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Jul 7, 2005 | 16:04 GMT

2 mins read

U.K.: London Blasts Echo Madrid Attack?

Several explosions in the London subway system on the morning of July 7 have caused at least eight deaths and 90 injuries. Although the details regarding the exact number of explosions remain unclear, the attack is strongly reminiscent of the Madrid subway attacks in March 2004 carried out by individuals affiliated with the al Qaeda movement. The March 2004 attacks in Madrid were the last successfully carried out by al Qaeda. The London attack comes at a time when the when the war in Iraq is not going well for the movement and STRATFOR has noted that many of the statements coming from al Qaeda leaders seem to indicate they are suffering from poor recruitment and low morale. The sheer scale of the London attack seems to indicate that only a group with significant preparation and operational security would be able to carry out attacks in short succession, attacking the same type of infrastructure that could cause a serious economic impact across the city of London. Al Qaeda has shown an interest in attacking transportation infrastructure in the past, as seen in Madrid. In addition, the timing of the attack — during London's busy rush hour — would be a prime opportunity for the highest number of casualties, as well as the highest economic impact. It should also be noted that the highest concentration of security inside the United Kingdom is in Scotland for the G-8 summit, rather than protecting physical infrastructure. If al Qaeda did in fact carry out this attack, it gives them a measure of renewed credibility as being still active and able to make its presence known in the major capitals of the world. It would also give the group the credibility necessary to continue recruiting for future operations.

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