Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Search for the `Fifth Man'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Search for the `Fifth Man'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Nick Allen

Detectives believe a fifth man may have played a key role in the London suicide bombings.

Four bombers blew themselves up in the attacks, but police are investigating whether another member of the terrorist cell is still alive and on the run.

It is understood Scotland Yard has yet to definitively identify a fifth man, but he could have been the bomb-maker or the orchestrator of the attacks. However, last night anti-terror police carried out a raid on a house in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in connection with the bombings, Scotland Yard said.

Security services and police fear the suicide bombers were "foot-soldiers" recruited by a senior al-Qaida lieutenant who may have fled the country days before the July 7 attacks.

They believe the four bombers probably did not have the expertise to build the bombs themselves.

Explosives were found in an apparent "bomb factory" in Burley, Leeds, and it is also feared the mastermind could have recruited a second bomb team. Sources said the bombers had not previously been arrested for terrorism offences. The name of one of the bombers had previously been recorded as being linked to someone in a separate anti-terrorist inquiry but it was only one of thousands of similarly recorded names.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said there was "profound shock" across the country that the bombers were British. And he pledged urgent action to exclude and deport radical Muslim clerics who come to Britain to incite religious hatred. He condemned the "twisted teachings" which lay behind the outrages and said it was necessary to "pull up this evil ideology by its roots" through concerted international action. At the same time, he stressed there should be no backlash against the "overwhelmingly law-abiding" Muslim community and "unreservedly" condemned any reprisal attacks. …

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