From Leeds to London via Luton: the deadly mission of a suicide squad

The station surveillance cameras would later show the four friends chatting away as they strolled down the concourse towards the Underground. "They looked as if they were off on a walking holiday," a senior security source said yesterday.

But the four men were not discussing their holiday; they were about to carry out the first suicide attacks in Britain that would bring terror to London and kill more than 50 people.

The carnage that paralysed the capital last Thursday was not the work of a foreign terror cell, it was revealed yesterday, it was carried out by four friends from Yorkshire.

Earlier that morning the four British men of Pakistani origin had met at Luton train station. Their rucksacks packed with explosives, they boarded the 7.48am Thameslink train and arrived at King's Cross in north London at 8.20am.

As planned the four split at King's Cross tube station, each going their separate ways with their weighty rucksacks.

The friends, three aged 30, 23 and 19, had travelled from Leeds, West Yorkshire, that morning having picked up the mobile bombs, probably from a house in the Burley district of Leeds. The gang is thought to have driven down in two or three hire cars.

The 30-year-old got on to the Circle line train and headed west, travelling four stops to Edgware Road station. At 8.50am - the agreed time for the attack, just as the train was pulling out of the station he detonated the bomb. Seven people died in the blast and more than 100 were wounded, at least 10 seriously.

At the same time the 23-year-old - believed to be Shahzad Tanweer - who had travelled in the opposite direction on the Circle line, was between Liverpool Street and Aldgate when he set off the high-explosive bomb, killing at least seven people.

The third synchronised explosion was to be the most deadly. The suicide bomber travelled south on the Piccadilly line and had travelled several seconds out of King's Cross station on his way to Russell Square when he detonated his device. This explosion - in the narrow confines of a deep-lying tunnel - caused the greatest injuries with more than 21 killed. The terrorist is thought to be among the dead, although the police have yet to identify him among the mass of body parts to be recovered from the scene.

The youngest of the group, Hasib Hussain, 19 is thought to have planned to head north, but the Northern line was closed so he headed to the street above King's Cross and caught a No 30 double-decker bus. It was nearly an hour later, at 9.47am that he set off his bomb in Tavistock Square, killing at least 13 people.

The first the police became aware of any of the killers was when Hussain's parents contacted the Scotland Yard emergency helpline at about 10pm on Thursday to report that their son had been travelling to London with three friends and had not been heard of since.

The parents were allocated a police family liaison team amid fears that their son was a victim of the terrorists.

Two of the terrorists were from Leeds, the other two came from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

The police began to suspect that they may be dealing with a suicide bomber because the bus bomb had been an hour after the others - which at the time were thought most likely to be on timers. They were all set off within 50 seconds of one another.

But the breakthrough came at about 8pm on Monday night when the police, trawling through hundreds of hours of video recovered from 2,500 surveillance cameras, found a picture of the 19-year-old at King's Cross, with three other men all carrying large ex-Army-style rucksacks.

The police traced each of the suspects via documents they left at the crime scenes, including credit cards. They were later able to find the body parts of three of the terrorists, but the man travelling on the Piccadilly Line has still not been identified.

With the discovery Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch organised early morning raids, hoping to catch other gang members and to recover explosives.

At 7.05am yesterday, police raided an address at Thornton Park Avenue, in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, where retired and recently widowed former high school teacher Farida Patel lives.

Within an hour or so, police raided an address at Lees Holm, council houses a five-minute drive away, where Mrs Patel's daughter Hasina, 23, has been living since January with her husband Rashid Facha - in his late 20s and of Pakistani extraction - and their eight-month-old daughter. Police arrived at the house at 8.15am and Mrs Facha was led away in her veil. A neighbour said Mr Facha had been missing since last Thursday.

In Beeston, 10 miles away, two hire car workers arrived soon after 9am in search of a Nissan Micra car which had been hired from the First 24 Hour company in the city's Headingley district the Friday before last. It hadn't been returned. They found the street they needed - Colwyn Road - taped off by police, who had been there since 6.30am, and were questioned about the car.

Neighbours said a resident of the house under investigation - Shazad Tanweer, 23, had also been missing - since last Friday. His father did not appear yesterday at the fish and chip shop he runs. His son was said by friends to have been university educated and a keen cricketer.

Special branch officers and police also taped off the road in front of a house in Stratford Street in Beeston. The occasional residents here in recent years have been Naveed Fiaz, in his mid-20s, who still lives in the district with his English wife, Tracey, and their three children and his brother Eliaz (known as 'Jacksy').

Brought up in the house for 15 years by Mohammed Fiaz and Hamida Begum, both men have only been seen there occasionally in recent years. Eliaz, 30, visited every two months or so.

Another house raided was in Colonso Mount, in the Holbeck area, where Hasib Hussain, 19, and his older brother were raised by their parents Mahmood and Maniza. Hussain has had a troubled adolescence. Locals said his parents tried to discipline him but he became devoutly religious about 18 months ago. He is believed to have gone to London last week and has not been seen since.

Police searched the houses for "explosives and other bits and pieces" according to one senior officer. At the house on Thornton Park Avenue, a silver Ford Escort and a Honda were removed.

The most dramatic events of the day unfolded in the Hyde Park Road area of Burley, where a convoy of police vehicles arrived at around 11.30am and 500 houses were evacuated as police carried out a series of controlled explosions. Police discovered what a senior source said was a bomb factory, that included high explosives thought to have been used in the suicide attacks.

There was worry for individuals locals believed were living ordinary lives. Azzy Mohammed, 21, a friend of Tanweer, said: "He's one the best lads I've ever met. He was just a guy I liked to play cricket with."

At 5pm, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch, told a press conference that Britain had been the victim of suicide bombers for the first time.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing