Bus bomber stopped for a Big Mac before killing started

Hussain also made a number of telephone calls, at least one of which was to one of his fellow bombers, before carrying out his attack on the bus which exploded in Tavistock Square in central London. There were reports last night he may also have spoken to the other two bombers.

The final minutes of the 18-year-old from Holbeck in Leeds are believed to have been captured by a CCTV camera as he entered the fast food outlet after coming out of King's Cross station. Detectives have been attempting to piece together Hussain's "missing hour" between the moment he split up from his fellow bombers at King's Cross and got on the bus. The bus bomb exploded almost an hour after the three Tube bombs.

In particular they have been trying to ascertain whether Hussain may have met up with any "fixers" who helped in the multiple bombings which led to the deaths of 52 people.

There appears to be no evidence Hussain met anyone else during his visit to McDonald's and it is, as yet, unclear which route he took to his target.

However, investigators have ruled out the theory that he was forced to change his plan of action because part of the underground line was closed.

It has been claimed that his original plan to board a northbound Northern line train at King's Cross was thwarted after the line was suspended.

However, the particular section was, in fact, open and he could also have used alternative northbound Tube routes from the same station had that not been the case.

Hussain boarded the bus carrying 80 passengers, many of them evacuated from the Tube, at Tavistock Square and detonated his device at 9.47am - 57 minutes after the three other suicide bombers.

All four bombs were triggered by the bombers pressing a button and not through mobile telephones. The disclosure contradicted theories that the four may have been duped into becoming suicide bombers.

Scotland Yard has spent seven weeks looking at hours of CCTV footage, telephone records and witness statements.

As The Independent revealed almost two weeks ago they now confirm that the bombers were not being guided by a so-called mastermind and were not part of a larger organised group.

There appears to be no evidence, as yet, that people came into the country from abroad to help with the planning or execution of the attacks.

Police sources also confirmed that there did not appear to be any links between the July 7 and July 21 bombing teams. Instead it appears the second set were carrying out a "copycat" attack - contradicting the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, who said there may be links.

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