The July bombings in London 2005 are the worst peacetime attacks on British soil. Dozens died and scores were injured. But the inquest into the attack has heard there was no evidence that any organisational or individual failings contributed to the deaths.
The role of the inquest is simply to establish a cause of death. The families of the victims have called for a separate public inquiry to be held to establish whether the police and the domestic security service MI5 could have prevented the bombings.
Graham Foulkes’ son David died at Edgware Road:
“I’d like to see the people of the intelligence community who lied, who deceived me, who told me that they didn’t know anything about the bombers when we now know that they had a full surveillance team in place. Why did thy lie to me? Why did they come to my house and tell me they couldn’t prevent it?”
Mohammed Siddique Khan was the ringleader of the four suicide bombers. He was under MI5 surveillance but was mistakenly considered low risk and the case was not treated as a priority target due also to a lack of resources.
The inquiry heard that, given unlimited time and resources, it would have been possible to identify Siddique Khan’s fellow bombers. But MI5 did not have these.
However, the hearing recommends that MI5 tighten its definition of a high risk individual and also its procedures for showing photographs to informants.
An al-Qaeda supergrass had met Siddique Khan but was not shown a photograph of him – and so he slipped through the net.
The inquiry has also recommended that communications between the emergency services and the London Underground be improved. It is also suggested ambulance personnel are given more training to deal with incidents involving multiple victims.