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
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links