LORD STEVENS, the former Metropolitan police chief who retires earlier this year, said last night that the London bombings were almost certainly masterminded by British-born terrorists.
He said last week’s bombers would not fit the stereotype of a fanatic from a village in Afghanistan or Algeria.
“They will be apparently ordinary British citizens; young men conservatively and cleanly dressed and probably with some higher education. Highly computer literate, they will have used the internet to research explosives. They are painstaking, cautious, clever and very sophisticated.”
Stevens said intelligence officers believed that up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people had passed through Osama Bin Laden’s training camps, some of whom returned home to become potential Islamic terrorists.
He said at least eight other separate terrorist attacks had been foiled in the past five years. At times up to 1,000 undercover officers had been working on one anti-terrorist operation.
Sometimes, for no apparent reason, someone believed to be planning an attack would simply disappear from the scene.
“Why? Where did they go? What happened? We might never find out. It could be incredibly draining,” he wrote in a column in the News of the World.
“It’s important to realise that there are not just the four terrorists who planted the bombs in this cell. There will be a support network of some sort behind them. They will have helped house and conceal the bombers, covered their tracks, helped in the manufacturing of the devices and in the repeated reconnaissance of the targets.”…