Wednesday, 22 December 2010

7/7 Inquests Blog: Danny Biddle, the Rucksack on the Lap - and the Explosion on the Floor

Originally posted on the J7: 7/7 Inquests blog: Danny Biddle, the Rucksack on the Lap - and the Explosion on the Floor

Yesterday, 8 November, saw Danny Biddle as the opening witness at the 7/7 Inquest with regard to the Edgware Road incident (Factual Issue 3: Circumstances at each of the four scenes immediately following the explosions).

As the only witness to ever publicly claim to have actually seen Mohammed Sidique Khan on Circle Line train 216 at Edgware Road the media paid close attention to his testimony. Today's headlines scream out:
  • "Daniel Biddle: I was just 6ft from 7/7 bomb as it maimed me"
  • "7/7 survivor describes moment he saw terrorist leader detonate bomb on London tube"
  • "London bombings survivor saw bomb detonated"
However, there is more to the headlines than meets the eye, and more than might be gleaned from the media reports of Mr Biddle's testimony.

J7 have previously highlighted the many inconsistencies in Mr Biddle's accounts in our Edgware Road analysis on the July 7th Truth Campaign website. We also included this information in our submissions to the Inquests in the J7 response to factual issue 2. The many and varied accounts of Danny Biddle, as reported in the media, were referenced by Hugo Keith as Danny Biddle gave his testimony:
A.[DANIEL PAUL BIDDLE] No, I mean, there was nothing about him that made me think he was dangerous in any way or anything like that. If there would have been, I would have got off the train and got help. I mean, he was just a -- he looked like a normal guy going to work within London, whatever he did, and there was nothing that he did that made him stand out different to anybody else at that particular moment in time.
Q. [MR KEITH] Do you recollect him carrying anything?
A. He had a rucksack, like a small, black camping rucksack.
Q. Was he holding it or carrying it in a particular way that you can recall?
A. I remember it being on his lap.
Q. Mr Biddle, not unsurprisingly, the story of how you survived the bomb at Edgware Road has been widely reported in the press and around the world and a number of reports have purported to give accounts of your experience and memories of that day, and in those accounts there are repeated references to the possibility that the man might have been wearing a rucksack on his back, and that is what you recollect.
A. I've said all the way along from the very first statement I gave to the police he had it on his lap.
Q. Did he have one rucksack or two, or one or two bags? Was there anything else that he was carrying?
A. No, I just saw one rucksack.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit more, if you can, about the size of it?
A. I would say it would be about so big. It wasn't -- it was one of those sort of small camping rucksacks that you often see people that are going hiking would carry, so it wasn't like a full-sized camping rucksack, it was just a small to medium-sized camping rucksack. As I say, so big. [p31, 18 on]
Mr Biddle then continues with his testimony which, as noted above, has been widely and unquestioningly reported as an apparent confirmed witness account of Mohammed Sidique Khan allegedly detonating a suicide bomb at Edgware Road:
[MR BIDDLE] The train entered the Tube tunnel, I looked round, as I looked round, he looked up, I just saw a quick movement, then there was just a big, white flash, the kind of noise that you get when you tune a radio in, that kind of white sound, and it just felt like the carriage I was standing in filled -- just expanded at such a vast rate and contracted quickly and, with that, it blew me off my feet and through the carriage doors into the tunnel.
Q.[MR KEITH] When you say you saw a quick movement, what do you think was the movement that you saw? Was it some part of his body, or was it a movement in the bag?
A. It was his arm, he did that with his hand in the rucksack and the next thing --
Q. Because these proceedings can't record what you've shown us, did you just demonstrate that you saw an arm move somewhere near the rucksack?
A. That's correct.
Q. Did you see what precisely moved or whether there was any movement in the rucksack itself?
A. Literally, as soon as his arm moved, I was outside the carriage.
Q. Do we take it from what you've said that the rucksack was still on his lap, or was it on the ground?
A. When he made the arm movement, the rucksack was still on his lap.
Q. Were you able to discern any sort of expression or any sort of look on him at that moment?
A. I mean, before he set device off, he looked up and along the carriage and then he just looked down. He didn't say anything, he didn't shout anything that I can
remember hearing. He just put his head down, moved his arm and, the next thing, I'm outside the train.
Q. What was your first conscious thought after that?
A. I'd fallen out the train. [p33, 8 on]
Later in the proceedings Mr Biddle is questioned by Mr Saunders, representing some of the bereaved:
MR SAUNDERS: Mr Biddle, I will be equally short. You have described to Mr Keith seeing Khan's arm moving quickly. In your statement in December I think you gave a little more detail where you thought you'd seen him with a white cord at the rucksack?
A. That's correct.
Q. That's what you thought was being pulled?
A. That's what it looked like. As he pulled his arm, that's what it looked like he was holding, but I couldn't ascertain if that was from inside the bag or part of the bag. [p44, 21]

As J7 noted some time ago in our analysis of the various statements of Danny Biddle reported in the media, the Metropolitan Police have always maintained that the explosions occurred on the floors of the train carriages. This means that, according to the Metropolitan Police, the explosion at Edgware Road also occurred on the floor of the carriage:
At this stage, we do believe, however, that each device that was put onto the tube trains was likely to be on the floor of the carriage. [DC Andy Hayman, 8 July 2005]

That the explosions occurred on the floors of the trains was further confirmed during the trial of Waheed Ali, Mohammed Shakil and Sadeer Saleem when the testimony of Fort Halstead Forensics expert, Clifford Todd, was reported:
The bombers scattered identity and bank cards around the Tube carriages they targeted before placing their rucksacks on the floor and setting off the explosives inside them, jurors heard.

The details emerged for the first time as a forensics expert's evidence was read at the trial of three men accused of helping to plan the atrocity.

Jurors were told the "unique" bomb mixture was made up of black pepper and hydrogen peroxide, which was put into ordinary plastic bags alongside ice-packs to cool the volatile material.

The bombers were not wearing the rucksacks at the time of the explosions, but had instead put them down on the floor of the bus and Tube trains, it was claimed.

Neil Flewitt, QC, prosecuting, said that expert Clifford Todd had examined the wreckage of the bomb sites.

He said: "It is, in the opinion of Mr Todd, noteworthy that at each scene, some personal materials and documents, such as ID cards, were found relating to the bombers.

"Although they were damaged to some extent, they did not show the damage that would be expected if they were on the body of the bomber or in the rucksack, suggesting that in each case they had been deliberately separated by some distance from the actual explosion."

The problem that the Inquest now has is that of squaring the testimony of Mr Biddle -- an eye-witness sighting of a detonation by pulling "a white cord" on "a small, black camping rucksack", of which Mr Biddle remembers "it being on his lap" -- with the official version of the story that states the explosion occurred on the floor of the carriage.

On the floor of the carriage some distance from where this diagram and Biddle have placed Khan in a seat:

This graphic shows that Khan was allegedly in the seat marked 28 and the blast site at a position to the right of seat 27:

No doubt Mr Biddle's testimony will be forgotten by the media once the Inquests move on to discussing matters pertaining to the forensics at the scenes, the types of explosives used, and the method of detonation.

Until then, caution should be exercised with regard to any evidence that attempts to prove that the damage to the Edgware Road train, seen in the image below, was caused by mixing Hydrogen Peroxide with black pepper/masala spice.

A comment on this image can be read here.

If you wish to comment on this article, please join the discussion on the J7: 7/7 Inquests blog.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

7/7 Inquests: The Disintegration of Shehzad Tanweer

As the Inquest approached the end of the third and final week of testimony and evidence into the Aldgate scene, as outlined in 'Factual Issue 3: Circumstances at the scene immediately following the explosions', the first evidence for the presence of Shehzad Tanweer at the site of this explosion emerged.

The evidence didn't come in the form of CCTV footage, as we now know it was claimed that the last sighting of Tanweer was made at around 08.26.32 at the King's Cross Thameslink end of the entrance tunnel to the London Underground.

Nor did the evidence come in the form of witness testimony. Not one witness on carriage two claimed to have seen Tanweer on the carriage. Bruce Lait, for example, who had given interviews to the press in the days after July 7th 2005, and who had claimed he hadn't seen anyone where the hole in the floor of the carriage was, was not asked whether he had seen Tanweer on the carriage before the explosion.

Michael Henning, who entered the train on carriage 3, was asked this question by Hugo Keith QC:
Q. Did you, in fact, tell the police that you did recollect -- and you had an image in your mind to this effect -- a male standing inside the rear set of doors in that second carriage?
A. I do indeed, and it puts a shiver through me to remember that. However, I couldn't say with great detail his features, etcetera. It's more those soft focus of the people that you normally see on the Tube and haven't paid attention to.
Q. Could we have, please, on the screen INQ00008352, page 2? Did you prepare, in fact, a sketch map for the police showing the rear of the second carriage towards the top of the page, towards the front of the train,towards the front, and the platform side which you boarded, and then the third carriage, and you went on,and do the two crosses indicate respectively the person whom you thought you might have seen as being significant in the second carriage and then your place in the third carriage?
A. Indeed. The cross circled is obviously where I perceived Tanweer to be.
Q. You obviously didn't know him to be Tanweer then. Did you tell the police that you saw a man you described as an Asian man wearing some sort of white or cream light-coloured clothing in any event?
A. That's what I recall, yes.
Q. Can you recall any more about the person that you saw in outline as you boarded the train?
A. I would be hesitant to say more because of all the subsequent information I've seen.
Q. Of course. Do you recall whether he was carrying anything, the person that you recall seeing?
A. I remember him holding something, but how he was carrying it, again, it would be wrong of me to try and put detail on that.

Whether Tanweer was wearing what could be described as "some sort of white or cream light-coloured clothing" is questionable as CCTV shows his clothing to be predominantly dark:

Of course the 'suicide-bomber' meme has always tacitly implied that explosives are carried on the body. Although, uniquely it appears, as the story of the London bombings evolved, rucksacks on the body became solely the mode of transportation of the explosives, not the method of delivery. At the time of the attacks the Metropolitan Police were clearly stating that the explosions happened on the floors of the carriages, with early reports claiming the explosions came from under the trains, yet this did not dispel the 'suicide-bomber' meme once the four accused were identified. This is important to bear in mind when examining any witness statements or evidence which originate from the period immediately after the events of 7 July 2005.

On the penultimate day of the Aldgate scene evidence, a witness statement was read to the Inquest by Hugo Keith, detailing evidence that apparently linked Shehzad Tanweer to the site of the explosion:
My Lady, the final statement is that of Richard Hall, dated 6 June 2006, again with the usual declaration of truth. Statement of DC RICHARD HALL read:
"I am a detective constable attached to the Anti-terrorist Branch at New Scotland Yard where I performed the role of Terrorist Forensic Scene Examiner and Exhibit Officer.
"On Thursday, 7 July 2005, I was on duty when a series of incidents took place in London. I was aware that initially there had been explosions on London Underground trains at Russell Square,Edgware Road and Aldgate Underground station. A further explosion had occurred on a London Transport bus at Tavistock Square.
"I was tasked by DS Michael Jolly to act as the Deputy Scene Examiner to DC Andrew Meneely, who had been tasked earlier in the day to attend the scene at Aldgate London Underground station.
"I went to the scene where I was met by DC Meneely,who was carrying out tasks in relation to the initial survey of the scene. DC Meneely had devised a zone plan which had been used to structure the search. This was later drawn by DC Neil Fretwell of the
Anti-terrorist Branch Bomb Data Centre and exhibited at NF/7."
"During the course of DC Meneely's initial examination of the scene, he seized exhibit AM/11, selected debris from zone 5, the open area to the left of carriages 1, 2 and 3 of the train.
"The exhibit contained part of a wallet which appeared to have been close to an explosion. I examined the contents of this wallet and found that it contained fragments of plastic cards, fragments of Bank of England notes, business cards, and other correspondence.
"I recorded the following details in the 'Remarks' column of the exhibit book and passed them to the control vehicle for transmission to the ATBIU.
"On Monday, 11 July 2005, I conducted a closer examination of exhibit AM/11. A decision had been taken to submit the wallet to the Forensic Explosives Laboratory for explosive trace work to be done. I therefore opened the exhibit and removed all of the fragmented parts from it. I then resealed the exhibit.
As a result of this examination, I created the following eleven exhibits:

"RABH/1. Fragmented HSBC credit card in the name of Mr Sidique Khan ...
"RABH/2. Fragments of a £10 and £5 note split from AM/11 ...
"RABH/3. One Excelsior Snooker Club membership card in the name of S Tanweer
"RABH/4. 1. Two receipts ... One PC World receipt for plantronic audio 15 microph 12.99. "2. B&Q receipt. Print has faded but can be read in part. (H)Eeston Ring Road, Leeds ...
"RABH/5. One Northern Snooker Centre membership card in the name of S Tanweer ...
"RABH/5A. One Nasim Property Investor business card...
"RABH/7. One Halifax Current Account Switch Card in the name of Mr S Khan ...
"RABH/8. One Optimum Fitness card in the name of Yasser HALEED ...
"RABH/9. One business card ... "Dr GREENTHUMBS Hydroponics Store ... Wakefield ...
"RABH/10. One business card in the name of James Squires ...
"I also produced exhibit RABH/11 - one nylon bag - for control purposes for the Forensic Explosives Laboratory."

RABH/1. Fragmented HSBC credit card in the name of Mr Sidique Khan

As stated in Mr Hall's testimony this wallet was seized from 'selected debris from zone 5, the open area to the left of carriages 1, 2 and 3 of the train.'

This exhibit shows Zone 5 - the area in and around carriages 1 2 & 3:

Zone 5, where it is claimed the wallet was found, does not include the actual area where the initial explosion is said to have occurred and where the Inquest were told persons were thrown from the train by the blast. This area was described as being where carriage 4 eventually came to a halt, as shown in this Inquest exhibit, which would place it in Zone 6:

The graphic above had been described by Hugo Keith in his opening statement to the Inquest [p35 13-23] as follows:
Richard Gray was tragically blown out of the right-hand side of the second carriage, that's to say the right-hand side of the carriage if you were standing in that carriage looking forward in the direction of travel on the side away from the bomb and on to the track, so from this diagram away from the location of the bomb down towards the bottom of the page and through double door D8. Because the train carried on moving for a short while, as I've said, his body was found adjacent to carriages 3 and 4 when the train finally stopped.

Rather strange then that Zone 5 didn't include at least part of carriage 4.

Only 7 bodies recovered

The total number of deceased from Circle Line train 204, according to all witness testimony and evidence was seven - a figure which does not allow for the presence of Shehzad Tanweer. We also know that no victims of the Liverpool Street/Aldgate incident had died in hospital.

As the Aldgate scene evidence neared its conclusion, it became apparent that Shehzad Tanweer's body was not identified as being amongst the dead. The official "narrative" of the explosion on Circle Line train 204 at Aldgate holds that eight people died, with Richard Gray's body recovered from the track:

BTP Inspector Robert Munn was the last person to leave the site before investigators took over. In this exchange with Hugo Keith, Munn confirms the total number of dead as seven:
Q. [Hugo Keith] At 10.18, you made your final call, for these purposes -- you updated BX, in fact, for the rest of the morning, but for our purposes, you made your final call at 18.47, [BTP170-55]: "BQ10 ... for your information, Aldgate, I'm the last police officer to leave and I've got the last Fire Brigade with me ... the station's now evacuated to the front gate. I can confirm 7 ... dead bodies left on the train, over. "Sorry, say again? "Have you got any persons trapped, over? "None that's still alive, over." That was at 10.18. Before you left, had a doctor appeared trackside?
A.[Inspector Robert Munn] Yes, I think it was the -- I think it was the HEMS doctor that I referred to earlier, I think.
Q. Dr Lockey?
A. I didn't -- I can't recall his name, sir.
Q. You didn't catch his name. Did he formally confirm to you that there were seven dead?
A. Before we left, sir, I waited by the doctor and the lead fire officer, while the doctor checked all the remaining bodies that had been left behind, and confirmed the number of dead.

LAS paramedic Steven Jones:
"When all known live patients were removed,the HEMS doctor pronounced life extinct the seven patients left..."

The HEMS doctor described by Steven Jones. Dr David Lockey, gave his evidence on 2 November and featured this interesting if somewhat leading, exchange with counsel representing the family of victim Lee Baisden, which could have possibly been describing Tanweer:
Q. [MS SHEFF] Can I just repeat that? I just want to clarify that, when you describe seeing a body under the doors near X, that's the one that you've marked on as C on your plan.
A. [DR LOCKEY] Yes, I think so.
Q. In your witness statement, you described that body as a black or dark-skinned male of Somali appearance.
A. That is not the statement that I wrote. That was a statement that a police officer wrote for me, although I obviously agreed it afterwards, and I wouldn't describe anyone as coming from a particular country. However, in the discussion, he asked me about the colour of the man's skin and whether I thought he was Asian or whatever, and that's how we got to someone of slightly more North African appearance than perhaps Asian appearance. But it was not something that I would have stated myself, if I'd written the statement.
Q. Okay, so thinking about that now, can I ask you this: have you previously seen victims of explosions with blast injuries?
A. Yes.
Q. You are aware, are you, that those close to the site of the explosion can very often suffer very severe burns and even charring of the skin --
A. Yes.
Q. -- which can turn the skin black.
A. I work in a Burns Unit as well.
Q. Yes, indeed. So you might not have been aware, then,that this particular male who
A. Was white?
Q. -- was white, he was, in fact, Lee Baisden, whose family I represent, and at his post-mortem he was found to have flash and deep burn injuries over his body. Would that have been consistent, therefore, with the
appearance of somebody with black skin?
A. I believe not.
Q. So are you suggesting that this could have been somebody who was of black skinned appearance, originally black --
A. Yes, I felt that that was the case, and I recall seeing a head underneath the window of a door, the door had been blown on to it, and I may have been mistaken, but I didn't feel that that patient was white and I am used to seeing patients with blast injuries.
Q. So that was the impression that you had?
A. Yes.
Q. I suggest that you were mistaken about that. The X actually does mark the site of the explosion and the fact that the body was so close to that explosion does indicate, we believe, that the body received those juries from the charring of the skin as a result and that Lee Baisden was that man who was close to the original site of the injury. You don't take that view, I suspect?
A. I can't be certain either way. I have thought about it since and I came back to my original conclusion.
Q. It was, however, a scene of total carnage and body parts were all over the place, and it must have been quite traumatic just taking in the scene when you first saw it. So is there a possibility that you are mistaken about that?
A. There is a possibility.

Dr Lockey then continues in his testimony to state that he certified five dead on the train and that there were two deceased on the tracks.

Forensic medical examiner, Dr Morgan Costello, giving his witness testimony via video link from Eire on the afternoon of 3rd November, stated that he had been asked by the MPS to pronounce life extinct at two sites, Edgware Road and Aldgate, and attended Aldgate on 8 July 2005 at 08.40:

A. You could tell how many bodies were there, but it was quite difficult to tell exact, you know, body parts from each other due to clothes being on the area, blast matter, and the positioning of the bodies. It was quite easy to assign how many individuals were there, but just picking out exact details was difficult.

Dr Costello is then taken through the names of the seven victims, minus Shehzad Tanweer.

DC Andrew Meneely, bomb scene examiner at Aldgate, gave his testimony on the morning of the 3rd November describing his role as "to do the forensic recovery of any evidence at the scene and to deal with any body recovery of bodies that may be there" (p67, 12-14). [NB. At this point Hugo Keith reminds the Inquest that "the issue of the bodies and their recovery and their treatment is outside the scope of these proceedings by order of my Lady earlier in these proceedings" (ibid. 15-17)].

Presumably the DC in charge of body recovery would identify the body of Shehzad Tanweer? Questioned by Mr Saunders, after a warning by Lady Hallett on whether it would touch on matters she had deemed were not issues, only seven bodies were identified for removal from the scene:
Q.[MR SAUNDERS] I think there was also a problem with the obtaining of a correct vehicle that had sufficient refrigeration to ensure the proper removal of the bodies?
A. [DC MENEELY] Refrigeration units were called for.
Q. I think there was a difficulty -- it may be somebody else deals with that, but there were difficulties as to when they could be provided on the scene.
A. I understand that the vehicles arrived some time on the Saturday.
Q. I think the formal removal of Fiona Stevenson was --
A. Some time on the Friday, actually.
Q. -- on the Friday, I think.
A. Yes.
Q. So I think there were those two that were outside, Carrie and Richard Gray were removed initially, and then Fiona Stevenson on the Saturday.
A. Yes, that's correct. Ms Stevenson -- there was four bodies removed on the Friday, two on the trackside and two males in the rear carriage part and then the three other women on the Saturday.

It doesn't appear to be the case, even by 8th July 2005, that any discernible body parts from Shehzad Tanweer had been identified. A wallet, some damaged plastic, paper receipts, and membership cards all remained, but nothing identifiable as the head, torso, or limbs of Shehzad Tanweer, appear to have been present, resulting in several confirmations of the total number of dead as 7. Note: 'Suicide bombers' do not generally vapourise themselves (Warning: Graphic image of the remains of a 'suicide-bomber' with explosives strapped to the body, not in a rucksack on the floor).

Tanweer's Spine

So how did Shehzad Tanweer come to be identified given this total lack of discernible body parts? Over to DC Meneely for an answer to this one:
Q.[HUGO KEITH] The process continued, as you've told us, for, in your case, some ten days, but it wasn't until, I think, Saturday, 9 July that a significant piece of bone, a piece of a backbone, was discovered in the front of a rear bench seat in carriage 2?
A.[DC MENEELY] That's correct. Officers were searching that part of carriage 2 and, about 9.30 at night, I was told that a piece of backbone had been recovered.
Q. Why was that significant?
A. Because all of the bodies I'd seen so far had no real upper body trauma to that degree. Obviously there was a lot of injuries, but everybody was relatively intact
in relation to the upper body.
Q. No doubt, the discovery of that piece of bone was relevant to the investigation of the crime and information about it was passed to your colleagues?
A. Yes, it was.
Presumably an upper body trauma would be significant if the explosion had occurred on the body, as is understood to be the case with 'suicide-bombers', but not if the explosion had occurred on the floor of the carriage, as no other victim had this type of injury. As we can see from this graphic, Lee Baisden whose severely burned body was described above by Ms Sheff, was very close to the centre of the explosion, as were both William Walsh (second degree burns and lacerations from climbing out of the window) and Greg Shannon (a total unknown - no press reports), neither of whom were called as witnesses or had their testimony read. (At this stage we cannot discount the possibility that Hugo Keith will summon them when 'factual issue 9: The presence at the scenes of MSK, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay, and their proximity to the explosions' are covered in early 2011. J7 will of course further examine the detail of these issues in due course).

It would appear from evidence to the Inquest that the DNA extracted from Shehzad Tanweer by West Yorkshire Police on his arrest for a Public Order offence in April 2004 was used to identify this spine along with some other tissue samples taken from undisclosed body parts. [Transcripts 3/11/10 pm, page 11 lines 3 on]

It is also a mystery how this 'spine' had only been found on the 9th July, given that it was first mentioned in the witness testimony of DI Kemp, one of the first responders to the scene, on 27 October:
Q.[HUGO KEITH] I think also in that area you noticed what seemed to you to be a part of a body. In fact a human spine?
A.[DI KEMP] That's what it looked like, yes.
Q. From all that, because there was devastation, destruction, debris, a hole, a piece of spine, as well as a body that you realised was dead, and another severely injured person, you knew you were in the immediate vicinity of the bomb?
A. I believed that, yes.

DI Kemp had previously described the scene as dark and that he had only the use of a bicycle lamp which he had acquired from a passing passenger [ibid. page 37, lines 18-129].

The forensics report into Shehzad Tanweer was read to the Inquest by Hugo Keith, no evidence was published and neither are the actual body parts that tissue for DNA sampling were taken from, named. (Again, these issues may be examined when the forensics evidence is adduced in early 2011).
Statements of MR ANDREW McDONALD read
"I hold degrees of Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Master of Science in Forensic Science ... I have been a forensic scientist since 1992. During the course of my career, I have examined many cases using DNA analysis techniques.

"Between 13 July 2005 and 28 July 2005, 80 recovered body part samples associated with the bombings of a London Underground Tube train at Aldgate on 7 July 2005 together with 20 reference control samples from individuals known to have been present at the time of the explosion were received at the laboratory. All items were received in sealed packages.

"I was asked to carry out STR profiling tests to determine whether any of the recovered body part samples received in this case could have originated from Shehzad Tanweer. STR profiling is a sensitive DNA analysis technique. An STR profile obtained from a human body fluid, such as blood or saliva, or human body tissue can be compared with an STR profile of a given person. If the profiles are different, then the body fluid or body tissues cannot have originated from the person in question.

"If, on the other hand, the STR profiles are the same, then that individual, and anyone else who shares the same STR profile, can be considered as a possible source of the body fluid or body part. The significance of finding such a match can then be assessed."Reference control sample. The tissue sample taken from Shehzad Tanweer was used to determine his STR profile.

"Recovered body part samples:
"Tissue analysed from the following recovered body part samples generated full STR profiles which matched at of Shehzad Tanweer."
And, my Lady, Mr McDonald then goes on to list 48 tissues which were analysed from recovered body part samples:

"This means that the body parts could have originated from him. I estimate that the probability of obtaining this profile, if the tissue tested from the body parts did not originate from Shehzad Tanweer, but came from another unrelated person who, by coincidence,had the same profile, is less than 1:1 billion. In addition to these body part samples, the following recovered body part samples generated incomplete STR
profiles which matched that of Shehzad Tanweer."

My Lady, four are listed.
"This means that these body part samples could also have originated from him. I estimate that the probability of obtaining these profiles, if the tissue tested from the body parts did not originate from Shehzad Tanweer but came from another unrelated person who, by coincidence, has the same profile, is less than 1:1 billion ..."

My Lady, he lists three of the body part samples.
"... and approximately 1:9 million", in respect of the final body part sample:
"These body part tissue samples could not have originated from any of the other individuals for whom reference control samples were analysed. None of the other recovered body part samples that were analysed could have originated from Shehzad Tanweer. In my opinion, the STR profile results provide extremely strong scientific support for the assertion that all of the recovered body part samples listed above originated from Shehzad Tanweer."

This piece of spine alleged to be the remains of Tanweer was examined by pathologist, Mr Nathaniel Cary, and in a statement dated 29 April 2007, again read by Hugo Keith, he claimed:
Statement of MR NATHANIEL CARY read "Recovered body fragment: Operation Theseus URN60021972 (Shehzad TANWEER).
"Date of death: 7 July 2005 ...
"This body part was recovered from the Aldgate scene. This is a fragment consisting of the lower part of the thoracic spine and the upper lumbar spine weighing 1.852 kilograms. There are some signs of decomposition and charring. The specimen is contaminated with glass. It is associated with a piece of cloth.

"Measurements: 30 centimetres longitudinally. "Up to 14 centimetres wide. "Up to 10 centimetres deep.

"There are attached pieces of posterior rib associated with posterior spinal muscles. It consists of part of the sixth thoracic vertebrae, the seventh thoracic to the second lumbar vertebrae in continuity and part of the third thoracic vertebrae ...

"Clinicopathological correlation:
"I have subsequently seen a copy of a form entitled 'Matched body parts'. This relates to scene 1 Aldgate.

Through DNA analysis, this body part, URN 60021972, has been matched to multiple other body parts identified as having come from Shehzad Tanweer.

"The nature of this body part and the extreme level of disruption implied by the nature of the other matched body parts is typical of a deceased person having been either in direct contact or very close to an explosive device.

"The level of exposive disruption associated with this deceased, when compared with other bodies, both from this scene and other scenes of explosions also occurring on July 7, is entirely in keeping with this deceased having been in possession of the explosive device at the time it exploded.

"Cause of death: "A cause of death for this deceased person may be recoded as 1A injuries due to an explosion."

How Tanweer could possibly have been 'in possession" of an explosive device that exploded on the floor of the carriage, and how he managed to virtually disintegrate to the point where no discernible body was identified, only adds to the many questions which existed before the 7 July Inquest resumed.

Questions which this Inquest is failing to answer.

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Saturday, 20 November 2010

J7 7/7 Inquest Blog: The Strange Account of Ross Mallinson

In J7's submission to the 7/7 Inquests, amongst the many questions we posed in relation to the events at Aldgate, we asked:
What train was Mr Mallinson on? Was an announcement made at Aldgate that there had been a bomb on a train?

In the morning session of 25 October Mr Keith questioned a Miss Melanie Jane O'Dell:
Questions by MR KEITH
MR KEITH: Good morning.
A. Good morning.
Q. Could you give the court your full name, please?
A. Melanie Jane O'Dell.
Q. May I ask, is it Miss O'Dell or Mrs O'Dell?
A. Miss."


"Q. Did you take Mr Henning with you, in fact, towards the rear of the train as well?
A. Yes, he wanted me to hold his hand and he wanted me to stay -- he asked me to stay with him.
Q. And so obviously, because he was injured, you did so?
A. Mm, I was concerned there was another passenger called -- whose name was Ross, and I was worried about him, because he wasn't particularly coherent and he was quite quiet, and he was -- he had quite a bad -- what looked to me like a bad head cut.
Q. Presumably, he left the carriage along with the rest of you, did he, or did he stay --
A. Somebody else helped him.
Q. Could you see him being brought out?
A. I didn't see him because he was behind us, but then I saw him -- when I got to Aldgate eventually, I went over to Aldgate bus station and got on a double decker bus, I saw him being helped onto -- into an ambulance.
Q. So you knew he had been removed from the train?
A. Yes."
According to O'Dell's account, Ross Malinson was aboard train 204 along with Michael Henning.

However, Mr Mallinson was one of the people on the list of survivors designated as Properly Interested Persons (PIPs) in the initial hearings to the Inquests, and also one that had received legal aid to be represented. Justice Hallett was later to make her ruling that PIP status for survivors was to be withdrawn and they were not to be represented at the Inquests proper, although they could be called as witnesses during proceedings.

Mr Mallinson is described in the footnotes to those initial hearing transcripts as follows:
80 The following applicants were not in the same carriage as the explosions: Michael Henning, Elizabeth Kenworthy, John Blundell, Joanne Cole, Jacqueline Putnam, Ellaine Young, Angela Ioannou, Susan Maxwell, Lesley Ratcliff, George Roskilly. Further Tim Coulson and Ross Mallinson were not travelling on the same train as the explosion, although Mr. Coulson entered the affected carriage and provided first aid.

O'Dell places Mallinson on Ciricle Line train 204, yet the Inquests' own documentation states quite clearly that Mr Mallinson wasn't on that train at all.

J7 would suggest that the reference to 'her' in the following Inquests transcript is an error as Mr O'Connor was not representing a female client travelling in another train. The only PIP who suffered the injuries described was Ross Mallinson and Mr O'Connor was his legal counsel:
[Mr O'Connor] carriage, and thus drawing a boundary about whether you're in the same carriage or not would be arbitrary and irrational, and indeed, even not in the same train, one of our clients, madam, you will have seen suffered a very serious fractured skull requiring two operations and was actually in a train passing opposite the explosion. Such is the random impact, that it went through windows and injured her desperately seriously.

As can be seen in the Trackernet image in a previous article about the events at Aldgate, there appears to be no train 'passing opposite the explosion' on Circle Line train 204.

In an interview with The Age published in July 2005, it was claimed that Mr Mallinson was travelling on a train in front of Circle Line train 204, travelling between Aldgate station and Tower Hill:
Mr Mallinson was on his way to work as a computer programmer for an insurance company at Tower Hill when Shehzad Tanweer, 22, detonated the bomb on a train between Liverpool and Aldgate stations on the Circle Line. Minutes later, Mr Mallinson's train, also on the Circle Line, began moving again, slowly passing Aldgate station, where an announcer warned passengers that there had been a bomb on a train, probably the one directly behind Mr Mallinson's. His train continued to Tower Hill station, where two police officers carried him to the surface. He gave his mobile phone to a woman next to him and asked her to call his wife, Judy.
This would have huge implications if indeed this account is true. Firstly, the announcement at Aldgate of a 'bomb' whilst all the accounts heard at the Inquests this week have referred only to an 'electrical explosion' or 'power surge' in the first moments after this event and secondly, that the power was indeed on or had been reset after the explosion on train 204. The tracks would have to have been live after the explosion.

Not a word has been heard at the 7/7 Inquests of any other train 'moving' at Aldgate or in the vicinity of Circle Line train 204, apart from a Metropolitan Line train 447 which was going in the opposite direction and had only just begun to leave the station from platform 2 before it stopped suddenly. There has certainly been no mention of the explosion impacting 'through the window of a passing train' onto Mr Mallinson as referenced by his legal counsel, Mr O'Connor.

The driver of Metropolitan Line train 447 was not called to court to give evidence, instead the first of two statements that he made was read by Hugo Keith QC:
[Statement of MR MARK WILLIAMS] read "I then got on to train 447, which again is a Metropolitan Line train which was running on time. As I pulled away, I heard an extremely loud bang. At this point, I was about half a car length out of the station. I immediately stopped and, at the same time, the Underground electrical traction current turned off and the lights in the tunnel turned on. I did not open my doors as I was unsure of exactly what had happened. I then heard shouting from the station staff on the platform and the doors were being opened by two other train operators, Eldridge and Paul Haskins who were manually opening the doors. I could see this train was facing me in the tunnel, as it had just turned the corner. This was a C stock style train. I then went back through one car and got out of the train and joined the two other train operators, Eldridge and Paul Haskins.

Metropolitan Line train 447 appears to have been evacuated within 3 to 4 minutes and well before the evacuation of Circle Line train 204.

At yesterday's hearing, Mr Mallinson was mentioned, not by a witness present to give evidence and answer questions but in a statement read to the court by Hugo Keith QC, from 'rookie' BTP officer, Robert Whyte:
[Statement of Mr Robert Whyte, dated 8/07/05, read] "Myself and PC Hatcher, along with the cycle officer, attempted to break open the door of the next carriage along from the badly damaged carriage. We were not successful in doing this. We then attempted to locate some sort of metal object that could help us in our effort to open the train doors. We could not find anything that could help us. "I then helped a male, who had a very severe head injury, who was holding a piece of bloodstained cloth tightly on the side of his head. The male, who I now know to be Ross Charles Mallison. He was shaking and kept telling me he was very faint. I took the male's small suitcase in one hand and told the male to put his arm around my shoulder for support. I told the male it would be a short walk to the platform where we could get him some medical attention. I kept trying to reassure the male along the entire walk of the track. I walked the male to the exit of the station where I was joined by a firefighter. This firefighter took the male by the other arm for more support. I was informed by this firefighter that they were using double decker buses across the road as the places to sit down injured people. Myself and the firefighter walked the male over to the buses. We sat him down on the first bus. The firefighter then asked if I was okay. I said I was. The fireman then left. I asked the male to sit back down and try to relax and try to take deep breaths. A male sitting behind me then handed me a piece of clean cloth. I replaced the man's cloth he had on his head with this piece of fresh cloth. A paramedic then came over and spoke to the male. He asked how he was feeling. I then asked the male if he was okay and he said 'yes' so I left the male in the hands of the paramedic on the bus.
"At this point, I decided to head back down into the station and try to help anybody else that needed help. Once again, I went into the station, headed downstairs to the left and on to the track. I came across a male and female that needed some help. I believe that they were boyfriend and girlfriend.

How curious that Mr Whyte was able to include the full name of Ross Mallinson apparently on 08/07/05 whereas he doesn't name the 'male and female' to whom he also gave assistance.

Neither is there any mention of the place from which Mr Mallinson was rescued and aided. Nor any mention of him being rescued from a different train to Circle Line train 204. In fact, O'Dell's account places him on the very train that the Inquests' documentation claims he wasn't. It may be worth noting at this stage that Miss O'Dell gave a statement in July 2005 and was asked by Lady Justice Hallett to prepare another statement, over five years later, in August 2010.

The fact remains that the evidence adduced to the Inquest from Mr Whyte & Ms O'Dell differs greatly from the original account of Mr Mallinson's that he gave to The Age in July 2005 and that Mr O'Connor QC submitted to the Inquest.

Mr O'Connor QC had no option to question or challenge these statements on Mr Mallinson's behalf, since survivors such as Mr Mallinson are no longer legally represented at the Inquests.

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Saturday, 13 November 2010

J7 7/7 Inquest Blog: The Curious Case of the Jag That Parked in the Daytime

Two weeks into the 7/7 Inquests and we've heard about the strange lack of CCTV footage of any of the four accused from the day, the even stranger account of the police investigation which led to the car park in Luton before the accused had been identified at King's Cross Thameslink station, the lack of interest in pursuing and interviewing a 'fifth man' and now we have the strange case of a Jaguar at Luton that seems to appear there at the same time as the accused on both 28 June 2005 and 7 July 2005.

Before the Inquests started no CCTV footage had been released showing how three of the accused, Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay, made their journey to Luton Station on 28 June 2005, a journey touted as a dummy run or rehearsal for 7/7.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by J7 asking for precisely these details was refused by the Home Office.

The Official Home Office report into the events of 7/7 (the "narrative") states:
Other aspects of the planning

65. There appears to have been at least one recce visit to London on 28 June by Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay, but not Hussain. They made a similar journey from Luton to King’s Cross early in the morning and travelled on the underground. They are picked up on CCTV near Baker Street tube station later in the morning and returning to Luton at lunch time. Lindsay was later found to have a chart of times taken to travel between stations which he might have written during this recce. Tickets found at 18 Alexandra Grove also suggest visits to London in mid-March.

66. Other things suggest discipline and meticulous planning with good security awareness including careful use of mobile phones and use of hire cars for sensitive activities associated with the planning of the attacks. There are some indications that Khan was worried about being under surveillance during this time.

Source: Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005
At some point in early 2011, the Inquests will hear the evidence regarding how the events of 7 July 2005 were investigated, so it might be worth bearing in mind events that occurred in Luton car park on these two days.

Perhaps the Inquests will also help explain why men so 'worried about being under surveillance' would hang on to their tickets from a journey to London in mid March, and also how these tickets came to be found in 18 Alexandra Grove, the alleged 'bomb factory', a location that apparently wasn't used until June 2005, some three months later.

In his Opening Statement to the Inquests, Mr Hugo Keith QC, felt the need to mention Conspiracy Theories that have arisen around the lack of released CCTV footage and the quality of the footage that had. He continued:
[MR KEITH] Turning to the CCTV which appears to be the object of the substantial bulk of the claims, there is nothing to suggest that, where there is CCTV missing, this reflects anything other than the fact that many CCTV systems do not continuously record.

Where there is CCTV missing, Mr Keith? Such as King's Cross underground station, the McDonalds visited by Hasib Hussain, the number 91 and 30 buses that Hussain is alleged to have boarded, as well as at significant moments in Luton station car park on the morning of 7 July 2005.

Whilst we have no evidence to suggest that there is anything sinister about the coincidental movements of a dark-coloured Jaguar at Luton station on the mornings of both 28 June 2005 - the 'rehearsal' - and 7 July 2005, there is plainly evidence of more than a lack of 'recording continuously'.

What is evident is the editing of the CCTV footage at significant moments, which begs the questions:

What precisely is being cut from this footage, and Why?

Jaguar at Luton station car park from J7 Truth Campaign on Vimeo.

Update: The graphic below shows:
  1. The last frame of CCTV footage before the cut,
  2. The first frame of CCTV footage after the cut,
  3. An animated panel that cycles through images 1 & 2.
Graphic showing the CCTV frames before and after the cut

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

J7 7/7 Inquest Blog: Behind the Scenes of the Aldgate Explosion, at 11 minutes to 9

Originally posted on the J7: 7/7 Inquests Blog: Behind the Scenes of the Aldgate Explosion, at 11 minutes to 9

So we can say with confidence that the explosion at Aldgate occurred at that moment, 08.49.00
J7's submission to the Coroner, detailing questions and anomalies that have arisen regarding this event, can be downloaded here. and our analysis of the events at Aldgate can be viewed on the J7 website here.

Week Two of the 7/7 Inquests has concentrated on the issue outlined in the Provisional List of Factual Issues as:
The explosions and the immediate aftermath
3. Circumstances at each of the four scenes immediately following the explosions
The first scene under scrutiny is Aldgate.

Compared to the first week of the inquests, this second week has been particularly harrowing, hearing the reports about those who died and the stories of others who were severely injured. Tales of humanity and heroism have also emerged, along with inspirational accounts of overcoming horrendous injuries.

Mr Hugo Keith QC, Counsel to the Inquests, opened the proceedings by reading a statement which has not yet been released onto the Inquest website. Reading statements to the Inquests presupposes that none of the information it covers is contentious and the author will not be open to questioning. This following statement was prepared by Mr John Porter, a London Underground power control room manager, written on 26 July 2005, and followed by a supplementary statement dated 29 September 2010:

"When the device on the train between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations exploded, it damaged three power assets, an 11-kilovolt feeder cable number 642", which is the feeder cable to which I made reference in my opening "running along the tunnel wall and its associated pilot cable, pilot number 62, and a signal main cable between Moorgate and Tower Hill which provided the power for the signal supplies between Moorgate and Aldgate. "The danger to the number 642 feeder cable caused the 11-kilovolt electrical feeder to trip at Moorgate substation at 08.48.40. This in turn caused the 22-kilovolt coupling transformers, which supply the Mansell Street distribution network, to trip at 8.49.02. This caused widespread power disruption to a significant area of the London Underground network."

To illustrate the widespread disruption caused by the loss of power at Mansell Street. this image was shown and released as evidence:

We'll let Mr Keith off with the 20 seconds between the "11-kilovolt electrical feeder tripping at Moorgate substation at 08.48.40" to allow him to remain confident of his opening statement, after all, what's 20 seconds in the grand scheme of things? Perhaps he has a pressing need for this first event on 7 July 2005 to have the significance of occurring at 11 minutes to 9?

Keith reiterates the 08.49 timing:
"... and would explain that the times referred to are approximate times recorded by the power control operation in the handwritten logs. The times I have referred to are the actual times extracted from the power system computerised event logs. "In summary, the times recorded by the power control room are 08.49 in respect of Aldgate East, 08.49.43 in respect of Edgware Road and 08.49.52 in respect of King's Cross/Russell Square."
London Underground runs a train monitoring system called Trackernet. TrackerNet is one of London Underground's key operational systems that monitors the whereabouts of every single underground train on the network. The system received a lot of coverage earlier this year when TfL lifted all restrictions on the commercial use of its data and provided access to real-time train information.

Tim O'Toole, the Managing Director of London Underground at the time of the events of 7 July 2005, released a series of Trackernet images at a press conference on July 9th, saying:
"You can see what has happened is the track circuits on all of those other lines, you can see the orange lines indicate that an event has occurred to trip out the power system. And that was almost certainly the blast. And this software allows us to confirm the timings."
Copies of these Trackernet images can be viewed on the J7 website and were included in our Submission to the Coroner. Curiously, the Trackernet images from Aldgate on 7 July 2005 don't appear to have made it into the Inquest bundle of evidence, or at least not yet, although the Trackernet images of Edgware Road have. Over to Hugo:
My Lady, we don't have, in fact, a trackernet image for the eastbound Circle Line train, but in respect of train 216, its last movement was timed at approximately 8.49.46 and we have a trackernet image for that train.

Quite what the Trackernet image for train 216 at Edgware Road has to do with the Provisional List of Factual Issues, 3 and the "Circumstances at Aldgate immediately following the explosions" only Keith knows.

After five years of dedicated and dogged research J7 might hazard a guess that the reason for this could perhaps be that the explosion didn't actually occur at Aldgate at 08.49, despite all Mr Keith's efforts to make it so.

This Trackernet image of the time of the explosion has been annotated by J7 using the Working Time Table for the London Underground, which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Request. The information it contains may well be the reason Mr Keith hasn't shown any Aldgate Trackernet images at the 7/7 Inquest.

Circle Line train 204 has left Liverpool Street and is in the tunnel on its way to Aldgate station. All other trains in this image are also in their correct places, according to the Working Timetable, if the time of this explosion is 08.46.30, the time that train 204 was in transit to Aldgate, not 08.49. Unless all these trains were running late on the London Underground, Circle Line train 204 would have been in transit between Aldgate and Tower Hill at 08.49. Train 204 appears to have been running on time; a FOI Request to TfL, asking for the time that it was at King's Cross received the response of 08.35 - corresponding to the timetable.

The time of 08.46.30 is also confirmed by the only CCTV footage that has been released to date from any of the stations that were affected that morning, showing Liverpool Street station as Circle Line train 204 arrives and leaves, and the moments when smoke billows from the tunnel whilst commuters run back along the platform in reaction to the noise:

As Circle Line 204 was due into Liverpool Street at 08.44 and the CCTV footage is showing a timestamp of 07.44.20, it is likely that this footage is one hour out due to the adjustment for British Summer Time rather than the time being out by the odd figure of 1 hour and 3 minutes claimed by DI Kindness in an exchange with Mr Keith:
A. [DI KINDNESS] This footage will show the frontal view of the 204 train number, Circle Line train pulling into Liverpool Street station, and it's coming towards the camera at the moment.
Q.MR KEITH] Officer, this is Liverpool Street. It stands to reason that the bomb, if it entered the train at King's Cross, is already on that train.
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. As is the bomber.
A. That's correct. This image shows the last -- the first carriage of the train.
Q. The timing in the top left-hand corner, although the CCTV itself shows 07.44, did your researches show that, in fact, the CCTV system itself was one hour and three minutes slow?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. So we mustn't be misled by that timing. The timing of this is, in fact, 08.47 or thereabouts?

Incorporating the adjustment for British Summer Time, Circle Line train 204 leaves Liverpool Street at 08.45.40, and the explosion happens (according to the smoke & passengers running) at 08.46.35. (Note: There are 39 seconds of footage missing). This is exactly the time estimated by J7 for this explosion according to the Trackernet image, evidence which Mr Keith has chosen not to exhibit.

To ensure that even the British Transport Police officer, DI Baker, present at Aldgate on 7 July 2005, has got his timings wrong, and to ensure Mr Keith can maintain his confidence in his and the narrative's timing of 08.49, there is also this exchange during the Inquests:
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Sorry, can we just go back? The time of this second call?
MR KEITH: According to the transcript, my Lady, it's 08.52.40. There has been a certain degree of confusion, I think, in the past as to whether or not that time indicates the beginning or the end of the call. These transcripts have been revised now a number of times to reflect the accurate time of each call. My learned friend Mr Gibbs might be able to assist in relation to whether or not that time indicates the beginning or the end of the call now.
MR GIBBS: It indicates beginning of the call.
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Right, so it indicates that a call is made by Mr Baker at 08.52.40 and a second or two into
MR GIBBS: That's right. Whether that timing is accurate is a matter still of some conjecture, but that is the timing that we have.
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Well, Mr Baker, on the question of timing, given we know what time the explosion occurred, does 08.52.40 seem to be about right for when you made the second call?
A. [DI BAKER] It does. We were there pretty much instantly and trying to ascertain what was going on, so it was merely a few minutes.
MR KEITH: My Lady, if it assists, may I just refer you to the Aldgate time line, which is at INQ10426 [INQ10426-1]? The first entry you may recall from the opening is at 08.47.38, which is a BTP call from London Underground, but we know from the absolute time at which the explosion occurred, which was 08.49.00, that that call, which is taken from the same exhibit, BTP167 must therefore be about one minute and 40 seconds out, and that is our best estimate as to the accuracy of those transcripts.
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: So if that was right then this call is about 08.54?
MR KEITH: Absolutely.

Editing transcripts? Adjusting CCTV timings? Withholding Trackernet images? All to make the 08.49 timing fit? Fixing the evidence to fit predetermined facts? Whatever next?

This is insulting to the bereaved and survivors who deserve the truth, and is not the role of the Inquests which, if it is to fulfill the proper function of an Inquest, should be examining the evidence to uncover the facts, particularly when one fact, based on the available evidence is:
The explosion at Aldgate on Circle Line Train 204 DID NOT occur at 08.49. It occurred between 08.46.30 and 08.47.
After just two weeks into a five month hearing, can anyone have any faith in this Inquest process?

Accounts of power surges and electrocution and whether Shehzad Tanweer was actually sighted on train 204 to follow.

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Sunday, 7 November 2010

J7 7/7 Inquest Blog: Don't Mention The Fifth (or Sixth?) Man

Originally posted on the J7: 7/7 Inquests Blog.

The Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005, published on 11th May 2006 (hereafter known as The Narrative), made it abundantly clear that the public should consider media reports regarding the so-called “fifth man” groundless. It stated:
“There was at the time of the attacks, reports of a “5th bomber”. It was thought, because of witness statements and CCTV, that there was a “5th man” with the group travelling down from Luton. Inquiries showed the individual was a regular commuter and he was eliminated from the inquiry. Also in the period immediately following the attacks, one man was arrested in connection with the investigation but he was released without charge. In subsequent weeks, a further man who had claimed to be the “5th bomber” was also arrested and later charged with wasting police time. There is no intelligence to indicate that there was a fifth or further bombers.”

In the opening week of the 7 July Inquests, we have heard from the witnesses mentioned above who claim to have seen a fifth (and in some cases a sixth) man - and the Home Office Narrative's claim that the man was a “regular commuter” seem odd at best – and misleading at worst.

The witnesses in question include Sylvia Waugh, who believes she saw the men outside the flat in Alexandra Grove, Leeds where it is claimed the bombs allegedly used on July 7th 2005 were manufactured. There is also Susan Clarke, who believes she saw the men in the car park at Luton Station. Joseph Martoccia was the witness whose statement to the police in July 2005 regarding his believed sighting of the men at King's Cross station was mutated by the media into a CCTV image, so successfully, that even a former newspaper editor appeared to believe he had actually seen such an image. Yet, as detailed in this previous post, no such image ever existed. This however hasn't stopped it being described as "iconic" and even the Press Complaints Commission agreed that an image that doesn't exist and hasn't been seen by anyone is still perfectly entitled to be described as an "iconic image".

Sylvia Waugh, who says she saw the men in the early morning of 7 July 2005 in Leeds, gave four witness statements to the police. Under oath at the Inquest, Mrs Waugh claimed that she regularly saw at least 6 people entering and leaving 18 Alexandra Grove. Significantly, Mrs. Waugh states that she finds it difficult to discern differences between 'coloured people'. Indeed, after stating on four occasions during her testimony that Jermaine Lindsay, who was, according to mobile phone evidence and the official 'narrative', some 160 miles away at the time, this difficulty does seem to be the case. However, despite this, it seems reasonable to assume that Mrs. Waugh is able to count:
Q. You remember a white car. Might that have been car B that you put on the map for the police?
A. It could have been.
Q. What about the other car, what colour was the other car?
A. Like a bluey colour.
Q. There were a group of men. Can you help us as to how
many you think you saw?
A. At least six.

A few moments later, Mrs. Waugh is reminded that she told police she had seen four men getting into what seems to be the Nissan Micra in which Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain travelled to Luton from Leeds. She recalls seeing six men in total, and two cars. The other car, according to Hugo Keith, counsel to the inquest, has never been traced. Mrs. Waugh's testimony is very confused; on more than one occasion she denies what she had said in her police statements and at one point she denies something she was recorded as saying several minutes previously whilst under oath. However, her claim to have seen four men getting in the Micra, and six men in total, is interesting when compared to the statement Susan Clarke gave to the police in July 2005, which was read out in part whilst she was questioned under oath during the inquests:
Q. [Mr Patterson] "One car had one or two males in it. The other, a lilac-coloured Nissan, had four males leaving it, all carrying rucksacks. When asked, she described all the males as not white."
A. [Susan Clarke] He then goes on to say that you handed him the piece of paper that you've told us about.
Q. So pausing there, is that an accurate note of what you told the officer on that Tuesday?
A. As far as I remember, yes.
Q. So although today you've told us that you thought that it was four, possibly five, men associated with those two cars, within days of the incident, the very first time you spoke to the police you were saying that it was two men from one of the cars, four men from the other car, all carrying rucksacks?
A. Yes.

Joseph Martoccia, a commuter who believes he saw the accused at King's Cross mainline station on the morning of 7th July 2005, also said he saw six men:
Q. Have you marked X as the spot where you came across a group of men?
A. Correct.
Q. Do you recall how many there were?
A. Yes. At the time, I said between four and six.
I wasn't entirely certain of the number.

Mr. Martoccia goes on, however, to say that the men caught his attention because they were in a huddle. It was this behaviour that led him to initially deduce they were probably a sports team.

Interestingly, although Mr. Martoccia contacted the police the following day, he was not asked to identify the men from photographs until almost a year later, a somewhat odd approach in what was termed by Sir Ian Blair as "the largest criminal inquiry in English history". When shown a picture of Jermaine Linsday during his testimony to the Inquests, Martoccia stated that he did not remember seeing him. Moreover, Martoccia said that the man he saw heading towards the Piccadilly line – who, one would presume on the basis of the official 'narrative', would be most likely to be Lindsay, who stands accused of causing the explosion on the Piccadilly line train – was instead Hasib Hussain; the man accused of being responsible for the number 30 bus incident.

Detective Inspector Kindness of Scotland Yard's Counter-terrorism Command gave an intriguing response when specifically questioned by Mr. Gareth Patterson, representing four bereaved families, over the number of men witnessed:
Q. You're probably aware, Inspector, of why I'm asking you these questions. Presumably you were told that there's a witness, Susan Clarke, who told the police quite early on that there may have been more than four people in and around those two cars. Were you aware of that? Did you look for the number of people around those cars?
A. Yes, at the time, when we were viewing the CCTV, we were comfortable with the amount of people that were there and that we'd managed to track them to the position where we got decent CCTV images that we could say, yes, there are that number of people.

Shortly after this, Mr. Patterson is interrupted by Hugo Keith QC, who expresses concern over his questions “because they do appear to me to be designed to leave the impression that either there was another person at large or that in some way the investigation has been inadequate or has not properly pursued leads available at the time.” After further admonishment by both Mr. Keith and Lady Justice Hallet, Mr. Patterson is able to continue:
MR PATTERSON: If we pause it now, perhaps. Can we see four figures walking off, Inspector?
A. Yes, we can, yes.
Q. Is there a figure who hovers and lingers between the two cars for a period of time?
A. Yes, there is a person there, yes. I think that's the person that exited that vehicle that just arrived.
Q. Was that something that was investigated and looked into to see where that additional fifth person --
A. The individuals around the car were -- their movements were assessed, yes.
Q. Is that something that you dealt with or that somebody else dealt with?
A. I didn't personally follow this individual away, no.

Later that same session, Ms. Caoilfhionn Gallagher, representing five bereaved families, continues a similar line of questioning:
Q. You said in your evidence earlier: "At the time of viewing the CCTV, we were comfortable with the amount of people that were there." That's for your reference, my Lady, page 180 of the
transcript today, lines 10 to 14. That was referring to that footage of Luton rail station that we've referred to earlier. Can you just go to page 2 of this document, Inspector?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you see the entry at 7.19 about halfway down the page? This is an entry by DC Stephen Bain who was viewing it on 10 or 11 July. Can you see at the end of that entry at 7.19, after he describes four persons at the rear of the vehicle, he says: "Fifth person remains at vehicle, movement between both, fifth person towards Luton station, distant view." Then a little further down the page, 7.23: "Fifth male through ground level barriers from car park", and there's continued references to the fifth male there, so two more entries at 7.23. So did you discuss with DC Stephen Bain the fact that, on viewing the footage, he had originally thought there were five males at the car?
A. I think the footage that you are referring to is what we have just played on the screen. What he has sighted is the fifth man and what he has done, quite rightly, ishe's tracked the movements from small image to Luton where you can get the big image and you can identify the person and the relationship with the other four. So for me, yes, we did discuss it at the time, definitely, because we needed to identify -- when I say that we were happy with four, by the time they got to the station, there was a group of four that we felt were -- we were comfortable that those were the four that were going to be engaged -- that were engaged in the activity. So it's right that he's identified it, because we've
seen when we've viewed it that there is a fifth person that arrives. The officer has noted it in his log and he's tracked him to the station.
Q. But you were satisfied at that time, and you discussed with DC Stephen Bain that, in fact, the fifth person was unconnected to those four males, or is that a view
you've come to subsequently?
A.I can't recall if we discussed it in those terms, but we were certainly looking at the movements around the vehicle and identifying fully how many people of relevance to us were there and, certainly, others who were sighted we were looking to eliminate in terms of movements with the four bombers.

In his opening statement to the inquest, Hugo Keith QC confirmed that a rucksack containing “four further improvised explosive devices” was found in the Nissan Micra, plus eight other devices. Why were devices put into a rucksack if not to be carried by somebody? This question, and the question as to why all three witnesses who claim to have seen the men at various stages en-route to London numbering between four and six men each time, it appears, are not of concern to the counsel to the inquest. Indeed, both Hugo Keith QC and Lady Justice Hallet's attitude to Mr. Patterson's questioning regarding the matter, gave the sense that suggesting that any more than the four men were involved is a subject completely untouchable by the inquest.

The Narrative claimed in 2006 that “there is no evidence of a fifth bomber”. In fact, as shown by the evidence given under oath to the Inquests, there is "evidence of a fifth bomber". But, much like “the war” in Basil Fawlty's hotel, nobody is allowed to mention it.

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