Internet posting prior to car bomb attempt: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”
“Was London Bomb Plot Heralded On Web?” by Tucker Reals for CBS News:
Hours before London explosives technicians dismantled a large car bomb in the heart of the British capital’s tourist-rich theater district, a message appeared on one of the most widely used jihadist Internet forums, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”
CBS News found the posting, which went on for nearly 300 words, on the “al Hesbah” chat room. It was left by a person who goes by the name abu Osama al-Hazeen, who appears regularly on the forum. The comment was posted on the forum, according to time stamp, at 08:09 a.m. British time on June 28 — about 17 hours before the bomb was found early on June 29.
Al Hesbah is frequently used by international Sunni militant groups, including al Qaeda and the Taliban, to post propaganda videos and messages in their fight against the West.
There was no way for CBS News to independently confirm any connection between the posting made Thursday night and the car bomb found Friday.
Al-Hazeen’s message begins: “In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful. Is Britain Longing for al Qaeda’s bombings?”
Al-Hazeen decries the recent knighthood of controversial author Salman Rushdie as a blow felt by all British Muslims. “This ‘honoring’ came at a crucial time, a time when the whole nation is reeling from the crusaders attacks on all Muslim lands,” he said, in an apparent reference to the British role in Iraq.
“We say to Britain: The Emir of al Qaeda, Sheikh Osama, has once threatened you, and he carried out his threats. Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed,” the message reads.
Speaking at a news conference Friday after the bomb scare in central London, the Metropolitan Police force’s Counter-Terrorism Commander Peter Clarke said that officials had “no indication that we were going to be attacked this way”.
Prior to the Thursday night posting by al-Hazeen, there had been no specific allusions to threats against London or Britain seen on al Hesbah, or any other major jihadist forums in recent weeks.
Several responses to the posting by other forum members expressed hope that an attack against London would be realized in the near future.
In response, al-Hazeen urges patience, saying, “Victory is very close, but you are just rushing it.”