Craig Murray reflects on the London attacks

The first thought is obviously that this is appalling; an evil and stupid act. It can have no possible desirable political consequence, and killed entirely innocent people.

The second thought is that we must not rush to judgement. There was no intelligence indicating an attack was in the offing. We should be very wary therefore of the instant analysis of politicians. Jack Straw could be right when he said yesterday it was probably Al Qaida, but he could equally be wrong. This was premature and could stoke up anti-Muslim feeling.

There is a real danger here. It is right to be outraged at this mass murder, but we should proceed with caution and reflection. It was excess of outrage that led British police to frame the innocent Irishmen of the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford Four, leading to over 100 man years in jail served by innocent people.

Were I still in the FCO and considering this as a terrorist incident, I would consider the following. In terms of co-ordinated attacks using public transport systems, this bears some Al-Qaida hallmarks. However the blasts, terrible as they were, were nonetheless small for Al-Qaida. This was much less devastating than Nairobi, New York, Bali or Madrid and appears in that sense more improvised. We have to ask why? It is very normal to get on the tube with a heavy suitcase or rucksack, and the risk of detection getting on with 15 kg of high explosive is not much greater than getting on with 3kg.

The other question is the relation to both the Olympic award and the G8 conference. It seems to me the timing is most unlikely to be coincidental, but the purported Al-Qaida responsibility claim on the internet doesn’t stress either of these. A curious omission.

I by no means rule out Al-Qaida or their sympathisers. But I just want to point out it is by no means a straightforward question. We should wait until evidence and investigation starts to answer some of these points before we jump in assigning blame.