London Bombing Mastermind Identified

Rusty Shackleford sends word that British authorities have identified the mastermind of the London subway bombings of a week ago “an Egyptian born college professor.” It appears, though, that the ringleader is a Pakistani of unidentified occupation whereas the scholars in the group are followers. Rusty’s confusion is understandable, given the way the stories are written.

Bomb mastermind identified (Australia News)

POLICE believe they have identified the man who planned the London bombings. It has also emerged that one of his recruits – Edgware Road bomber Mohammed Sadique Khan – was a teaching assistant in a Leeds primary school.

The leader of the terrorist cell is believed to be in his 30s and of Pakistani origin. He arrived at a British port last month and is understood to have left the country the day before four suicide bombers murdered at least 53 people. Security sources believe he has been involved in previous terrorist operations and has links with al-Qa’ida followers in the US. It is believed he visited the bombers in Leeds and identified targets. Security chiefs say he is also likely to have schooled his recruits on how to trigger their rucksack bombs almost simultaneously.


Scotland Yard also wants to trace an Egyptian-born university lecturer, identified in The Sun newspaper as Magdi el-Nashar, who was at Leeds University teaching and studying for a doctorate in biochemistry. He is understood to have rented one of the houses raided by police, where explosives were found in a bathtub. Nashar is understood to have disappeared just before the bombings.

London Identifies Four Suicide Bombers (AP)

Police believe they have identified all four suicide bombers who carried out the deadly attacks on London subway trains and a bus last week, the city’s police chief said Thursday. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair told the Foreign Press Association that police believe “that we know who the four people carrying the bombs were … and we believe they are all dead.”


Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, on Thursday identified the suspected suicide bomber who blew up the double-decker bus, killing 13 people, as Hasib Hussain, 18. Clarke also said Shahzad Tanweer, 22, was responsible for attacking a subway train between the Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations. Both are Britons of Pakistani descent. News reports have identified the other two as Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, another Briton of Pakistani descent, and Lindsey Germaine, a Jamaican-born Briton.


The Times of London, quoting unidentified police sources, said detectives were interested in locating Magdy el-Nashar, 33, an Egyptian-born academic who recently taught chemistry at Leeds University. The Times said he was believed to have rented one of the homes being searched in Leeds.

UK Police Search London Attack Mastermind (Zaman)

British Police have identified the four suspected suicide bombers of last week’s attacks in London which killed 52 persons. The police now seek mastermind behind the blasts.

British press reports said that counter-terrorism specialists believed the cell had a leader and that a countrywide manhunt was launched for this “brain”. The police searched for the identity of this suspected ringleader by checking the boarding lists of flights and the Channel tunnel trains.

British Police discovered that the suspected attackers were British nationals of Pakistani origin. The police have not yet released the names of the attackers but the identities of three of them are speculated to be Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Sadiq Khan, 30, and Hasib Mir Hussein, 19. The identity of the fourth suspected bomber, reportedly a youngster as well was not revealed.

The stories are all horribly written in the stream of consciousness, inverted pyramid style taught in J-school to get around the limitations of typeset newspapers. It’s really poorly suited for the Web, where space is essentially infinite. I much prefer well organized essays written in paragraph form.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    The stories are all horribly written in the stream of consciousness, inverted pyramid style taught in J-school to get around the limitations of typeset newspapers.

    The inverted pyramid style originally came from the limitations of the telegraph as a means of transmitting news from the place it was happening to the home office. It continued through the typeset press because it was easy to cut off the end of a story to make it fit.

    Either way, the writers of these stories aren’t writing for the web, they’re writing for print publications which are porting the material to the web site.

    There are very few writers who really write “for the web,” even though they have the unlimited space to do so.