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Web Post Warned of London Bomb June 30, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News.
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Related post Jihadists DIY on the Web

A message threatening London with bombing was posted on an Islamist Web site hours before a Mercedes loaded with explosives was left outside a nightclub in London’s Haymarket.

CBS News discovered the post, warning “London shall be bombed,” in the “al Hesbah” chat room. The post, almost 300 words long, was left by a regular contributor who uses the name Abu Osama al-Hazeen.

CBS quoted the message as saying: “In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful. Is Britain longing for Al Qaeda’s bombings? Today, I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”

The message attacked Britain for granting a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, author of the Satanic Verses. CBS was unable to independently confirm any link between the posting and the discovery of the car bomb. The comment was posted, according to the time stamp, at 08:09 am British time on June 28 – about 17 hours before the bomb was found early June 29.

Forum members expressed hope an attack against London would be realized in the near future. In response, al-Hazeen urges patience, saying, “Victory is very close, but you are just rushing it.” The Al-Hesbah site is one of the most widely used Jihadist Internet forums. It features material from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit, said no intelligence warnings been picked up before the first car bomb was discovered by an ambulance crew. London police could not confirm whether investigators were aware of the posting. The attempted bombing came one week before the second anniversary of the July 7 bombings that killed 52 people on London’s transportation network.

Since then, Britain has wrestled over how to deal with the threat of “homegrown” terrorism. Young men from its large Muslim population are easy prey for radical propaganda on Internet forums such as al Hesbah. In addition to messages calling for jihad in Britain, video demonstrations of how to make bombs using gas canisters are readily available on the forums.

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