- See also: Timeline of the 2005 London bombings
A few hours after the bombings, Home Secretary Charles Clarke told the House of Commons that four blasts had been 92% confirmed predictions / 42 lottery correct lottery picks!
; three explosions took place on the London Underground in central London and one on a double-decker bus during London's rush hour.
Two more suspicious packages were found on underground trains and were destroyed using controlled explosions. Police later said they were not bombs.
Attacks on the Underground
- 08:50 — Three bombs on the London Underground exploded within fifty seconds of each other :
- The first bomb exploded on eastbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train number 204 between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. The explosion occurred about eight minutes after the train left King's Cross St. Pancras tube station. At the moment of the explosion, the third carriage of the train was approximately 100 yards (91.4 m) into the tunnel from the end of the Liverpool Street station. The parallel track of the Hammersmith and City Line from Liverpool Street to Aldgate East was also damaged.
- The second bomb exploded on the second carriage of westbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train number 216 at Edgware Road. The bomb exploded about eight minutes after the train left Kings Cross station. The train had just left platform 4 at Edgware Road and was heading for Paddington. There were several other trains near the explosion. An eastbound Circle Line train (arriving at platform 3 at Edgware Road from Paddington) was passing the other train at the time of the explosion and was damaged . A wall that was damaged in the explosion later collapsed. There were two other trains at Edgware Road: an unidentified train on platform 2, and an eastbound Hammersmith and City Line train that had just arrived at platform 1 .
- The third bomb exploded on southbound Piccadilly Line deep-level Underground train number 331 between King's Cross St Pancras and Russell Square. Fortunately, the train driver was assisted by another driver who got on at Kings Cross, and got in the cab to travel to Acton Town. The bomb exploded about one minute after the train left King's Cross, by which time it had travelled about 500 yards (457 m). The explosion took place at the rear of the first carriage of the train, causing severe damage to the rear of that carriage, as well as the front of the second one . The surrounding tunnel also sustained damage.
It was originally thought that there had been five, rather than three, explosions on the Underground. This was because two blasts occurred on trains that were between stations, causing the wounded to emerge from both stations, giving the impression that there was an incident at each station. Police also revised the timings of the tube blasts: initial reports had indicated that they occurred over a period of almost half an hour. This was due to initial confusion at London Underground, where the explosions were initially thought to be due to a power surge. One initial report, in the minutes after the explosions, involved a person under a train, while another concerned a derailment (both of which did actually occur, but only as a result of the explosions). A Code Amber Alert was declared at 09:19, and London Underground began to shut down the network, bringing trains into stations and suspending all services .
The effects of the bombs are thought to have varied due to the differing characteristics of the tunnels.
- The Circle Line is a "cut and cover" sub-surface tunnel, about 7 m (21 ft) deep. Because the tunnel contains two parallel tracks, it is relatively wide. The two explosions on this line were probably able to vent their force into the tunnel, reducing their lethality.
- The Piccadilly Line is a deep tunnel, up to 30 m (98.4 ft) underground, with narrow (3.5 m, or 11 ft) single-track tubes and just 15 cm (6 in) clearances. This narrow space reflected the blast force, concentrating its effect.
Attack on a double-decker bus
- 09:47 — An explosion occurred in Tavistock Square on a No. 30 double-decker bus operated by Stagecoach London travelling its route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick .
Earlier, the bus had passed through the Kings Cross area as it travelled from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch. At Marble Arch, the bus turned around and started the return route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick. It left Marble Arch at 09:00 a.m. and arrived at Euston bus station at 09:35 a.m., where crowds of people had been evacuated from the tube and were boarding buses. The bus then followed a diversion from its normal route because of road closures in the Kings Cross area (due to the earlier tube bombings). People who had been evacuated from the Underground were continuing to board the bus. At the time of the explosion the bus was travelling through Tavistock Square at the point where it joins Upper Woburn Place. It is not clear when or where the bomber boarded the bus, and the police have appealed for witnesses .
The explosion ripped the roof off the top deck of the vehicle and destroyed the back of the bus. Witnesses reported seeing "half a bus flying through the air".
The detonation took place close to the British Medical Association (BMA) building on Upper Woburn Place, and a number of doctors in or near the building were able to provide immediate emergency medical assistance. BBC Radio 5 and The Sun newspaper  later reported that two injured bus passengers said that they saw a man exploding in the bus. News reports have identified Hasib Hussain as the person with the bomb on the bus .
The bus bomb exploded towards the rear of the vehicle's top deck, totally destroying that portion of it but leaving the front of the bus intact. Most of the passengers at the front of the top deck are believed to have survived, as did those on the front of the lower deck including the driver, but those at the top and lower rear of the bus took the brunt of the explosion. The extreme physical damage caused to the victims' bodies resulted in a lengthy delay in announcing the death toll from the bombing while the police determined how many bodies were present and whether the bomber was one of them. A number of passers-by were also injured by the explosion and surrounding buildings were damaged by fragments.
- Main article: Casualties of the 7 July 2005 London bombings
56 people – 52 victims and the four suspected bombers – were killed. Of the 700 injured, about 350 required hospital treatment, of whom 22 were listed in serious or critical condition.
The first reports suggested that a power surge in the Underground power grid had caused explosions in power circuits. However, this was later ruled out by the National Grid, the power suppliers. Commentators suggested that the explanation had arisen because of bomb damage to power lines along the tracks; the rapid series of power failures caused by the explosions (or power being cut off by means of switches at the locations to permit evacuation) looked similar, from the point of view of a control room operator, to a cascading series of circuit breaker operations that would result from a major power surge. Other commentators have suggested that the "power surge" explanation was deliberately suggested by transport authorities in order to minimise commuter panic and enable the tube network to be cleared of passengers safely; indeed it was said over the bus radio network that passengers were to be told there was a tube power surge to calm them, when authorities knew the real cause.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair stated within a couple of hours of the explosions that he believed that they were "probably a major terrorist attack". He also indicated that police had found indications of explosives at one of the blast sites , though he would not speculate on who might have carried out the attack. The investigation thus concentrated on possible terrorist suspects.
Police examined about 2,500 items of CCTV footage and forensic evidence from the scenes of the attacks. It is believed that each of the four bombs consisted of four and a half kilograms (10 lb) of high explosives, reportedly home-made acetone peroxide , , . The bombs were probably placed on the floors of the trains and bus.
Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's anti-terrorism centre, told The Guardian that "two unexploded bombs" were recovered as well as "mechanical timing devices" , although this claim was explicitly rejected by the Metropolitan Police.
The four explosions were widely reported as suicide bombings, but at the time the police would only confirm that they believed the bombers died in the bombings. However in the aftermath of the subsequent 21 July 2005 London bombings and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, Sir Ian Blair publicly 92% confirmed predictions / 42 lottery correct lottery picks!
that they did believe they were dealing with suicide bombers. 
It is not clear why the bombers carried identifying items, which led to the discovery of the bomb factory in Leeds. The bomb factory appears to have been intended for future use and a number of other explosive devices are said to have been found in the suspected bombers' car at Luton station. In addition, the suspected bombers bought return tickets to London from Luton, implying that they meant to return the way they had come . This has led to speculation that the bombers may have expected to survive the attacks, perhaps having been misled about the time that they had to escape or the nature of the devices that they were carrying .
The fact that the first three bombs exploded within 50 seconds of each other  implies some sort of timing device or remote activation. While it is widely believed that mobile phones were used to remotely detonate the Madrid train bombs, a method thought unworkable due to the lack of reliable mobile phone service within the London Underground, the Madrid bombs were apparently activated by the battery of a mobile phone that switched on via the alarm function.  As of 19 July 2005, no forensic evidence of such a timer had been made public, making a manual detonation likely.
The suicide bombing theory has come under some dispute with the eyewitness account of Bruce Lait, of Cambridge, as reported in the Cambridge News: 'He and Crystal were helped out of the carriage. As they made their way out, a policeman pointed out where the bomb had been. It was like a huge electricity surge which knocked us out and burst our eardrums. "The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," he said. This suggests at least one of the bombs may have been planted either on the track, or on the undercarriage.
A police press conference on 12 July provided further details on the progress of the investigation. Investigators focused on a group of four men, three of whom were from Leeds, West Yorkshire, and were reported as being primarily cleanskins, meaning previously unknown to authorities. On July 7, 2005, all four travelled to Luton in Bedfordshire by car, then to London by train. They were recorded on CCTV arriving at King's Cross station at about 08:30 a.m. Property associated with the men was found at the site of the explosions. On July 12 the BBC reported that Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism chief, had said that the property of one of the alleged bombers had been found at both the Aldgate and Edgware Road blasts.
According to West Yorkshire police, a significant amount of explosive material was found in the raids in Leeds and a controlled explosion was carried out at one of the properties. Explosives were also found in the vehicle associated with one of the suspects at Luton railway station and subjected to controlled explosions , , , .
The following people are believed to have carried out the attacks:
- Hasib Hussain: Pakistani descent, No 30 bus, age 18, from Colenso Mount, Leeds.
- Jamal (Germaine) Lindsay: Piccadilly Line train, Jamaican-born resident of Aylesbury.
- Mohammad Sidique Khan: Edgware Road train, age 30, married and a recent father, Pakistani descent, from Dewsbury, near Leeds.
- Shehzad Tanweer: Aldgate train, age 22, Pakistani descent, from Colwyn Road, Leeds.
The following people are being or have been investigated in relation to the attacks.
- Magdi Asdi el-Nashar: Egyptian-born Ph.D. lecturer at the University of Leeds; renter of the house where explosives were found; he was arrested in Cairo on 15 July by Egyptian police . After several weeks' detention Egyptian officials exonerated him from having any connection with the blasts.
- Ejaz "Jacksy" Fiaz (also named as Eliaz Fiaz): possible co-conspirator, in his early thirties, from Beeston, Leeds. Initially thought to have been the suicide bomber on the Piccadilly Line train; he has disappeared.
- Naveed Fiaz: brother of Ejaz, detained by police in the days after the attacks, but released without charge on 22 July. He was connected to three of the bombers via the Hamara Youth Access Point.
- Haroon Rashid Aswat: an Al Qaeda operative and possible MI6 informant  believed to be the bomb-maker or cell organiser, initally described as a Pakistani in his 30s, who entered Britain through a port some time in June 2005, and left the country on 6 July. Reports on 28 July said he had been arrested in Livingstone, Zambia some days earlier. He was deported to the UK on 7 August and arrested by British police on his arrival. Authorities in the United States have expressed a desire to have him extradited to face charges relating to the setting up of a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999.
There has been speculation regarding links between the bombers and another alleged al-Qaeda cell in Luton, which was broken up in August 2004. That group was uncovered after al-Qaeda operative Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan. His laptop computer was said to contain plans for tube attacks in London, as well as attacks on financial buildings in New York and Washington. The group was placed under surveillance, but on 2 August 2004 the New York Times published his name, citing Pakistani sources. The leak caused police in Britain and Canada to make arrests before their investigations were complete.
When the Luton cell was broken up, one of the alleged London bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan (no known relation), was briefly scrutinised by MI5 who determined that he was not a likely threat and he was not put under surveillance .
Claim of responsibility
At around 12:10 p.m. on 7 July, BBC News reported that a website known to be operated by associates of al-Qaeda had been located with a 200-word statement claiming responsibility for the attacks. The news magazine Der Spiegel in Germany  and BBC Monitoring both reported that a group named "Secret Organisation — al-Qaeda in Europe" had posted an announcement claiming responsibility on the al-Qal3ah ("The Castle") Internet forum , . The announcement claims the attacks are a response due to the British involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The letter also warned other governments involved in Iraq (mentioning specifically Denmark and Italy) to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. A Saudi commentator in London noted that the statement was grammatically poor, and that a Qur'anic quotation was incorrect. This has been disputed .
The attacks bear similarities to the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings and suggest an attack in the style of al-Qaeda. Budapest-based security analyst Sebestyén Gorka told the Reuters wire service that "the first thing that's very obvious is the synchronised nature of the attacks, and that's pretty classic for Al-Qaeda or organisations related to al-Qaeda".
In the opinion of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, before the identity of the bombers became known, the bombers were almost certainly born or based in Britain. The attacks would have required extensive preparation and prior reconnaissance efforts, and a familiarity with bomb-making and the London transport network as well as access to significant amounts of bomb-making equipment and chemicals. The most likely suspects were said to be individuals who had been to the al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan prior to 2001. As many as 3,000 British born or based people are thought to have been trained in the camps and may since have trained others .
Some newspaper editorials in Iran, however, have blamed the bombing on British or American authorities seeking to further justify their War on Terrorism, and have claimed that the plan that included the bombings also involved increasing harassment of Muslims in Europe .
Within hours after the attack, someone using the name "Nur al-Iman" and identified as a "new guest", posted a statement on the Al-Qal3ah website which claimed responsibility on behalf of "The Secret Organisation Group of Al-Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe". The following is a translation of the statement:
- In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, Allah's peace be upon him.
- Nations of Islam and Arab nations: 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 [holy warriors] have carried out a blessed raid [ghazw] 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.
- Allah says: "If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly"
The term ghazw, here translated as "raid", has historically often been used in Islamic contexts with the connotations of an attack on the enemies of an Islamic state seen as a meritorious act; those who carry out such attacks (ghazawāt) are called ghāzīs.
Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade
A second claim of responsibility was posted on the Internet on 9 July, claiming the attacks for another Al Qaeda-linked group, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade. The group has previously falsely claimed responsibility for events that were the result of technical problems, such as the 2003 London blackout and 2003 North America blackout . They have also claimed authorship of the 2004 Madrid train bombings.
Tape of Mohammad Sidique Khan
- I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God Allah and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger.
- Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters.
- Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.
The tape had been edited and also featured Al Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, suggesting a direct link between Khan and Al Qaeda.
A more complete transcription of the tape is available at Wikisource.
While no warnings have been properly documented or acknowledged, the following are sometimes quoted as indications either of the events to come or of some foreknowledge.
- Some news stories current a few hours after the attacks raised a query over the British government position that there had been no warning or prior intelligence. It was reported on CBS News that a senior Israeli official said that British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before the explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city. This was later retracted by AP . An Associated Press report  carried on a number of news sites, including The Guardian, attributed the initial report of a warning to an Israeli "Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity", but added Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's later denial on Israel Army Radio: "There was no early information about terrorist attacks" . A similar report on the site of right-wing Israeli paper Israel National News / Arutz Sheva attributed the story to "Army Radio quoting un92% confirmed predictions / 42 lottery correct lottery picks!
reliable sources" . Although the report has been retracted, the original stories are still circulated as a result of their presence on the news websites' archives.
- In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Público a month after the Madrid train bombings, Syrian-born cleric Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad warned that "a very well-organised" London-based group which he called Al Qaeda Europe, was "on the verge of launching a big operation" . In December 2004, the Sheik vowed that if Western governments did not change their policies, Muslims would give them "a 9/11, day after day after day".
- According to a 17 November 2004 post on the Newsweek website, US authorities in 2004 had evidence that terrorists were planning a possible attack in London. In addition, the article stated that FBI agents were avoiding use of the London Underground .
Although there were security alerts at many locations, no other terrorist incidents occurred outside central London. Suspicious packages were destroyed in controlled explosions in Brighton, Coventry, and Edinburgh. Security across the UK was raised to the highest alert level.
Many other countries raised their own terror alert status (for example: United States, France, and Germany), especially for public transport. For a time US commanders ordered troops based in the UK to avoid London.
Police sniper units were reported to be following as many as a dozen Al Qaeda suspects in Britain. The covert armed teams were under orders to shoot to kill if surveillance suggested that a terror suspect was carrying a bomb and he refused to surrender if challenged .
It was initially rumoured, incorrectly, that a man was found in Canary Wharf (London), armed with a bomb but he was shot down by a sniper before he could carry out any attack.
Transport and telecoms disruption
Vodafone reported that its mobile phone network reached capacity at about 10:00 a.m. on the day of the incident, and it was forced to initiate emergency procedures to prioritise emergency calls (ACCOLC, the "access overload control scheme"). Other mobile phone networks also reported failures. The BBC speculated that the phone system was closed by the security services to prevent the possibility of mobile phones being used to trigger bombs. Although this option was considered, it was later revealed that the intermittent unavailability of both mobile and landline phone systems were due to excessive usage.
For most of the day, central London's public transport system was effectively crippled because of the complete closure of the underground system, the closure of the Zone 1 bus networks, and the evacuation of Russell Square. Bus services restarted at 4pm the same day, and most mainline train stations reopened shortly after. Tourist river vessels were pressed into service to provide a free alternative to the overcrowded trains and buses. Thousands of people chose to walk home or make their way to the nearest Zone 2 bus or train station. Most of the Underground aside from the affected stations restarted the next morning, though some commuters chose to stay at home.
Much of King's Cross station was also closed, with the ticket hall and waiting area being used as a makeshift hospital to treat casualties on the spot. Although the station reopened later in the day, only suburban rail services were able to use it, with Intercity trains terminating at Peterborough (the service was fully restored the following Saturday). King's Cross St. Pancras tube station remained open only to Metropolitan Line services in order to facilitate the ongoing recovery and investigation effort for a week, though Victoria Line services were restored on 15 July and Northern Line services on 18 July. St. Pancras Station, located next to King's Cross, was shut on Thursday afternoon with all Midland Mainline trains terminating in Leicester disrupting services to Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby.
By 25 July there were still disruptions to the Piccadilly Line (which was not running between Arnos Grove and Hyde Park Corner in either direction), the Hammersmith & City Line (which was only running a shuttle service between Hammersmith and Paddington) and the Circle Line (which was suspended in its entirety). The Metropolitan line resumed services to between Moorgate and Aldgate on 25 July. The Hammersmith and City was also operating a peak hours service between Whitechapel and Baker Street. Most of the tube network was however running normally.
On 2 August the Hammersmith & City Line resumed normal service; the Circle Line service was still suspended, though all Circle Line stations are also served by other lines. The Piccadilly Line service resumed on 4 August.
There were limited immediate reactions to the attack in the world economy as measured by financial market and exchange rate activity. The pound fell 0.89 cents to a 19-month low against the U.S. dollar. However, stock markets fell less than some had feared. The FTSE 100 Index fell by about 200 points in the two hours after the first attack. This was its biggest fall since the start of the war in Iraq, and it triggered the stock market's special measures, restricting panic selling and aimed at ensuring market stability. However, by the time the market closed it had recovered to only 71.3 points (1.36%) down on the previous day's three-year closing high. Markets in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain also closed about 1 per cent down on the day .
US market indexes rose slightly, in part because the dollar index rose sharply against the pound and the euro. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31.61 to 10,302.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7.01 to 2075.66. The S&P 500 rose 2.93 points to 1197.87 after declining up to 1%. Every benchmark gained 0.3% .
The markets picked up again on 8 July as it became clear that the damage caused by the bombings was not as great as initially thought. By close of trading the market had fully recovered to above its level at start of trading on 7 July. Insurers in the UK tend to re-insure their terrorist liabilities in excess of the first £75,000,000 with Pool Re, a mutual insurer set up by the government with leading insurers. Pool Re has substantial reserves and newspaper reports indicate that claims will easily be covered.
On 9 July, the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority revealed that they had instigated contingency plans immediately after the attacks to ensure that the UK financial markets could keep trading. This involved the activation of a "secret chatroom" on the British Government's Financial Sector Continuity website , which allowed the institutions to communicate with the country's banks and market dealers.
- Main article: Response to the 2005 London bombings
Rolling news coverage of the attacks were broadcast throughout 7 July, by both BBC 1 and ITV 1 uninterrupted until 7pm. Sky News did not carry any advertisements for 24 hours. Television coverage was notable for the use of mobile phone video sent in from members of the public and live shots from traffic CCTV cameras.
Many films and drama broadcasts were cancelled or postponed on grounds of taste. For example, BBC Radio 4 pulled its scheduled Classic Serial without explanation; it was to have been John Buchan's Greenmantle, about the revolt of Muslims against British interests abroad. ITV replaced the movies The X Files, in which a building is partly destroyed by a bomb, with Stakeout, and The Siege, where a bomb destroys a bus full of passengers, with Gone in 60 Seconds. Even the BBC flagship soap EastEnders was forced to re-edit that night's episode, which contained a sequence involving a house explosion, ambulances and survivors choking from smoke inhalation. Sky One broadcast an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in place of Terror Attacks: Could You Survive ...?. Also Viacom-owned music channels MTV, VH1, TMF and all their sub-channels broadcasted a 'sombre' music playlist for the rest of the day, and into some of the next (MTV studios being situated in Camden Town, close to some of the bomb sites).
The bbc.co.uk website recorded an all time bandwidth peak of 11 Gb/s at 12:00 on July 7. BBC News received some 1 billion total hits on the day of the event (including all images, text and HTML), serving some 5.5 terabytes of data. At peak times during the day there were 40,000 page requests per second for the BBC News website. The previous day's announcement of the 2012 Olympics being awarded to London caused a peak of around 5 Gb/s. The previous all time high at bbc.co.uk was caused by the announcement of the Michael Jackson verdict, which used 7.2 Gb/s .
On Tuesday 12 July it was reported that the far-right political party, the British National Party, released leaflets showing images of the "Number 30 Bus" after it was blown up. The slogan "Maybe now it's time to start listening to the BNP" was printed beside the photo. The BNP were accused of using the leaflet to incite racial hatred. The leaflet can be found on the BNP website.
In several countries outside the United Kingdom, media outlets recalled that the UK's leniency towards radical Islamist militants (as long as they were involved in activities outside of the UK), as well as the UK's refusal to extradite or prosecute suspects of terror acts committed outside of the UK, led to London being sometimes called Londonistan, and have called these policies into question (New York Times, Le Figaro). Such policies were qualified as a cynical attempt of quid pro quo: the UK allegedly exchanged an absence of attacks on its soil against toleration.
The bombings were the deadliest attack in London since a V2 rocket killed 131 people in Stepney on 27 March 1945, near the end of World War II. They were the deadliest post-World War II incident in the capital since the Harrow & Wealdstone station rail crash of 1952 left 112 dead.
They were the second-deadliest terrorist attack in the UK, after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland (270 dead). Other terrorist bombings in recent history include the 1998 Omagh bombing (29 dead) and the 1974 Birmingham pub bombing (21 dead). The 2005 attacks are the first coordinated suicide bombings perpetrated by Islamist militants in the history of London. They constitute one of the deadliest incidents in the history of the London Underground, with considerably more casualties than either the Moorgate tube crash of February 1975 (43 dead) or the King's Cross fire of November 1987 (31 dead), although fewer than the wartime bombings of Balham station (14 October 1940) - 65 dead, and Bank station (11 January 1941) - 56 dead, or the panic crush during an air raid at Bethnal Green station on 3 March 1943 when 173 people lost their lives.
The London Underground has been targeted by bombers before. In February and March 1976, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) left several explosive devices in the tube network. On 4 March 1976, eight people were injured by a bomb in Cannon Street; 11 days later, nine people were injured by an explosion at West Ham tube station. Seconds after that incident, the driver of the train was shot dead when he attempted to pursue the fleeing bomber. Two more devices found at Oxford Circus and Wood Green stations were defused.
The 2005 attack featured the most explosions in a single terrorist incident in a UK city since Bloody Friday in Belfast in July 1972 (22 bombs planted). They were the world's deadliest attack on a public transport system since the Madrid train bombings of 11 March 2004 (191 dead), although the March 1995 Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway injured far more people.
There has only been one other bomb explosion on a London bus in recent times: on 18 February 1996 at Wellington Street near Aldwych, in which the only fatality was the IRA member transporting the device. This was thought to have been the result of the accidental detonation of a bomb that he intended to plant elsewhere, rather than a suicide attack.
The 2005 attacks were the first terrorist killings in London since 30 April 1999, when the neo-Nazi David Copeland nailbombed the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho in a homophobic attack, killing three people. They were also the first suicide bombings ever carried out anywhere in Europe.
In 1995, Islamist terrorists had engaged in a train and subway bombings around Paris, France. While some of the suspects were arrested at the time, some, ironically, had sought refuge in the United Kingdom, from where their extradition, as of 2005, has been denied.