Six years after al-Qaeda-inspired suicide bombers blew themselves up on the London underground trains killing 52 people in what has been dubbed “Britain's 9/11”, an inquest on Friday rejected criticism that the security services were aware of the activities of some of the men who went on to commit the atrocity but did not pursue them.
The Coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, also dismissed allegations that emergency services were often slow to respond and that a faster response could have saved lives.
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was “pleased that the coroner has made clear there is simply no evidence that the Security Service knew of, and therefore failed to prevent, the bombings on 7/7”.
While noting the limited resources available to some of the emergency services, the Coroner ruled that in the circumstances they did their best to rescue the victims. She said there was no evidence that any organisational or individual failings had “caused or contributed to the deaths”.
“I'm satisfied on balance of probabilities that each victim would have died whatever time the emergency services had arrived,” she said delivering her verdict in a court packed with families of the victims.
The bombings on July 7, 2005 were carried out by a group of home-grown and educated men mostly of Pakistani origin. They were identified as Mohammed Sidique Khan (30), Shehzad Tanweer (22), Hasib Hussain (18), and Jermaine Lindsay (19).
The inquest, which reportedly cost nearly £4.5 million, heard testimony from the survivors of the attack, families of the victims and representatives of the emergency and security services.
The Coroner made nine recommendations aimed at further improving efforts to deal with emergencies.