Commuters look out at an empty platform during the morning rush hour in London's underground, July 8, 2005. Commuters ventured warily back onto the capital's buses and subways, but traffic was lighter than usual. (AP/Matt Dunham)
The bombings in London were deadly, well-coordinated, and apparently well-timed to coincide with the G8 meeting of world leaders in Scotland. This latest terrorist outrage provokes familiar questions about how it was done, how well-defended we are, and what it means for the future.
"British foreign secretary Jack Straw says that these attacks bore all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda. Combined with the Madrid attacks last year, does this event in London mean that Europe is now the new front on the war on terror? How do the Muslim populations in Europe compare to those in the U.S.?"
"I think the Europeans have tried to play a sort of a double game, in some cases coming down very hard on terrorist elements in their communities, but adopting a very different stance politically -- trying to make gestures towards the Palestinian cause, opposing the United States over the war in Iraq, negotiating with the Iranians -- hoping that a combination of appeasement abroad and toughness at home will work."
"Many of these countries -- Spain, Germany, France -- have large Muslim populations within their borders. Most of them are hard-working people. They contribute to the economies there, but they do create the wherewithal for terrorists to create networks around the European continent, both financially and in terms of travel and recruitment."
"Europe also faces a very difficult question of how do you actually go about finding these people without creating a backlash against these bigger communities. They have had a lot of tension about that in recent years, with head scarves in schools in France, and so on. They are going to have to approach this very carefully, but they are going to have to do it."