By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 7/14/2005 | 6:12 pm
Rabat -- As Britons mark one week after last Thursday's attacks in three London underground stations and a double-decker bus, police are hunting for a fifth suspect, an Egyptian student in chemistry who is believed to have helped the bombers.
Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, identified today 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 four were carrying rucksacks containing the bombs with which they blew themselves up in Britain's first suicide attacks, blamed by the government on al Qaeda-style Islamist militants.
Following the attacks, British media have reported several cases of backlash against Muslims. Kim Howells, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister in charge of the Middle East, told Morocco Times that the British government won't allow Muslims in Britain to be targeted.
“I admit there were certain attacks against Muslims, but we are taking this seriously. Tony Blair was very clear in this regard. He said we should combat the perverted and poisonous misinterpretation of Islam behind last week's attacks and to pull up this evil ideology by its roots,” said Kim Howells, who is in Morocco for a three day official visit.
Howells added that this can only be taken on and defeated by the community itself. “It is a challenge for the Muslim Community to defend civil liberties in Britain. But this is not simply an issue for the Muslim community alone but rather for all of us who share this country and share with them British citizenship.”
Meanwhile, the Muslim community which makes up one tenth of the population of London believes these attacks are a crime against all communities in London.
Immediately after the attacks, the Muslim Safety Forum has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to ensure that the policing of the terrorist attacks and the implications of the investigation do not adversely affect the safety and security of the Muslim Community in London.
After several consultations, the MPS asked local London boroughs and regional constabularies to contact their local Muslim organisations or Mosques and liaise with them regarding Islamophobic backlashes and any other concerns.
Safety became a concern among Muslim communities in London. A 24 hour intelligence gathering team has been set up which is getting 3-hourly feedback from all 32 London boroughs and the regional constabularies. Regular updates are also being given to the Muslim Safety Forum, an umbrella organisation made up of national and regional Islamic organisations, working as an advisory body to the police service.
Since the terror attacks, Muslims and Islamic institutions and organisations have endured backlashes. According to the Muslim Safety Forum, a petrol bomb attack was carried on a masque in Leeds; another arson attack was carried on a Sikh temple; two cases of Actual Bodily Harm, malicious communications (particularly via e-mail), and death threats were also reported.
The MSF urges members of the community to remain vigilant at these difficult times. Members of the Community are urged to report all Islamophobic crimes to the police, even seemingly insignificant incidents. The number of the Muslim Contact Unit (MCU) at the Metropolitan Police (MPS), has been given to all community leaders to call regarding any aspect of concerns