The official story of the July 7th suicide attacks on the London underground and bus network is expressed in an almost completely uncontested document: The Coroner's Inquests Into the London Bombings of 7th July 2005. This, along with the news footage broadcast on that day has become the received truth of what led up to that day, what transpired on the day itself and massively influenced the course of public policy ever since.
The broad outline of the facts presented in this document are known to almost anyone. A "home grown" terrorist cell of outwardly normal young Asian men from Yorkshire became committed to radical Islam and sought training in jihadist camps in Pakistan.With their radical outlook, terrorist training and underground contacts, they concocted home made explosive devices and travelled to London, where they detonated their rucksacks and took their own lives as well as those of 52 innocent travellers.
Against this backdrop, a series of near-misses took place in the ensuing weeks and the life of at least one man - the innocent Jean Charles De Menezes - was taken by security forces as they scrambled to maintain order in a febrile atmosphere of suspicion and fear.
Since those panic-stricken weeks, Government agencies have acquired many new powers of surveillance, detention and censorship which are - we are told - intended only to prevent a recurrence of this terrible event. As with our cousins over the Atlantic, much of the press and population have quiescently accepted this narrative and the response of the government.
But serious questions remain unanswered and small but vocal minority continue to question both the narrative of the attacks and the policies that resulted. To be sure, there are very serious questions about the suspension of certain conventions of free speech and movement that have followed - to say nothing of the colossal expansion of surveillance capability that has followed.
On the wider fringes, there is talk that 7/7 was a "false flag" operation actually carried out with the tacit agreement of the UK government - either to justify further foreign wars on Islamic lands or to increase government powers. The main competing theory is that the government and security services were aware of the attacks and let them proceed in order to further their own agenda - primarily to give them a pretext to seize additional powers. In support of this particular theory, it must be allowed that the secret services had - by their own account - at least two of the bombers under surveillance in the months and years leading up to 7/7.
Still from CCTV footage of the alleged bombers at Luton station prior to their attack
Luton Station - inquest footage
The official footage of the 7/7 attacks as released at the coroner's inquest. From around the 4 minute mark, it is alleged that the four bombers can be seen unpacking their rucksacks from their cars prior to entering the station to start their attacks.