Monday, April 30, 2007

Update from me...

Hello, I'm back after a break. My wedding to J on Saturday in Norwich Cathedral was the best day of my life. More on that later. For now, I'm back in London and for the next 48 hours I will be working with some of the other survivors and families of the 7/7 atrocity to put across our message about the need for an independent inquiry into the bombings, particularly in the light of the news today about what was known about the 7/7 bombers as early as 2004.

There isn't time to type up much or to read your emails and comments, so apologies for that and will read them tonight after I have done the media stuff I have promised to do. I have just been carried over the threshold of our house by my gorgeous husband, put down my bags of wonderful wedding presents, jumped into a suit and am off to do interviews in ten minutes. You can see me and some of the other survivors and families on BBC News 24, ITN, ITN Special investigation tonight, C4 News, Newsnight, BBC London early evening news programme, Panorama, CNN, BBC Breakfast, various radio stuff, and you'll see us all again tomorrow, when the stakes will be raised.

I have been asking for an inquiry independent of Government and the Security Services since December 2005. It has been frustrating not being able to say exactly why I was so determined to make the point that the 7/7 bombers were not the ''clean skins'' who came ''out of the blue'' as we were told. In fact two of them were part of a criminal network of men bent on destruction that was known about, they were tracked and followed and then let go. We all make mistakes. I do not blame people in the security services for their mistakes and failure to use intelligence. It is failing to admit mistakes and then trying to cover up mistakes which is unforgivable and inexcusable.

It is the public who daily run the risks on the tubes and trains and uses, in the shops and clubs and streets. It is the public that the Government and Security services are sworn to serve and protect. It is the public who deserve truthful answers about what was known before 7 July and what happened on and after that day. It is the public who have been failed, and who continue to be failed by the overt politicisation of intelligence, by the posturings of politicians who pass legislation but who do not tell the whole truth. It is particularly distressing for those who were most affected by 7/7 - the families, the injured and the survivors, to find out that perhaps the ringleaders of the London bombings could have been picked up and might have been facing sentencing today along with their acqaintences - or friends - in the Crevice plot that was stopped. And I promised many of these people that I would do what I could in my small way as a blogger and writer, to get an inquiry into 7/7 over a year ago.

It's not just survivors and families who are calling for an inquiry. It is many members of the public, including many British Muslims who are adding their voices to the calls. The Lib Dems and the Tories are also calling for one. There is much to learn about July 7, and what could be learned and shared would help us understand, help us prepare, help us deal with the aftermath of terrorism, as a country of many faiths and races who seek to live peaceably and productively together, and undoubtedly spare suffering and save lives in the future.

To demonise a million Muslims in the media on the grounds that any young British male could without warning rise up and strike at his fellow citizens in the name of religion, is appalling. In fact, there are about 40-50 wannabe murder cells, there are about 2000 criminal plotters who would like to ape the murderers of July 2005 - so far. This is bad, but dealable with. This is a fluid and determined network of fantatic murderous criminals. To call them ''terrorists'' makes them sound glamorous: to call this a ''war on terror'' that means '' the rules of the game have changed'' is playing into their own propoganda. They are criminals, pure and simple, planning murder and mayhem. They are beneath contempt, and a disgrace to their country and their religion.

Why should an entire faith, an entire group of that faith's practioners be demonised because of the actions and plots of a few death-cult politicised nihilistic fools? The men sentenced at the Old Bailey today have as much relevanance to the rest of British Muslims as animal rights extremists have to 'the British vegetarian community ' ( and now perhaps with this analogy you can see why talk of 'the Muslim community' is misleadingly simplistic and facile).

ID cards, detaining people without charge, the horrors of Guantanamo, rendition and torture outsourced to less apparently-high-minded regimes, clamp downs on peaceful protest, shredding of civil liberties and political soundbites and tough talk do not help and they do not work. Tracking and stopping such death-cultists is a matter of applying intelligence, often intelligence that comes from ordinary British men and women, (including of course British Muslims) and staying calm and clear-eyed, not hysterically over-stating the danger we face and glamorising such plotters by calling them players in a ''war on terror''

There is no excuse for obfuscation and denial any more. It is time that our voices were heard, and that an inquiry, a proper one, independent of Government and the security services and the stakeholders in our security was held.

Back soon. Deep breath.

Meanwhile...Please can you sign this?

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Blogger Justin said...

Congratulations Rachel! And good luck today and tomorrow.

April 30, 2007 2:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your marriage. I hope that you (and husband) are both very happy together for a long, long time to come.

April 30, 2007 3:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Rachel. If you are anything like I was, you will be trying to get the phrase 'my husband' into just about every conversation you have (except perhaps the ones on TV: I never had that complication).

Have to say, deeply inconsiderate timing on the part of the jury though. Longest deliberation in a criminal trial in history and they pick a few days after your wedding to come back...

April 30, 2007 3:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you both !

Nice to see you on Channel 4 news to day as well.

April 30, 2007 3:58 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Congratulations, Mrs!


April 30, 2007 4:00 pm  
Blogger kris said...

Dear RAchel

I was wondering if you were getting married and that's why we hadn't heard from you. Congratulations!

And well done to the CPS for getting a conviction. In this country- that is an accomplishment.

Maybe there should be an inquiry- and maybe it should be a private one so we don't give our trade secrets to our enemies.

April 30, 2007 4:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcom back Rachel, and congratulations on your transformation (to Mrs J). And to him as well of course.

Your return coincides with a media storm, about which much more from you later no doubt (on the 6pm radio news as I type).

And there was me thinking something might be wrong (so sorry to have forgotten that it was your wedding) ....


April 30, 2007 6:14 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

Hi Mrs Rachel North. Just want to congratulate you and J on your wedding. I wish you both all the happiness the world has to offer.

I'll post something on today's news later.


April 30, 2007 6:17 pm  
Blogger Eless said...

Hi Rachel,

Congratulations on the wedding, I'm so glad you and J had a wonderful day.

I totally agree with your comments with regards to an independent inquiry into the bombings. For all Reid's bleating about not wanting to divert vital resources from the job of monitoring terror now, what he is failing to realise that unless we can learn from the mistakes of the July bombings, we will be doomed to repeat them.

April 30, 2007 6:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Rachel on your wedding and that launch over the threshold.

Keep at them, they cannot decline an inquiry for long. Or can they?

April 30, 2007 6:31 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

Just saw your clip on the BBC News, 6pm your time. You look stunning and were very coherent and to the point. Great issues raised - I'll be watching all night now :-)

And congratulations to you and J!

April 30, 2007 6:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, don't give up!

April 30, 2007 7:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your wedding! Can't wait to see pictures!

Although I don't live under a rock, I do live in Oregon, and I don't have Cable TV, so I hadn't heard about the news in England. (Plus it's been 90 degrees and we've been barbequeing and fishing, far too nice a weekend to catch any news on TV!)

From what you're describing, it sounds like there are a lot of civil liberties being eroded over there. Over here, you don't have to have ID, but you can't drive without your driver's license. Well, it is not physically impossible, but if you get pulled over for something, you'd be in trouble. For those who don't drive, most people need an ID to open an account, buy tobacco or alcohol, get a library card, etc. So most people in America tend to carry around some form of ID anyway. But we're not as closely monitored or videotaped. I've NEVER seen cameras in transport stations! (Only in shops, especially those little convenience stores that tend to get robbed a lot.)

April 30, 2007 7:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Also, unless you have been convicted of a felony, it is perfectly fine to carry a gun around, in plain site, in much of the USA, including Oregon, where I live. (You need a special license to carry a concealed weapon, but all that entails is taking a gun safety class and paying $50.)I know there are lots of debates about gun control, but I have to agree with a bumper sticker I saw once. "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." I used to be scared of them, but my son got me to go out to the shooting range and get comfortable with them. I can't imagine carrying a gun in England!

April 30, 2007 7:38 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Rachel
Just seen you on Channel 4 news. You looked and sounded great. x

April 30, 2007 8:16 pm  
Blogger Seeker said...

Wonderful news! Be sure to live happily ever after.........

April 30, 2007 8:58 pm  
Blogger Mr Eugenides said...

Hiya Rachel,

Congratulations on the wedding, I hope everything went well.

Saw you on Newsnight; you are, of course, absolutely right. The case for an enquiry is utterly overwhelming. The excuses being trotted out by Rambo and his acolytes are getting flimsier by the day.

May 01, 2007 12:00 am  
Blogger Tina - omme i London said...

Congratulations on your wedding Rachel. I'm pleased you had a good day. Good luck for your tv appearances!

May 01, 2007 12:01 am  
Blogger Clairwil said...

Ah, there's nothing like a quiet start to married life!

Congratulations and best of luck.

May 01, 2007 12:23 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

You were excellent on Newsnight.

Congratulations on the wedding. Have a marvellous life together. Marriage really is fantastic.


May 01, 2007 12:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes for years to come

Mrs. J.

Wow :)

And I already signed the thingy

May 01, 2007 12:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

congratulations to you and j.i am so happy for you.

i will be checking both the bbc website and cnn later.

seth :)

May 01, 2007 2:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time lurker here; had to comment to say how ace you were on Newsnight - coherent, consistent and calm! The message came through loud and clear.

Congratulations on the wedding and best wishes for the future.

May 01, 2007 3:01 am  
Blogger Ally said...

Congratulations! And there's nothing like hitting the ground running ... :).

May 01, 2007 5:59 am  
Blogger Steve_Roberts said...

I say you on Newsnight, you made your points well, and the government's apologist was left floundering - he was of course defending the undefendable. The most shocking thing to me is the pervasive culture of lies, from the 'power surge' announcement onwards, and the way that much of the press and public just accepts it. Do keep up the pressure !

May 01, 2007 8:38 am  
Blogger Unsworth said...


This morning I watched your interview on BBC1. I just wanted to say (without patronising) how impressive you were. Points clearly stated and cogently expressed. Well done. Let us hope that an Inquiry is forthcoming.

My concern is that, like so many other Inquiries in recent years, there will be a deliberate deflection of aim, and that any who are found to be deficient or guilty of poor practice will not be castigated. However, that remains to be seen.

Incidentally, I caught the tail end of Blunkett's interview on the radio. What a truly ghastly and devious individual he is.

May 01, 2007 9:16 am  
Blogger hatfield girl said...

Congratulations to you both Rachel and warmest good wishes.

We are part of the huge number who are with you in calling for an independent inquiry.

May 01, 2007 9:28 am  
Blogger Adrian said...

Congratulations and best wishes Rachel, to you and J on your matrimonial union!!

May you enjoy the best of health and loving times together ( :

Here in Canada, listening to CBC radio today, I heard you interviewed - very passionate and articulate was your presentation.

Wishing you success in your call for an inquiry!

In this country, there is underway a public inquiry into what's referred to as the "Air India bombing". (some background @ )

It's taken over 20 years (!!) for this inquiry to happen, but, we are finally learning more about this terrible event. Two witnesses in the past 24 hours have testified that they informed intelligence agencies months ahead of the bombing, of specific threats and plots underway.

May you find the answers you seek. Power to the people.

Sláinte mhaith, Adrian

May 01, 2007 12:22 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations! I wish you both all the very best for a happy life together.

May 01, 2007 12:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and J on your marriage. You have been through so much together already.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

May 01, 2007 7:17 pm  
Blogger Laban said...

Ah, but Rachel. The vegetarian community is the sea in which the animal rights terrorist fish swim ...

May 01, 2007 10:53 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

Congratulations - so glad the wedding day went so well.

Also echo what others have said re your cool, calm and dignified media appearances.

Have signed petition and will post link later today.

May 02, 2007 10:13 am  
Blogger Rev Paul Martin said...

Congratulations on your marriage and best wishes for your shared lives together.

Saw you on telvision anf felt you put your case across very well.

May 02, 2007 8:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing you the very best for the future Rachel, lots of love and happiness.

May 02, 2007 8:32 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Congratulations on your wedding Rachel and glad it was a lovely day :).

May 02, 2007 10:34 pm  
Blogger Liam Bailey said...

To continue the theme: belated congratulations for your marraige. Also, I have signed the petition you linked to from this post.

Now, I would like to refer you to my article that explains all about MI5's failures that led to 7/7.

My main blog URL is

Enjoy your honeymoon...

Liam Bailey
Freelance journalist

May 05, 2007 10:04 pm  

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