War on Terrorism

Friday, November 07, 2008

Interagency Coordination: Lessons Learned From the 2005 London Train Bombings

In July 2005, terrorists carried out the first suicide attacks in modern Western Europe. At 8:50 a.m., bombs went off on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb was detonated a short time later on a double-decker bus. The attacks were the deadliest in London since World War Two, killing 52 people and injuring more than 700 others.

London agencies responding to the bombings faced a number of challenges, which were, in part, driven by the virtually simultaneous nature of the attacks. Initial reports about the source of the explosions ranged from a train derailment to a body on the tracks to a power surge in the London Underground system. Passengers fled from multiple station exits, causing further confusion about the number of attack sites.


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