News / Europe

    London Marks 5th Anniversary of Terror Attacks

    On July 7 five years ago, suicide bombers attacked London's transport network, killing 52 people.  The Muslim bombers did not come from overseas, but were born and raised in Britain.  The attacks marked a turning point in how British society perceived the threat of terrorism.  The impact of the bombings would also prove to be a huge challenge for the country's large Muslim population.  

    At exactly 9:47 Wednesday morning, in London's leafy Tavistock Square, relatives and friends of the victims of the 7/7 bombings gathered to remember and reflect.  At a distance, passers-by stopped to watch and pay their respects.

    It was here that five years ago, Hasib Hussain detonated a bomb on the number 30 bus, killing 13 people and wounding dozens more.

    It was the final of a series of four explosions that day that ripped through London's transport system.  In total, 52 people were killed.

    Britain had long-feared a suicide attack by Islamic extremists, but unlike the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001,  the London bombers were not foreigners, but were born and raised in Britain.

    M.J. Gohel of the security research group the Asia-Pacific Foundation describes the impact 7/7 had on the British authorities.

    "It was never really expected that anyone born in the U.K. would turn against their own country, their own community; and it came as quite a major shock," Gohel said. "Here was a completely new kind of enemy and all those hurdles were there - race, religion, language, culture. They had to learn very quickly, and it meant that just sealing borders was no longer enough.  An entirely new strategy would be required."

    It was not only the security services that would have to turn their attention away from foreign dangers to delve deep into British society.  The Muslim community here has been thrust into the limelight like never before.

    Hadiya Masieh clearly remembers the hostile atmosphere after 7/7.  She was a student at the time; she now works for the Three Faiths Forum, campaigning against extremism at universities across the U.K.

    "I believe that there was a wake-up call within the Muslim community, the majority of them not realizing that there was a very small minority of people who felt aggrieved by foreign policy issues," she said.

    The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has paid tribute to the local authorities who he said 'worked hard to keep the capital moving and its communities united in grief, not in mutual hatred or suspicion.'  But five years on, race relations are still tense in parts of the U.K.  In recent years, far right political groups have made progress in local elections.

    And the government says the danger of another terrorist attack is high; earlier this year it raised the threat level to 'severe'.

    M.J. Gohel of the Asia Pacific Foundation says the security services have to keep adapting.

    "There have been a number of other plots, the London and Glasgow bombing, the ammonium nitrate plot, the transatlantic bomb plot," Gohel said. "The terrorists are always finding new ways of launching an attack, and therefore the security services have to try to stay one step ahead."

    London has moved on from 7/7.  The tangible fear that pervaded London's transport system after the attacks has passed.

    But the security services stress that the danger of another attack remains high, and that so-called homegrown terrorists, born and raised in Britain, are still plotting attacks on their own people.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora