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Government learnt nothing from London attacks - security expert


London, IRNA:

The UK government is in a 'state of denial' over any links between last year's London bombing and the Iraq war, according to a leading security expert.

"Almost a year later, the British government appears to have learnt nothing" from the attacks on July 7 2005, said Professor of Peace Studies, Paul Rogers.

Three official reports in the bombings, which were published last week, suggest that "Britain's establishment is evading the connection between the attacks and the Iraq war," he said.

The three reports came from the Intelligence and Security Committee, which reports directly to Prime Minister Tony Blair, the government's initial response to it and a document from the Home Office on a sequence of events before and after the attacks.

"In around a hundred pages of documentation in total, there is scarcely a mention of Iraq," said the professor from Bradford University in northern England.

But the assessment contrasts markedly with the experience of many journalists and research, he said in his latest article for Open Democracy.

In a video tape, one of the bombers, Mohammed Siddique Khan, justifying for attacks, accused the west of continuously perpetuating "atrocities against my people all over the world" and that the UK's government's support "makes you directly responsible."

The publication of the reports was widely criticized for leaving more questions and answers, including from the Muslim Council of Britain, which repeated its call for the need of an independent judicial inquiry into the bombings to find the causes.

Regarding the motivation, Rogers said that the Home Office report concentrates almost entirely on two issues - "a degree of
marginalisation in the communities from where the bombers came, and the radicalising role of a political interpretation of Islam." Although it acknowledges the focus of the video, he said that this was just on "perceived injustices" without making a single mention of Iraq.

The professor said that there were "numerous people across the security and intelligence services in Britain who, at least in private, do not share the official line about the irrelevance of Iraq to the London attacks."

"But as long as the government persists in its refusal to accept any serious criticism of the conduct of the war on terror, it is not possible for government reports to offer realistic assessments of this issue," he warned.

The coordinated attacks on London's transport system last July, which killed 52 people, have been blamed on four "home-grown" suicide bombers.

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