Israel Warned United Kingdom About Possible Attacks
Stratfor Consulting Intelligence Agency
July 7, 2005
There has been massive confusion over a denial made by the Israelis that the Scotland Yard had warned the Israeli Embassy in London of possible terrorist attacks "minutes before" the first bomb went off July 7. Israel warned London of the attacks a "couple of days ago," but British authorities failed to respond accordingly to deter the attacks, according to an unconfirmed rumor circulating in intelligence circles. While Israel is keeping quiet for the time-being, British Prime Minister Tony Blair soon will be facing the heat for his failure to take action.
The Associated Press reported July 7 that an anonymous source in the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Scotland Yard had warned the Israeli Embassy in London of possible terrorist attacks in the U.K. capital. The information reportedly was passed to the embassy minutes before the first bomb struck at 0851 London time. The Israeli Embassy promptly ordered Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remain in his hotel on the morning of July 7. Netanyahu was scheduled to participate in an Israeli Investment Forum Conference at the Grand Eastern Hotel, located next to the Liverpool Street Tube station -- the first target in the series of bombings that hit London on July 7.
Several hours later, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom officially denied reports that Scotland Yard passed any information to Israel regarding the bombings, and British police denied they had any advanced warning of the attacks. The British authorities similarly denied that any information exchange had occurred.
Contrary to original claims that Israel was warned "minutes before" the first attack, unconfirmed rumors in intelligence circles indicate that the Israeli government actually warned London of the attacks "a couple of days" previous. Israel has apparently given other warnings about possible attacks that turned out to be aborted operations. The British government did not want to disrupt the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, or call off visits by foreign dignitaries to London, hoping this would be another false alarm.
The British government sat on this information for days and failed to respond. Though the Israeli government is playing along publicly, it may not stay quiet for long. This is sure to apply pressure on Blair very soon for his failure to deter this major terrorist attack.
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