Blasts rock London subway, underground closed
Several blasts rocked London this morning. Via AP:
"LONDON -- Half a dozen explosions rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, police said. At least two people were killed and nine injured in the nearly simultaneous blasts, and officials shut down the entire underground transport network.
The explosions came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as the G-8 summit was getting under way in Scotland. Initial reports blamed a power surge for the subway explosions, but officials were not ruling out an attack.
"There have been a number of dreadful incidents across London today," said Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Britain's top law enforcement officer. He said there were "terrible injuries."
A senior Israeli official said Scotland Yard told Israel minutes before the explosions that it had received warnings of possible terror attacks. Italy's European commissioner, Franco Frattini, called the explosions a terrorist strike, the Apcom and ANSA news agencies reported."
Some of my sources feel that although Al Qaeda involvement is suspected, more than one group may be involved. Important to note that in addition to the G8 Summit, there was also an Economic meeting taking place in London today;
"The summit was organized by the Commission for Africa and the Commonwealth Business Council, and co-sponsored by NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development). Among the participants at the conference have been President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel of South Africa, and Britain's International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, as well as business leaders from Africa and the G8 nations." Business Leaders Meet On Poverty in London
I'll keep you updated throughout the day.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin, "letter purported to be from an Al Qaeda group" It reads:
"In the statement, the Organisation of Al Qaeda Jihad in Europe claimed responsibility and threatened further attacks in Italy, Denmark and other countries with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Heroic mujahedeens carried out a sacred attack in London, and here is Britain burning in fear, terror, and fright in the north, south, east and west," a statement said posted on the Internet, which could not be authenticated.
The group said the attacks were "in response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan".
"We have repeatedly warned the government and people of Britain, and we have now fulfilled our promise and have carried out a sacred military attack in Britain," it said.
"We continue to warn the governments of Denmark, Italy and all the Crusaders that they will meet the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan." (end)
Aside from injuries and tragic loss of life, the impact on the "tube system" in London is immense.
CNN Timeline of attack.
Interesting to note that original reports told us that Scotland Yard had warned the Israeli Embassy in advance of the attacks - which Israel is now denying.
UPDATE: Now confirmed that Israeli's not warned until "after" the attack began.
However: "Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead, government officials said." (more).
This is why I cannot rule out that more than one group may be involved.
Powerlingblog: Via John: "My brother the Rocket Prof and his family are in London now. No word from them yet."
Let's hope all is well.
Josh Trevino is blogging the events from Edinburgh. (hat tip: Powerline)
Guardian UK with more details.