If the Metropolitan Police are right, 7/7 was the work of British subjects. The Met says that four rucksack-carrying men, three of them from West Yorkshire, were caught on CCTV at Kings Cross at around 8.30am last Thursday; that their personal effects have been discovered at three of the four murder sites; that all four are British-born; and that material associated with the bombings has been discovered at one of their addresses in West Yorkshire and in a car parked at Luton station.
The cops have been wrong before, and they could be wrong again. But hunch tells me that they are not making this up in desperation, as they did after the IRA’s Guildford and Birmingham bombings 30 years ago. Although the police are at present being studiously vague about the identities of the Yorkshiremen they suspect of murder, everything suggests they were jihadist Muslim suicide bombers. How people respond in the next few days will be critical in determining what sort of society we live in.
The nightmare scenario is a spate of attacks on mosques and on individual Muslims. I hope nothing will happen, I suspect there will be sporadic incidents, I fear it could get very nasty indeed. The fascists of the BNP are stoking up hatred – with a message that echoes in significant ways that of the Stop the War Coalition and Respect, condemning “Blair and his Labour regime which has committed British troops to a war in the Middle East” for the outrages – and there will be plenty of drunk racist bigots leaving pubs tonight and tomorrow and later in the week intent on “doing something”. The police will have to be particularly vigilant to stop them.
But the best way to counter any surge of anti-Muslim viciousness is to demonstrate our calm opposition to terror. Go to the TUC's gathering in Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening, or organise something similar in your own locality.