As the first funeral for a victim of the London bombings took place, the death toll, including the four bombers, rose to 55. Bank employee Shahara Islam, who was killed on the number 30 bus, was buried in a private ceremony on Friday. She was 20 years old. With the search for people who planned the attacks now taking in Egypt and Pakistan, Britain’s police chief says he expects a clear link to al-Qaeda to eventually emerge.
But Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeated that the terrorist network represents a perversion of Islam: “What we are confronting here is an evil ideology….it is not a clash of civilisations- all civilised people, Muslim or other, feel revulsion at it. But it is a global struggle.”
Police in Cairo have been questioning an Egyptian biochemist, Magdy El-Nashar, about the attacks. Egypt’s Interior Minister says the 33-year-old is not a member of al-Qaeda and insists the media have drawn hasty conclusions.
El-Nashar was a researcher at Leeds University in northern England.He has told investigators that when he left Britain for Egypt just before the attacks, it was on holiday, and he left all his belongings behind.
He had rented a house in Leeds, the city from where three of the July 7 bombers came.
Three of them were young Britons of Pakistani background, while the fourth was a Jamaican-born Briton.
Police have reportedly recovered explosives in Leeds properties similar to those used in previous al-Qaeda attacks.