The Ever-Changing Story of 7/7
Immediately after July 7 it was prominently reported that the explosions "bore all the hallmarks" of the use of a type of high-grade military explosive whose presence would indicate a sophisticated international dimension to the bombings. We were alerted to a likely al-Qaeda link. Then the news went silent. Then it was announced that tests showed the explosive to be of a home-made (or home-makeable) kind that al-Qaeda were known to know about from the internet. Then that story, too, seemed to fizzle out.What was going on here? Parris comments, "I have seen no explanation of how the initial assessment of the type of explosive could have been the reverse of the truth, and no acknowledgement of error from those who made it. Nor has the al-Qaeda/internet angle been followed up." He goes on to list yet more of these stories that we have all heard, about who and what was behind the attacks, that are quickly found to be incorrect, yet no explanation is given for the error:
- Immediately after the first bombing, a report was splashed that two people had been arrested trying to leave Heathrow. The later report that they had been released without charge appeared as little more than a footnote.
- A few days after that, much was made of the arrest in Egypt of a British Muslim whom the less-scrupulous news reports called a "chemist" (he is a biochemist). There was talk of British agents attending (or joining) his interrogation in Cairo. A statement from the Egyptian authorities denying that they had linked him to the bombing or that he was on their list of al-Qaeda suspects, did receive momentary attention -- and then the story seemed to die. I do not know what has happened to it, or him.
- Then there were some big headlines about an alleged "al-Qaeda operative" who had "slipped" into Britain, and slipped out -- just before the bombings. But it transpired that he was low on our counter-terrorist services' lists of security threats -- and that story, too, has disappeared.
- Then there was an arrest in Pakistan of an alleged "al-Qaeda mastermind", about which reports have become increasingly confused, dropping from their early position as leading news items. I do not know where we are now on these reports. If I understood them correctly, what helped to trace this mastermind were records of calls made to him by all, or some, of the four July 7 bombers from their mobile phones.
Herein lies a crucial question, though. As Matthew Parris asks, "why did the bombers not take the elementary precaution of phoning the mastermind from a telephone box? Just how master was this mind? Is it not a curious way of operating a terrorist network, if the terrorists are to call their mastermind on their mobile phones, then take the phones with them on their bombing spree?" One might wonder whether these supposed "bombers" really were members of a terrorist network. Could it be that they were somehow being set up to leave a trail of evidence that, in retrospect, would make it appear as if they had been members of such a network?
What is also noticeable is that "[e]ach report, when first we read it, accentuated the impression that we face a formidable, capable, extensive and well-organised terrorist movement, with important links abroad, and that is almost certainly being masterminded from abroad." Then the report turns out to be untrue, and is quickly and discreetly forgotten.
Is it just me, or does anybody else feel that we are being subjected to a propaganda operation ... and a cover-up?