'No excuse' for speaking in the name of Islam, says Straw

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Some Muslim leaders and politicians renewed warnings the London bombings were linked to the Iraq war, which the Government denies. Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "It is quite absurd to suggest - as Mr Khan does - that he is seeking justice for the people of Iraq and Palestine by committing an act of injustice against the people of London."

But he said the tape showed the Iraq war had radicalised a section of Muslim youths and there could be further attacks unless that was addressed. "We must assume that unless we change, unless we can somehow reach out and bring them back, some of them will reach the end point that Sidique Khan reached."

David Winnick, a Labour member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said he was amazed intelligence agencies had doubted a link between al-Qa'ida and the bombings. "It would be somewhat difficult to believe the people involved organised it without international terrorist connections," he said.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Tory leadership contender and former foreign secretary, called on Britain and the US to worker much harder to explain their foreign policy was not motivated by anti-Muslim prejudice.

He said: "I have no doubt that the Iraq war has created a political vacuum in that country that al-Qa'ida and other terrorists are seeking to exploit."