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London Bombing Fatalities at 49, Investigation Continues

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The death toll from Thursday’s bombing in London now stands at 49 and the total is expected to get higher. Seven hundred people were injured in the quadruple explosions that hit three subway cars and a double-decker bus during morning rush hour. A massive investigation is underway to identify who was behind the attack. [includes rush transcript]

The death toll from Thursday’s bombing in London now stands at 49 and the total is expected to get higher. Seven hundred people were injured in the quadruple explosions that hit three subway cars and a double-decker bus during morning rush hour. British police said all visible bodies had been removed from the blast sites although rescue workers are continuing to search.

Officials have only just begun identifying victims of the attacks–the deadliest in London since the Second World War. Many of the victims were so badly injured that formal identification may take some time. A two-minute silence will be held at noon on Thursday to remember the victims.

Meanwhile, a massive investigation is underway to identify who was behind the attack. Police have urged the public to e-mail photographs and video footage taken with digital cameras or mobile phones at the bomb sites. The Guardian newspaper is reporting that British Home Secretary Charles Clarke will make a fresh push to compel internet and phone companies to retain their records of traffic on millions of private emails, text messages and mobile phone calls for up to three years.

Clarke is expected to propose further anti-terrorism measures at a meeting with his European counterparts this week. The new legislation would include the creation of a conspiracy offence of "acts preparatory to terrorism."

On Saturday, investigators revealed that the three subway bombing were virtually simultaneous, going off within 50 seconds of each other. Specialists from 30 countries are assisting the London police in their investigation. Meanwhile, Britain’s security alert has reportedly been raised to its highest level — "severe specific" alert.

  • Omar Waraich, independent journalist and student, speaking from London

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We go now to London to speak with Omar Waraich, an independent journalist and student. We first reached him right after the attacks on Thursday. Well, it’s now some five days later. Omar, welcome to Democracy Now! once again. Omar, are you with us?

OMAR WARAICH: Hello, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Can you talk about the latest news out of London, the investigation, and also what is taking place in the community, particularly the Muslim community of London? Omar?

OMAR WARAICH: Well, Amy, yesterday in — over the weekend, sorry, [inaudible] got together and issued a joint condemnation of the attacks [inaudible] unequivocally condemned the atrocities and have been braced for possible retaliation attacks. Now, It’s been reported that four mosques in the north of London have been subject to arson attacks, along with two in East London, and certain people have said that their homes were also attacked in the [inaudible].

AMY GOODMAN: Omar, we’re having a little trouble understanding what you have said. If you could just repeat — it’s just a bad line to your cell phone. Again, we’re talking to Omar Waraich, who is a independent journalist and a student in London. One more time. We’ll give it a try. Go ahead, Omar.

OMAR WARAICH: Amy, over the weekend various [inaudible] leaders got together and issued a joint condemnation of these attacks. All Muslim groups [inaudible] have unequivocally condemned the attacks. They have also been braced for possible retaliation attacks taking place in their communities. Police have reported that four mosques in the north of the country were subject to arson attacks, two in East London, and also a number of individuals have said that their homes [inaudible] were subject to similar incidents.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Omar, we’re going to leave it there, because we’re having trouble understanding you. Omar Waraich, speaking to us from London. But we’ll continue to cover this subject in these next few days.

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