By Stephen Oryszczuk
As the three Jewish victims of the 7/7 attacks were remembered on the atrocity’s 10th anniversary this week, new questions were being asked about a mysterious Israel trip one of the bombers made only weeks before the bombing of Tel Aviv bar Mike’s Place.
Among the 52 victims of 7/7 were Miriam Hyman, 31, Susan Levy, 53, and Anat Rosenberg, 39, whose family members attended national commemoration services on Tuesday, as the nation stood silent.
Beforehand, senior British politicians had said that the timing of a trip to Israel in 2003 by bomber Mohammed Siddique Khan should be reconsidered, because it may have a bearing on an attack in Tel Aviv only weeks later.
British authorities investigated Khan’s day trip, and found “nothing suspicious,” but did not consider its timing in relation to the bombing of Tel Aviv bar Mike’s Place by two Britons, whom he may have known.
British Muslims Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif, from Derbyshire, had mutual connections with Khan through the now-banned Al Muhajiroun group, with some suggesting he may even have helped them with information about security at the Allenby Crossing. “It is relevant,” said Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee, “Since it was not in the original timeline, it does need to be considered.”
Clifford Tibber, the solicitor who represented the families of some of the victims of 7/7, believes the visit should have formed part of the official inquiry.
He said: “If I had been aware of this information, I would certainly have asked the coroner to look at it.” Israeli intelligence looked into his visit in the aftermath of 7/7, but found no link to the London attacks.
Likewise, the British Government, in its official report, said: “There is no evidence of anything suspicious.” Thoughts that one of the bombers was linked to a previous attack in Tel Aviv were far from the thoughts of victims’ family members this week, as they joined political and communal leaders in paying their respects.
In an interfaith initiative called Walk Together, Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner represented the Jewish community alongside Imam Qari Asim, 7/7 survivor Gill Hicks and Rev. Bertrand Olivier, as they visited all the sites where bombs were detonated 10 years ago.
The Islamic Society of Britain, Faith Matters and the British Humanist Association were among the organisations supporting the initiative. JW3 also held a Walk Together event. Meanwhile, the Jewish community remembered the three Jewish victims, who were using the capital’s transport system when the four suicide bombers struck.
Mother-of-two Susan Levy, the first victim to be formally identified, had been travelling to work from her home in Hertfordshire. Moments earlier, she had said goodbye to her son Jamie, who got off at Finsbury Park. Discovered with “very severe lacerations” to her legs, medical experts later said she could have survived had a tourniquet been applied to her limbs at the scene.
Likewise, picture researcher Miriam Hyman was also on her way to work when she was caught in the Tavistock Square bus explosion. The daughter of Mavis and John Hyman, Miriam grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb, and only minutes earlier had spoken to her father to reassure him she was safe after being evacuated from King’s Cross, the site of an earlier bomb.
Among the more poignant stories was of Israeli Anat Rosenberg, who had come to London in part to escape the frequent suicide bombings in Israel at the time. A charity worker and ballet fanatic, her huge collection of shoes was later sold to raise money for women’s charity WIZO.