[Multiple updates below.]
Today it is London. BBC:
At least two people have been killed and scores injured after three blasts on the Underground network and another on a double-decker bus in London.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was "reasonably clear" there had been a series of terrorist attacks.
He said it was "particularly barbaric" that it was timed to coincide with the G8 summit. He is returning to London.
An Islamist website has posted a statement - purportedly from al-Qaeda - claiming it was behind the attacks.
Just as this is recently clear that this a terrorist attack or a series of terrorist attacks it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8. There will be time to talk later about this.
"It is important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country, and in other civilised nations throughout the world.
Updates will happen as news occurs.
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.
Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.
We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.
God says: "You who believe: If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly."
Of course, this will require investigation as to who the murderers actually are, but the pattern clearly suggests that al Qaeda was behind this.
Update III: Glenn Reynolds is a Clydesdale-sized link-horse on the bombings.
Update IV: At Europhobia, Nosemonkey makes the following observations:
Liverpool St/Aldgate East/Moorgate was all the same incident.
- this is near Brick Lane, with a sizable Bangladeshi/Muslim community.
- the heart of a major Arab/Muslim community
King's Cross/Russell Square and Woburn Place
- by the King's Cross Estate, with a sizable Bangladeshi/Muslim community, plus the School of Oriental and African Studies, one of the world's leading universities for the study of Islam (amongst others)
Was this intended to stir up anti-Muslim tension as much as anything? Otherwise the locations are rather bizarre - King's Cross and Liverpool Street, as major rail termini, make sense if you intend to cause maximum damage/casualties. Edgeware Road is near Paddington, another major station, so that could make sense too. But nothing at Charing Cross, Victoria, Waterloo etc. Nothing at Heathrow or Gatwick either. Odd. Why go for half measures?
Either way, from the casualties so far we've got off lightly. Seems like fluke as much as anything.
Not being familiar with the geography, I have no way of knowing. As for the timing of the bombings, who knows. Could be G8. Could be Live8. Could be the trial of Abu Hamza. Could be for any reason. In any event, the search for these bastards is starting in earnest. Tim Worstall has also been following events closely, and at Techcentralstation, he has the best one-paragraph summary of what took place that I've seen.
As I write the general outline is that there were six bombs set off on the Tube (London's version of the subway) during the morning rush hour, just before 9 am (yes, it's a late starting city by American standards) and then sometime later, after that system was closed and the buses jammed instead, a suicide bomber blows up a double decker. The latest reports are of 40 to 45 dead, the hospitals claim to be treating 300 injured and there are slightly more dismal rumors of 60 dead and a thousand injured.
What the f**k do you think you're doing?
This is London. We've dealt with your sort before. You don't try and pull this on us.
Do you have any idea how many times our city has been attacked? Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work.
All you've done is end some of our lives, and ruin some more. How is that going to help you? You don't get rewarded for this kind of crap.
And if, as your MO indicates, you're an al-Qaeda group, then you're out of your tiny minds.
Because if this is a message to Tony Blair, we've got news for you. We don't much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We'll deal with that ourselves. We're London, and we've got our own way of doing things, and it doesn't involve tossing bombs around where innocent people are going about their lives.
And that's because we're better than you. Everyone is better than you. Our city works. We rather like it. And we're going to go about our lives. We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub.
So you can pack up your bombs, put them in your arseholes, and get the f**k out of our city.
Update V: Bill Roggio has more on the anticipated search for the murderers:
Britain is about to conduct one of the most comprehensive manhunts in its history. Known Islamist usual suspects will be shaken down hard for information leading to the culprits (Human Rights Watch and others permitting, that is). The Home Office is immediately redeploying officers assigned to provide security for the G-8 summit. According to the BBC; “many of the 1,500 Metropolitan Police officers in Scotland would be urgently redeployed to London.” This will reduce the size of the security detail at the summit, which has encountered its own problems with violent protests.
This brings something to mind. In the interests of security and goodwill among overstretched police and security personnel, this would be an opportune moment for the G8 protesters to make a gesture of solidarity with stricken Londoners and stand down from their protests. Wretchard has an analysis of what it took to execute these terrorist attacks:
These coordinated attacks are, technically speaking, at far higher level of sophistication than the Madrid attacks of 3/11 which involved a single train. The attack on London was a "time on target" attack which required simultaneity so that one incident did not compromise the subsequent. By implication the personnel involved received some degree of training and planned the operation in sufficient secrecy to prevent British security services from getting wind of it. The six attacks probably mean that a minimum of forty persons were involved, if those in support roles are included. The attackers must have an egress plan or access to safe houses where they can weather the inevitable crackdown.
Although coordinated and relatively sophisticated, Wretchard speculates that the lower numbers of casualties (compared to Madrid) is because fewer pounds of explosives were used, tens of pounds versus hundreds. Surely forty people cannot stay undetected forever. I have a feeling it'll be a matter of days--perhaps hours--before the first ones start getting caught.