Commuter Carnage – The 7/7 Bombings
7th July 2005 – 7.15am at Luton, north of London. Four young men are waiting in the town’s railway station. Within minutes they board a train bound for Kings Cross in the centre of London, their backpacks jammed with lethal quantities of explosives. Within two hours they will have exploded their bombs, killing themselves and 52 innocent people, and injuring hundreds. What have become known, as the 7/7 bombings are Britain’s first suicide attacks and the deadliest act of terrorism on the British mainland in twenty years.
As Peter Clarke, former head of the counter-terrorism branch of the Metropolitan Police says in this programme – “It wasn’t a case of if London would be bombed, it was a case of when!” The stark reality of London’s vulnerability was evident to all, but there appears there could have been very little done about it.
Commuter Carnage traces the origins of the tragic events of 7/7; how the bombing of New York’s twin towers in September 2001 spurred on Islamic extremists in the UK and led to the formation of the terrorist cell that would plan and carry out the attacks. The programme follows in the footsteps of Thelma Stober, a London lawyer who survived the tube explosion at Aldgate and hear the story of Tavistock Square bus victim Miriam Hyman, as told by her sister Esther. Eyewitness Dr Peter Holden and early responders Dr Gareth Davis and Dr Tim Harris also feature, as do former secretary of state, Dame Tessa Jowell and London Coroner, Dr Paul Knapman.