LONDON, AP -Thousands of police officers patrolled London”s streets and sprawling subway system Thursday, four weeks after four bombs killed 56 people. The first man charged in connection with the series of attacks was scheduled to appear in court.
The massive security operation involving 6,000 officers was intended to reassure the public four Thursdays after the July 7 attacks on three subway trains and a bus and two Thursdays after the failed July 21 attacks.
Officials stressed there was no specific intelligence of a third attack, but undercover police were mingling with passengers, and officers were armed with machine guns and pistols. Police helicopters hovered above while traffic was heavier than normal.
"It”s a little bit eerie," said Rosalyn Cooper, 23, before she got on the Tube. "You can”t help thinking about when it will happen again."
On the Northern line, authorities told commuters to watch out for suspicious activity.
Meanwhile, London transport authorities on Thursday opened the Piccadilly Line, the subway line that was worst-hit in the July 7 attacks, easing disruption on the network that carries some 3 million passengers a day.
"The return of the Piccadilly line is a major step as the Underground and London get back to normal," London Underground Managing Director Tim O”Toole said.
Transport for London, the public body that runs the Underground, said passenger numbers had dipped by 30 percent on weekends and by between 5 percent and 15 percent on weekdays since July 7.
Meanwhile, some $14.2 million has been raised through charitable donations to help victims of the July 7 attacks. The London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund said bereaved relatives would receive payments of $8,900, while people who were injured and spent a night in hospital will receive $5,300.
The first man charged in connection with the London bombings was to appear in court Thursday as police continued to question 14 other suspects in custody on suspicion of involvement in the July 21 attacks.
Ismael Abdurahman, 23, from southeast London, was to appear at Bow Street Magistrates” Court in central London to face charges of withholding information about those who carried out the failed attacks.
Prosecutors allege that Abdurahman, who was charged under anti-terrorism legislation, had information he knew might help police capture suspects involved in "the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism."
One of the suspected bombers from July 21, Hamdi Issac, has been charged in Italy with association with the aim of international terrorism. He traveled to Italy shortly after the botched attacks and Britain is seeking to extradite him. Italian court officials on Thursday said an extradition hearing would be held Aug. 17.
Police were also pursuing international links — to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Zambia — as they hunted for possible conspirators in the bombings and tried to determine whether the two sets of attackers were linked. No suspects are being held in connection with the deadly July 7 suicide attacks, which killed 56 people, including the four bombers.
The Piccadilly Line is one of the busiest sections of London”s subway system. It had been partly suspended since a bomb exploded on a train in the July 7 attacks, killing 21 commuters — a closure that caused significant disruption on the network.