Four young British Muslims are suspected of carrying out suicide bombings in London last week – the first ever attack of its kind in western Europe.
After raiding several homes in the northern English city of Leeds on Tuesdaydetectives have identified the suspects who are all of Pakistani origin.
The men were aged between 19 and 30. One loved cricket and helped out at his father’s fish and chip shop. Another told his family he was going to London “with his mates”. The third was married with a small child. The fourth is yet to be named.
Much of the investigation is expected to focus on West Yorkshire, a northern region with a large Muslim population.
The group is believed to have driven a rental car to Luton, some 50 kilometres north of the capital.
After driving to Luton, the group took a train to King’s Cross from where they split up.
At least nine controlled explosions have been carried out on the vehicle after a so-called “volatile substance” was discovered.
Police are now trying to work out if the group were inspired by a master bomber who may still be at large.
Across the country, the shock and horror at the bombing have been amplified by reports that the suspects were British-born.
Accustomed in recent decades to attacks by the nationalist Irish Republican Army, Britain appears to have crossed a new deadly threshold.