government had “distorted the truth” over how much was known about the bombers.
He added: “There has been far too much covering up going on, and there is overwhelming case for a public inquiry to get to the bottom of this.
“What we now know is the final proof that the Government has been distorting the truth about what they did know and they have been putting a spin on things.
“The Government doesn’t want a public inquiry because it’s going to reveal that they haven’t told us the truth.
“There is no doubt that if someone had put two and two together this could have been avoided.
“A lot of the families are really upset about this because they feel that their loved ones would still be here if mistakes hadn’t been made.”
Pairose Bond, whose 30-year-old son Jamie Gordon died in the Tavistock Square bombing, said: “The July 7 attacks could have been prevented.
“There can’t be any doubt about that now.
“The Government and the security services are not doing their job and it is high time we had an inquiry to find out exactly how much they knew.
“This Government has lied and lied, and now they are getting found out. When something goes wrong they just talk rubbish.
“I am deeply disappointed in them all because we put them into government to protect us and they are not doing that.”
Rachel North, who survived the blast on the Piccadilly Line train, said: “I remember that
Charles Clarke (the then Home Secretary) said after July 7 that ‘these bombings came out of the blue, these men are cleanskins’.
“It was tempting to believe that these guys had never been known to the police or the security services, and that it was a terrible tragedy which nobody could have done anything to stop.
“When it transpired that was not the case, it was devastating.”
Calling for an independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to testify, Miss North added: “It should have been clear to anybody familiar with the behavioural profile of UK jihadists that these guys (Khan and Tanweer) ticked loads of boxes.
“They were driving around with terrorists, they were engaged in criminal activity to raise money, they were known to be fans of extremist preachers, they had been abroad and trained to bring the battle to the UK, they were hanging around with people planning a bomb plot – they were right at the top of the scale.
“I understand it is impossible to track every single person who might be expressing support for jihad, but these people were certainly not cleanskins.
“Until we know exactly what was known about these people how are we supposed to have trust and confidence in the Government and the security service?”
Demands for an inquiry were strongly backed by both the Tories and Liberal Democrats.
The shadow home secretary, David Davis, said: “Two facts are now crystal clear. First, our intelligence services were monitoring two of the London bombers, but stopped before July 2005.
“Second, whether deliberately or not, the Government have not told the whole truth about the circumstances and mistakes leading up to the July 7 attacks.
“As a result, after nearly two years and five Government reports, we still don’t know the truth. And that means we still can’t learn the lessons from those tragic events.
“The case for an independent inquiry into the attacks of July 2005 is now overwhelming.”
LibDem leader Sir Menzies Campbell added that “serious questions” needed to be asked about what the Government knew about the 7/7 bombers.