The tenth anniversary of the 7/7 attacks has prompted new questions about the timing of a bomber’s Israel visit, just three weeks before a deadly terrorist attack on a Tel Aviv beach bar by people he may have known.
Mohammed Sidique Khan, one of the four suicide bombers, travelled to Israel for one day in February 2003, which British authorities investigated in the aftermath of the London terror attacks, only to find “nothing suspicious”.
However, there are now suggestions that a possible link between his trip and the subsequent bombing of Tel Aviv bar ‘Mike’s Place’ by two Britons was never made because the timing was not accounted for in any of the public investigations into Khan.
One theory is that the two Tel Aviv bombers, British Muslims Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif, from Derbyshire, may not only have known Khan, through mutual connections in the now-banned Al-Muhajiroun group, but may also have been aided by him.
Now, Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee, has said that it should be looked at again, after relatives of 7/7 victims queried its relevance.
“It is relevant because relatives of the victims believe it is relevant; and since it was not in the original timeline it does need to be considered,” he said.
Clifford Tibber, the solicitor who represented the families of some of the victims of 7/7, agreed that Khan’s visit to Israel was relevant to the inquest, and should have formed part of the proceedings.
“If I had been aware of this information, I would certainly have asked the coroner to look at it,” he said.
Israeli intelligence looked into Khan’s Israel visit in the aftermath of the four London bombings, which killed 52 people, but found no evidence to corroborate any link to the trip and what subsequently happened. The British Government concurred in its official report into 7/7, saying: “There is no evidence of anything suspicious.”