Families angry as inquiry into July 7 bombing is rejected

Geneviève Roberts
Wednesday 14 December 2005 02:05

Families of the July 7 bombing victims attacked the Government for not holding a public inquiry into the bombings in London.

MPs and leading Muslims also voiced their anger as the Home Office confirmed there would be no public investigation into the attacks, and called on the Government to order a "comprehensive public inquiry" so that the country is "better prepared to prevent such tragedy happening again".

The Government will instead publish a definitive "narrative of events" of what happened, including material gathered from intelligence agencies and evidence compiled by police.

Saba Mozakka, whose mother Behnaz was killed when one of the four bombs ripped through a Piccadilly Line Tube train near King's Cross station, said: "This is not acceptable to us, and the families will be campaigning for there to be a full public inquiry. A narrative of events will not satisfy anybody. This is not something we will go away on."

The 24-year-old added: "I heard cost is being cited as being one of the reasons for not holding a public inquiry, and that's ridiculous. It's not just about the people who died, but they are our main focus. They deserve a public inquiry. Behind every one of those names is a family and a group of people who are suffering hugely." She said she had not been contacted by the Home Office.

Graham Russell, whose son Philip died in the wreckage of the Tavistock Square bus, said he would wait to see whether the details published by the Government proved adequate. "If the facts come out anyway then it's all well and good. If they don't then they have failed the people who died," he said.

The shadow minister for homeland security, Patrick Mercer, said: "We want an inquiry independent of Government. That independent inquiry should ask questions about the surveillance of the suspects before the attack, the lowering of the level of alert five weeks before the attack, and links between home-grown and international terrorists.

"In addition, it should examine any links between the perpetrators of the July 7 attack and the perpetrators of the attempted attack on July 21." He said he did not want to detract from the success of the intelligence services who have prevented many attempted attacks on the country.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain, repeated demands for a full inquiry. "It has to be a fully comprehensive public inquiry that will provide us the information we need as to what actually happened, how it happened and why it happened so that we will be better prepared to prevent such tragedy happening again," he told the BBC's News at Ten.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary is currently considering what materials he might be able to make available to support the parliamentary inquiries which are currently under way into the various aspects of the July 7 atrocities."

MI5 has compiled a detailed picture of the influences thought to have been exerted on the bombers, and their motivations. The security services have also tracked the group's overseas travel in minute detail, particularly trips to Pakistan between 2003 and the bombings in July this year.

The Home Secretary has consulted Scotland Yard on the implications of issuing the file to the public, possibly in an edited form.

Any report published by the Home Office will be the first official overview of the atrocities, which killed 52 innocent people. Whitehall sources said that the security service had already built up a "very good picture" of the circumstances surrounding the four bombers.

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