The young Asian man who enters the Woodall service station shop on the M1 in the early hours of 7 July 2005 betrays no inkling of his unthinkable intentions.
Casually dressed in sports clothes and a black jacket, he strolls to a fridge to pick up bottled water, and pauses to grab some crisps before heading to the cash till. In less than four hours, the same nonchalant traveller, Shehzad Tanweer, would murder seven of the 52 victims of the 7/7 bombings in London by detonating his rucksack device on board a Circle Line train at 8.50am between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations.
Previously unseen CCTV footage of the bombers in the hours and minutes before the attacks was released under the Freedom of Information Act yesterday. It showed 22-year-old Tanweer, second-in-command of the terrorist cell, completing the mundane task of buying snacks in the knowledge he is about to participate in Britain's worst peacetime atrocity.
The cricket-obsessed student is seen entering the motorway services shop south of Sheffield wearing a white Puma-branded sweatshirt and jogging bottoms with a black skull cap.
Exuding nothing other than calm, bespectacled Tanweer collects his items before approaching the cash till, seeming to deliberately stare past the CCTV camera into empty space.
Outside, off camera, is the red Nissan Micra which Tanweer hired a few days earlier to drive himself and two of his fellow bombers – ringleader Mohammed Siddique Khan and Hasib Hussain – from the bomb factory in Leeds to Luton train station, shortly after dawn on 7 July. In the boot of the car, components for 16 other bombs had been stored.
Three other previously unseen clips of film from the vast collection of evidence gathered by investigators show the fourth bomber, Jermaine Lindsay, arriving at Luton station and Hussain, who detonated his bomb on board a bus in Tavistock Square an hour after the other attackers, entering and leaving a branch of McDonald's. The footage was made public by Scotland Yard after it decided not to appeal against a ruling by the Information Commissioner in favour of the Press Association news agency that the film clips should be released.
The release comes after the investigation into the 7/7 attacks was effectively ended when three close friends of the bombers were last week cleared of helping plan the attacks by going on an alleged scouting trip to choose targets in central London. Two of the men – Waheed Ali and Mohammed Shakil – were jailed for seven years after being convicted of planning to attend terrorist training camps.Reuse content