Wednesday, July 27, 2005

London bomb suspect was convicted robber

Peter Griffiths:

Muktar Said-Ibrahim - on the DOLE

A prime suspect wanted for last week's attempted London bombings had served a jail sentence for knifepoint robberies and grew to hate the British system after his conviction, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said much of the world had dropped its guard after the initial shock of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and vowed to give "not one inch" to terrorists.

"September 11 for me was a wake-up call," Blair told reporters on Tuesday. "A lot of the world woke up for a short time and then turned over and went back to sleep again."

The botched bombings on July 21 occurred exactly two weeks after four suicide bombers killed 52 people in a similar attack on London's transport system. Police have linked the bombers to al Qaeda.

Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, whom police say planted a bomb on a bus in last week's attempted attacks, was jailed for 5 years in 1996 for mugging people when he was part of a teenage gang, the Daily Telegraph said.

The Sun tabloid said Ibrahim arrived in Britain from the East African country of Eritrea in 1992.

"He was very bitter about getting five years (in jail)," the Sun quoted an unnamed associate as saying. "He was never the same person after."

Newspapers said Ibrahim and another of the four suspected bombers came to Britain as child refugees from East Africa and had received state welfare payments.

The Times called them "the benefit bombers who repaid help with hatred," while the Daily Mail said Britain had lost control of its borders and was "at the mercy of murderous fanatics."

Ready to strike again

Muktar Said-Ibrahim … London Bomber a Social Security sponger

Extremism learned in jail

The benefit bombers who repaid help with hatred

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