July 19, 2005 The evil that lives in our midst - the faces
of the London suicide bombers by Gulliver
Pictured are the four suicide bombers responsible for the
bombing of three underground trains and a bus in London.
The chilling image captured on CCTV shows them carrying their
lethal rucksacks into Luton railway station on their murderous
journey to kill 56 people and injure over 700.
For all the world they look like another group of friends
setting off on an innocent day's outing, But they were a terror
gang on a mission of murder in the country they were born,
educated and grew up in.
They are the evil that now lives amongst us - young men filled
so full of hate for the country of their birth, they are prepared
to kill themselves and kill others in pursuit of a twisted
This terrifying new face of Islamic fundamentalism has sent
shockwaves around the world. It has raised many questions
and issues that need examining and addressing.
No country or society is safe from these desperate fanatics,
from the people who recruit and train them, from the teachers
who turn them into lethal weapons of hatred. We are all vulnerable.
We are all targets.
Three of the bombers were ethnic Pakistani Britons. The oldest
was Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, who was married with one daughter.
He was a teaching assistant at the Hillside Primary School
in Leeds. He was accompanied by two other Leeds-born killers
Hasib Hussain, 18, and sports science graduate Shehzad Tanweer,
Germaine Lindsay, 19, who lived in Buckinghamshire and was
born in Jamaica, made up the fourth member of the terror quartet.
Born, growing up and educated in one of the most tolerant
and free societies on earth, the four practised their gospel
of hate by the slaughter of that society's innocents. They
chose the softest of soft targets, vulnerable train and bus
commuters, for Britain's first ever suicide bombings.
It has been suggested that countries and societies need to
look at new measures and approaches to defeat this new evil
in our midst. This is certain to include tough legal sanctions
against the "preachers of hate" who in some instances
are allowed preach their ideology of hate and violence with
Egyptian "theologian of terror" preacher Sheik Yusuf
al-Qaradawi was amazingly allowed to visit London last year
following an invitation by the Mayor Ken Livingstone.
A supporter of suicide bombings he announced on that occasion
that Allah give "the weak what the strong do not possess
and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs."
As well as a travel ban on these hate preachers, what is certain
to be looked at in the war against the Islamic extremist terrorists
is improving intelligence, tightening security, and a higher
degree of co-operation between countries.
Islam itself has enormous challenges to meet - like facing
the dark demons of fundamentalism. British Prime Minister
Tony Blair called for the mobilising of the "moderate
and true voice of Islam."
Blair spoke of "an extreme and evil ideology whose roots
lie in a perverted and poisonous misinterpretation of the
religion of Islam." The British Premier said this evil
within the Muslim community could only be taken on and defeated
by the community itself.