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Experts: Latest London Blasts Amateurish - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON, AP – The explosions that struck London subway trains and a bus Thursday appeared less sophisticated than the deadly attacks that hit the British capital two weeks ago, terrorism experts said.

Explosions forced the evacuations of three Underground train stations and hit a double-decker bus early Thursday afternoon, authorities said. They reported one person injured. In the July 7 attacks, four suicide bombers killed 52 other people on three Underground trains and a bus.

Jeremy Binnie, an analyst with the London-based Jane”s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, said there were key differences between Thursday”s explosions and the previous blasts.

The latest ones did not take place at rush hour, they targeted more outlying stations, and &#34if there were bombs, they seem to have been duds,&#34 Binnie said.

&#34It seems much more amateurish in many ways,&#34 he told The Associated Press.

That could suggest they were a copycat operation, but Binnie cautioned that it was too early to tell. He noted that investigations into the July 7 blasts showed signs there could be a second cell in existence.

Keith Burnet, an expert at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London, also said the blasts appeared to be part of a &#34copycat exercise, carried out by people not as sophisticated as the bombers who struck on July 7.&#34

Burnet said there was little that Britain”s security forces could do to thwart such attacks, short of searching every passenger on the capital”s huge network of buses and trains.

But, he said, the quick response by police and medics may be partly credited to London”s ongoing heightened state of alert from the quadruple bombings two weeks ago.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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