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London to Remember Victims of July 7 Bombing


London is preparing to commemorate the Muslim terrorist attacks of July 7 last year, which killed 52 passengers and four suicide bombers on the city's public transportation system.

Several commemorative events are planned, including the laying of flowers and unveiling of memorial plaques at the locations where the suicide bombers carried out their attacks.

There are also private memorial services scheduled for the families of those who died, and for the hundreds who were injured.

A year after the attacks, London transport officials say public confidence in the system remains the key to security.

Tim O'Toole is the managing director of Transport for London, which supervises the subway and bus network.

"Our greatest concern is just the confidence of our passengers," O'Toole says. "We need them to work with us ensure the smooth running of the enterprise, because the fact of the matter is we run an open system. There isn't any security procedure we can put in place to try to screen everyone who comes onto the network."

Transport for London says passengers have safely made more than one billion subway trips and two billion bus journeys since the bombings. O'Toole says the subway is safer than the capital's ring road.

"The fact remains that it is still the safest way to get around London," O'Toole says. "And while this is a horrific, awful incident that we went through, it's still you are much safer riding my trains than you are riding the M-25 (ring road)."

O'Toole says London public transport passengers have learned to make travel decisions based on risk and not fear.

"Fear controls people shortly after an incident like this, but eventually they realize and they start to make judgments based on risk," O'Toole says. "Within three months, the people were back and, now, we are actually at growth rates above the time of the bombs."

The anniversary of the bombings, which were carried out by four British Muslim men, coincides with evidence of rising mistrust inside Britain's Muslim community against the police and the political establishment.

A poll published in the Guardian newspaper this week, finds that more than half of British Muslims believe London police chief Ian Blair should resign after a major anti-terrorism raid last month failed to produce evidence that a new attack is planned.

And, although most British Muslims say they condemn last year's attacks, a poll published in the London Times this week indicates more than one-in-10 of those surveyed consider the bombers to be "martyrs."

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