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Britain Rejects Video Claim it Oppresses Muslims
By Tom Rivers
VOA, London
02 September 2005

The British government has reacted sharply to the video in which one of the suspected London bombers accused democracies of "perpetuating attrocities" against Muslims.

The chilling video of the eldest July 7 London bombing suspect Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, explained his rationale for the attack. In the clip shown Thursday on the Arabic satellite station, al-Jazeera, Mr. Khan said the British public was ultimately responsible for the wave of blasts in London because they had backed a government that he asserted was attacking Muslims.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at a European Union foreign ministers' meeting in Newport, Wales Friday, rejected that contention outright and condemned all forms of terrorism.

"There is no excuse, no justification for terrorism of any kind, and it happens," said Mr. Straw. "But those who entirely wrongly claim to speak in the name of Islam are mainly killing their fellow Muslims."

Mr. Straw says British security services are assessing the contents of the video. The tape contained a separate message by al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Intelligence analysts said security officials will be examining the video for any clues that might suggest it is some sort of a trigger designed to activate sleeper cells elsewhere.

The blasts on three London subway trains and a bus on July 7 claimed 52 victims.