Monday, 8 November 2010

7/7 Inquests: The Disintegration of Shehzad Tanweer

As the Inquest approached the end of the third and final week of testimony and evidence into the Aldgate scene, as outlined in 'Factual Issue 3: Circumstances at the scene immediately following the explosions', the first evidence for the presence of Shehzad Tanweer at the site of this explosion emerged.

The evidence didn't come in the form of CCTV footage, as we now know it was claimed that the last sighting of Tanweer was made at around 08.26.32 at the King's Cross Thameslink end of the entrance tunnel to the London Underground.

Nor did the evidence come in the form of witness testimony. Not one witness on carriage two claimed to have seen Tanweer on the carriage. Bruce Lait, for example, who had given interviews to the press in the days after July 7th 2005, and who had claimed he hadn't seen anyone where the hole in the floor of the carriage was, was not asked whether he had seen Tanweer on the carriage before the explosion.

Michael Henning, who entered the train on carriage 3, was asked this question by Hugo Keith QC:
Q. Did you, in fact, tell the police that you did recollect -- and you had an image in your mind to this effect -- a male standing inside the rear set of doors in that second carriage?
A. I do indeed, and it puts a shiver through me to remember that. However, I couldn't say with great detail his features, etcetera. It's more those soft focus of the people that you normally see on the Tube and haven't paid attention to.
Q. Could we have, please, on the screen INQ00008352, page 2? Did you prepare, in fact, a sketch map for the police showing the rear of the second carriage towards the top of the page, towards the front of the train,towards the front, and the platform side which you boarded, and then the third carriage, and you went on,and do the two crosses indicate respectively the person whom you thought you might have seen as being significant in the second carriage and then your place in the third carriage?
A. Indeed. The cross circled is obviously where I perceived Tanweer to be.
Q. You obviously didn't know him to be Tanweer then. Did you tell the police that you saw a man you described as an Asian man wearing some sort of white or cream light-coloured clothing in any event?
A. That's what I recall, yes.
Q. Can you recall any more about the person that you saw in outline as you boarded the train?
A. I would be hesitant to say more because of all the subsequent information I've seen.
Q. Of course. Do you recall whether he was carrying anything, the person that you recall seeing?
A. I remember him holding something, but how he was carrying it, again, it would be wrong of me to try and put detail on that.

Whether Tanweer was wearing what could be described as "some sort of white or cream light-coloured clothing" is questionable as CCTV shows his clothing to be predominantly dark:

Of course the 'suicide-bomber' meme has always tacitly implied that explosives are carried on the body. Although, uniquely it appears, as the story of the London bombings evolved, rucksacks on the body became solely the mode of transportation of the explosives, not the method of delivery. At the time of the attacks the Metropolitan Police were clearly stating that the explosions happened on the floors of the carriages, with early reports claiming the explosions came from under the trains, yet this did not dispel the 'suicide-bomber' meme once the four accused were identified. This is important to bear in mind when examining any witness statements or evidence which originate from the period immediately after the events of 7 July 2005.

On the penultimate day of the Aldgate scene evidence, a witness statement was read to the Inquest by Hugo Keith, detailing evidence that apparently linked Shehzad Tanweer to the site of the explosion:
My Lady, the final statement is that of Richard Hall, dated 6 June 2006, again with the usual declaration of truth. Statement of DC RICHARD HALL read:
"I am a detective constable attached to the Anti-terrorist Branch at New Scotland Yard where I performed the role of Terrorist Forensic Scene Examiner and Exhibit Officer.
"On Thursday, 7 July 2005, I was on duty when a series of incidents took place in London. I was aware that initially there had been explosions on London Underground trains at Russell Square,Edgware Road and Aldgate Underground station. A further explosion had occurred on a London Transport bus at Tavistock Square.
"I was tasked by DS Michael Jolly to act as the Deputy Scene Examiner to DC Andrew Meneely, who had been tasked earlier in the day to attend the scene at Aldgate London Underground station.
"I went to the scene where I was met by DC Meneely,who was carrying out tasks in relation to the initial survey of the scene. DC Meneely had devised a zone plan which had been used to structure the search. This was later drawn by DC Neil Fretwell of the
Anti-terrorist Branch Bomb Data Centre and exhibited at NF/7."
"During the course of DC Meneely's initial examination of the scene, he seized exhibit AM/11, selected debris from zone 5, the open area to the left of carriages 1, 2 and 3 of the train.
"The exhibit contained part of a wallet which appeared to have been close to an explosion. I examined the contents of this wallet and found that it contained fragments of plastic cards, fragments of Bank of England notes, business cards, and other correspondence.
"I recorded the following details in the 'Remarks' column of the exhibit book and passed them to the control vehicle for transmission to the ATBIU.
"On Monday, 11 July 2005, I conducted a closer examination of exhibit AM/11. A decision had been taken to submit the wallet to the Forensic Explosives Laboratory for explosive trace work to be done. I therefore opened the exhibit and removed all of the fragmented parts from it. I then resealed the exhibit.
As a result of this examination, I created the following eleven exhibits:

"RABH/1. Fragmented HSBC credit card in the name of Mr Sidique Khan ...
"RABH/2. Fragments of a £10 and £5 note split from AM/11 ...
"RABH/3. One Excelsior Snooker Club membership card in the name of S Tanweer
"RABH/4. 1. Two receipts ... One PC World receipt for plantronic audio 15 microph 12.99. "2. B&Q receipt. Print has faded but can be read in part. (H)Eeston Ring Road, Leeds ...
"RABH/5. One Northern Snooker Centre membership card in the name of S Tanweer ...
"RABH/5A. One Nasim Property Investor business card...
"RABH/7. One Halifax Current Account Switch Card in the name of Mr S Khan ...
"RABH/8. One Optimum Fitness card in the name of Yasser HALEED ...
"RABH/9. One business card ... "Dr GREENTHUMBS Hydroponics Store ... Wakefield ...
"RABH/10. One business card in the name of James Squires ...
"I also produced exhibit RABH/11 - one nylon bag - for control purposes for the Forensic Explosives Laboratory."

RABH/1. Fragmented HSBC credit card in the name of Mr Sidique Khan

As stated in Mr Hall's testimony this wallet was seized from 'selected debris from zone 5, the open area to the left of carriages 1, 2 and 3 of the train.'

This exhibit shows Zone 5 - the area in and around carriages 1 2 & 3:

Zone 5, where it is claimed the wallet was found, does not include the actual area where the initial explosion is said to have occurred and where the Inquest were told persons were thrown from the train by the blast. This area was described as being where carriage 4 eventually came to a halt, as shown in this Inquest exhibit, which would place it in Zone 6:

The graphic above had been described by Hugo Keith in his opening statement to the Inquest [p35 13-23] as follows:
Richard Gray was tragically blown out of the right-hand side of the second carriage, that's to say the right-hand side of the carriage if you were standing in that carriage looking forward in the direction of travel on the side away from the bomb and on to the track, so from this diagram away from the location of the bomb down towards the bottom of the page and through double door D8. Because the train carried on moving for a short while, as I've said, his body was found adjacent to carriages 3 and 4 when the train finally stopped.

Rather strange then that Zone 5 didn't include at least part of carriage 4.

Only 7 bodies recovered

The total number of deceased from Circle Line train 204, according to all witness testimony and evidence was seven - a figure which does not allow for the presence of Shehzad Tanweer. We also know that no victims of the Liverpool Street/Aldgate incident had died in hospital.

As the Aldgate scene evidence neared its conclusion, it became apparent that Shehzad Tanweer's body was not identified as being amongst the dead. The official "narrative" of the explosion on Circle Line train 204 at Aldgate holds that eight people died, with Richard Gray's body recovered from the track:

BTP Inspector Robert Munn was the last person to leave the site before investigators took over. In this exchange with Hugo Keith, Munn confirms the total number of dead as seven:
Q. [Hugo Keith] At 10.18, you made your final call, for these purposes -- you updated BX, in fact, for the rest of the morning, but for our purposes, you made your final call at 18.47, [BTP170-55]: "BQ10 ... for your information, Aldgate, I'm the last police officer to leave and I've got the last Fire Brigade with me ... the station's now evacuated to the front gate. I can confirm 7 ... dead bodies left on the train, over. "Sorry, say again? "Have you got any persons trapped, over? "None that's still alive, over." That was at 10.18. Before you left, had a doctor appeared trackside?
A.[Inspector Robert Munn] Yes, I think it was the -- I think it was the HEMS doctor that I referred to earlier, I think.
Q. Dr Lockey?
A. I didn't -- I can't recall his name, sir.
Q. You didn't catch his name. Did he formally confirm to you that there were seven dead?
A. Before we left, sir, I waited by the doctor and the lead fire officer, while the doctor checked all the remaining bodies that had been left behind, and confirmed the number of dead.

LAS paramedic Steven Jones:
"When all known live patients were removed,the HEMS doctor pronounced life extinct the seven patients left..."

The HEMS doctor described by Steven Jones. Dr David Lockey, gave his evidence on 2 November and featured this interesting if somewhat leading, exchange with counsel representing the family of victim Lee Baisden, which could have possibly been describing Tanweer:
Q. [MS SHEFF] Can I just repeat that? I just want to clarify that, when you describe seeing a body under the doors near X, that's the one that you've marked on as C on your plan.
A. [DR LOCKEY] Yes, I think so.
Q. In your witness statement, you described that body as a black or dark-skinned male of Somali appearance.
A. That is not the statement that I wrote. That was a statement that a police officer wrote for me, although I obviously agreed it afterwards, and I wouldn't describe anyone as coming from a particular country. However, in the discussion, he asked me about the colour of the man's skin and whether I thought he was Asian or whatever, and that's how we got to someone of slightly more North African appearance than perhaps Asian appearance. But it was not something that I would have stated myself, if I'd written the statement.
Q. Okay, so thinking about that now, can I ask you this: have you previously seen victims of explosions with blast injuries?
A. Yes.
Q. You are aware, are you, that those close to the site of the explosion can very often suffer very severe burns and even charring of the skin --
A. Yes.
Q. -- which can turn the skin black.
A. I work in a Burns Unit as well.
Q. Yes, indeed. So you might not have been aware, then,that this particular male who
A. Was white?
Q. -- was white, he was, in fact, Lee Baisden, whose family I represent, and at his post-mortem he was found to have flash and deep burn injuries over his body. Would that have been consistent, therefore, with the
appearance of somebody with black skin?
A. I believe not.
Q. So are you suggesting that this could have been somebody who was of black skinned appearance, originally black --
A. Yes, I felt that that was the case, and I recall seeing a head underneath the window of a door, the door had been blown on to it, and I may have been mistaken, but I didn't feel that that patient was white and I am used to seeing patients with blast injuries.
Q. So that was the impression that you had?
A. Yes.
Q. I suggest that you were mistaken about that. The X actually does mark the site of the explosion and the fact that the body was so close to that explosion does indicate, we believe, that the body received those juries from the charring of the skin as a result and that Lee Baisden was that man who was close to the original site of the injury. You don't take that view, I suspect?
A. I can't be certain either way. I have thought about it since and I came back to my original conclusion.
Q. It was, however, a scene of total carnage and body parts were all over the place, and it must have been quite traumatic just taking in the scene when you first saw it. So is there a possibility that you are mistaken about that?
A. There is a possibility.

Dr Lockey then continues in his testimony to state that he certified five dead on the train and that there were two deceased on the tracks.

Forensic medical examiner, Dr Morgan Costello, giving his witness testimony via video link from Eire on the afternoon of 3rd November, stated that he had been asked by the MPS to pronounce life extinct at two sites, Edgware Road and Aldgate, and attended Aldgate on 8 July 2005 at 08.40:

A. You could tell how many bodies were there, but it was quite difficult to tell exact, you know, body parts from each other due to clothes being on the area, blast matter, and the positioning of the bodies. It was quite easy to assign how many individuals were there, but just picking out exact details was difficult.

Dr Costello is then taken through the names of the seven victims, minus Shehzad Tanweer.

DC Andrew Meneely, bomb scene examiner at Aldgate, gave his testimony on the morning of the 3rd November describing his role as "to do the forensic recovery of any evidence at the scene and to deal with any body recovery of bodies that may be there" (p67, 12-14). [NB. At this point Hugo Keith reminds the Inquest that "the issue of the bodies and their recovery and their treatment is outside the scope of these proceedings by order of my Lady earlier in these proceedings" (ibid. 15-17)].

Presumably the DC in charge of body recovery would identify the body of Shehzad Tanweer? Questioned by Mr Saunders, after a warning by Lady Hallett on whether it would touch on matters she had deemed were not issues, only seven bodies were identified for removal from the scene:
Q.[MR SAUNDERS] I think there was also a problem with the obtaining of a correct vehicle that had sufficient refrigeration to ensure the proper removal of the bodies?
A. [DC MENEELY] Refrigeration units were called for.
Q. I think there was a difficulty -- it may be somebody else deals with that, but there were difficulties as to when they could be provided on the scene.
A. I understand that the vehicles arrived some time on the Saturday.
Q. I think the formal removal of Fiona Stevenson was --
A. Some time on the Friday, actually.
Q. -- on the Friday, I think.
A. Yes.
Q. So I think there were those two that were outside, Carrie and Richard Gray were removed initially, and then Fiona Stevenson on the Saturday.
A. Yes, that's correct. Ms Stevenson -- there was four bodies removed on the Friday, two on the trackside and two males in the rear carriage part and then the three other women on the Saturday.

It doesn't appear to be the case, even by 8th July 2005, that any discernible body parts from Shehzad Tanweer had been identified. A wallet, some damaged plastic, paper receipts, and membership cards all remained, but nothing identifiable as the head, torso, or limbs of Shehzad Tanweer, appear to have been present, resulting in several confirmations of the total number of dead as 7. Note: 'Suicide bombers' do not generally vapourise themselves (Warning: Graphic image of the remains of a 'suicide-bomber' with explosives strapped to the body, not in a rucksack on the floor).

Tanweer's Spine

So how did Shehzad Tanweer come to be identified given this total lack of discernible body parts? Over to DC Meneely for an answer to this one:
Q.[HUGO KEITH] The process continued, as you've told us, for, in your case, some ten days, but it wasn't until, I think, Saturday, 9 July that a significant piece of bone, a piece of a backbone, was discovered in the front of a rear bench seat in carriage 2?
A.[DC MENEELY] That's correct. Officers were searching that part of carriage 2 and, about 9.30 at night, I was told that a piece of backbone had been recovered.
Q. Why was that significant?
A. Because all of the bodies I'd seen so far had no real upper body trauma to that degree. Obviously there was a lot of injuries, but everybody was relatively intact
in relation to the upper body.
Q. No doubt, the discovery of that piece of bone was relevant to the investigation of the crime and information about it was passed to your colleagues?
A. Yes, it was.
Presumably an upper body trauma would be significant if the explosion had occurred on the body, as is understood to be the case with 'suicide-bombers', but not if the explosion had occurred on the floor of the carriage, as no other victim had this type of injury. As we can see from this graphic, Lee Baisden whose severely burned body was described above by Ms Sheff, was very close to the centre of the explosion, as were both William Walsh (second degree burns and lacerations from climbing out of the window) and Greg Shannon (a total unknown - no press reports), neither of whom were called as witnesses or had their testimony read. (At this stage we cannot discount the possibility that Hugo Keith will summon them when 'factual issue 9: The presence at the scenes of MSK, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay, and their proximity to the explosions' are covered in early 2011. J7 will of course further examine the detail of these issues in due course).

It would appear from evidence to the Inquest that the DNA extracted from Shehzad Tanweer by West Yorkshire Police on his arrest for a Public Order offence in April 2004 was used to identify this spine along with some other tissue samples taken from undisclosed body parts. [Transcripts 3/11/10 pm, page 11 lines 3 on]

It is also a mystery how this 'spine' had only been found on the 9th July, given that it was first mentioned in the witness testimony of DI Kemp, one of the first responders to the scene, on 27 October:
Q.[HUGO KEITH] I think also in that area you noticed what seemed to you to be a part of a body. In fact a human spine?
A.[DI KEMP] That's what it looked like, yes.
Q. From all that, because there was devastation, destruction, debris, a hole, a piece of spine, as well as a body that you realised was dead, and another severely injured person, you knew you were in the immediate vicinity of the bomb?
A. I believed that, yes.

DI Kemp had previously described the scene as dark and that he had only the use of a bicycle lamp which he had acquired from a passing passenger [ibid. page 37, lines 18-129].

The forensics report into Shehzad Tanweer was read to the Inquest by Hugo Keith, no evidence was published and neither are the actual body parts that tissue for DNA sampling were taken from, named. (Again, these issues may be examined when the forensics evidence is adduced in early 2011).
Statements of MR ANDREW McDONALD read
"I hold degrees of Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Master of Science in Forensic Science ... I have been a forensic scientist since 1992. During the course of my career, I have examined many cases using DNA analysis techniques.

"Between 13 July 2005 and 28 July 2005, 80 recovered body part samples associated with the bombings of a London Underground Tube train at Aldgate on 7 July 2005 together with 20 reference control samples from individuals known to have been present at the time of the explosion were received at the laboratory. All items were received in sealed packages.

"I was asked to carry out STR profiling tests to determine whether any of the recovered body part samples received in this case could have originated from Shehzad Tanweer. STR profiling is a sensitive DNA analysis technique. An STR profile obtained from a human body fluid, such as blood or saliva, or human body tissue can be compared with an STR profile of a given person. If the profiles are different, then the body fluid or body tissues cannot have originated from the person in question.

"If, on the other hand, the STR profiles are the same, then that individual, and anyone else who shares the same STR profile, can be considered as a possible source of the body fluid or body part. The significance of finding such a match can then be assessed."Reference control sample. The tissue sample taken from Shehzad Tanweer was used to determine his STR profile.

"Recovered body part samples:
"Tissue analysed from the following recovered body part samples generated full STR profiles which matched at of Shehzad Tanweer."
And, my Lady, Mr McDonald then goes on to list 48 tissues which were analysed from recovered body part samples:

"This means that the body parts could have originated from him. I estimate that the probability of obtaining this profile, if the tissue tested from the body parts did not originate from Shehzad Tanweer, but came from another unrelated person who, by coincidence,had the same profile, is less than 1:1 billion. In addition to these body part samples, the following recovered body part samples generated incomplete STR
profiles which matched that of Shehzad Tanweer."

My Lady, four are listed.
"This means that these body part samples could also have originated from him. I estimate that the probability of obtaining these profiles, if the tissue tested from the body parts did not originate from Shehzad Tanweer but came from another unrelated person who, by coincidence, has the same profile, is less than 1:1 billion ..."

My Lady, he lists three of the body part samples.
"... and approximately 1:9 million", in respect of the final body part sample:
"These body part tissue samples could not have originated from any of the other individuals for whom reference control samples were analysed. None of the other recovered body part samples that were analysed could have originated from Shehzad Tanweer. In my opinion, the STR profile results provide extremely strong scientific support for the assertion that all of the recovered body part samples listed above originated from Shehzad Tanweer."

This piece of spine alleged to be the remains of Tanweer was examined by pathologist, Mr Nathaniel Cary, and in a statement dated 29 April 2007, again read by Hugo Keith, he claimed:
Statement of MR NATHANIEL CARY read "Recovered body fragment: Operation Theseus URN60021972 (Shehzad TANWEER).
"Date of death: 7 July 2005 ...
"This body part was recovered from the Aldgate scene. This is a fragment consisting of the lower part of the thoracic spine and the upper lumbar spine weighing 1.852 kilograms. There are some signs of decomposition and charring. The specimen is contaminated with glass. It is associated with a piece of cloth.

"Measurements: 30 centimetres longitudinally. "Up to 14 centimetres wide. "Up to 10 centimetres deep.

"There are attached pieces of posterior rib associated with posterior spinal muscles. It consists of part of the sixth thoracic vertebrae, the seventh thoracic to the second lumbar vertebrae in continuity and part of the third thoracic vertebrae ...

"Clinicopathological correlation:
"I have subsequently seen a copy of a form entitled 'Matched body parts'. This relates to scene 1 Aldgate.

Through DNA analysis, this body part, URN 60021972, has been matched to multiple other body parts identified as having come from Shehzad Tanweer.

"The nature of this body part and the extreme level of disruption implied by the nature of the other matched body parts is typical of a deceased person having been either in direct contact or very close to an explosive device.

"The level of exposive disruption associated with this deceased, when compared with other bodies, both from this scene and other scenes of explosions also occurring on July 7, is entirely in keeping with this deceased having been in possession of the explosive device at the time it exploded.

"Cause of death: "A cause of death for this deceased person may be recoded as 1A injuries due to an explosion."

How Tanweer could possibly have been 'in possession" of an explosive device that exploded on the floor of the carriage, and how he managed to virtually disintegrate to the point where no discernible body was identified, only adds to the many questions which existed before the 7 July Inquest resumed.

Questions which this Inquest is failing to answer.


  1. How about he bent or crouched over the rucksack, which was on the floor, to detonate it? Or held it in his arms and triggered it?

  2. The story holds the train explosions all happened on the floors of the carriages, so the latter of your suggestions doesn't fit.

    As for the former suggestion, there are lots of possibilities but, so far, no explanations; nor any eye witnesses called that might have helped fill in the blanks.

  3. @ Anonymous

    The sort of behaviour a witness would have been expected to have noticed perhaps? As for the injuries associated with strapping the explosives to the body check out the graphic image linked in the post.

    Does hydrogen peroxide mixed with either black pepper or masala powder (this hasn't been clarified yet) cause a human body to virtually vapourise yet leave a paper receipt in a wallet intact?

  4. Antagonist said "nor any eye witnesses"

    You'll get your answer today when a survivor will testify that he saw Mohammed Sidique Khan detonate a bomb in his rucksack which was on the floor of the carriage. QED and time for you to put an end to your speculations.

  5. We've had that particular answer already, from the very same person you refer to in your quasi-cryptic comment, Danny Biddle.

    It'll be interesting to see which particular version of his story Mr Biddle recounts under oath.

  6. Also worth remembering that while Danny Biddle may say whatever he might say when called at the inquests, it will not negate the complete lack of eye-witness corroboration of the official story at Aldgate.

    Nor will Danny Biddle's testimony negate the fact that various medical body counts of the deceased totalled 7, a figure which doesn't include (the apparently almost entirely vapourised) Shehzad Tanweer.

  7. Antagonist said "almost entirely vaporised"

    Not vaporised at all in fact- a piece of spine weighing almost 2 kilos and measuring 30 cm in length was recovered, as well as many other identifiable body parts. And who planted the piece of Tanweer's shinbone found in a survivor's eye? Are the hospital staff are in on it too?

  8. Today Danny Biddle said "Khan" was seated with a small rucksack on his lap. He did not have a large rucksack. Danny Biddle also said that he had always said this to the media.

  9. Are you accusing Mr Biddle of lying? What possible motive would a man who's had both legs blown off have in protecting the conspiracy that ruined his life? Don't tell me he's been 'got at'.

  10. @ Numeral On his lap? Wasn't the explosion on the floor of the carriage?

  11. @Anonymous I think that's what 'almost entirely' might refer to. As for 'a piece of shin bone' this would not be subject to DNA testing by hospital staff and at least two survivors and one victim lost legs.

  12. Bomb-proof wallets? From the makers of fire-resistant passport or the crash-proof bandana maybe? Deja-vu indeedy!

  13. The piece of shinbone was removed in hospital and passed to the scientists for DNA testing. It belonged to Tanweer.

    PS I was working at the forensic lab at the time.

  14. @ Anonymous "I was working at the forensic lab at the time".

    Perhaps you came across the person Gareth Peirce referred to in her recent speech:

    “Another dying man in a British prison years before, Giuseppe Conlon, wrongly convincted on the evidence of the same discredited scientists who provided the forensic case against al-Megrahi, was forced to wait for such a decision until the day of his death, when the home secretary, fearful of a political backlash, agreed too late to his release on humanitarian grounds."

    Are British making same mistakes with Muslims they made with Irish? | Irish News | IrishCentral

  15. Bridget

    Are you accusing forensic scientists of fitting up Tanweer?

  16. Anonymous, if I was I'd say it. Can you answer the question that I actually asked.

  17. Anonymous said "Not vaporised at all in fact- a piece of spine weighing almost 2 kilos and measuring 30 cm in length was recovered"

    Large enough to remain undiscovered until 9th July and to be missed by all the doctors and experts pronouncing life extinct.

  18. Bridget

    The answer to your question is no. I've only been in forensics for a mere 15 years.

    Can you give us a quick rundown of your forensic experience please?

  19. My experience? None. Just a healthy scepticism of anything that Sherlock Holmes wouldn't have access to :)

    The current organization of forensic science induces biases in the conduct of forensic science even if forensic scientists are perfectly rational. Assuming forensic examiners are flawless Bayesian statisticians helps us to identify structural sources of error that we might otherwise have undervalued or missed altogether. Specifically, forensic examiners’ conclusions are affected not just by objective test results but also by two subjective factors: their prior beliefs about a suspect's likely guilt or innocence and the relative importance they attach to convicting the guilty rather than the innocent. The authorities—police and prosecutors—implicitly convey information to forensic examiners by their very decision to submit samples for testing. This information induces the examiners to update their prior beliefs in a manner that results in a greater tendency to provide testimony that incriminates the defendant. Forensic results are in a sense ‘contaminated’ by the prosecution and thus do not provide jurors with an independent source of information. Structural reforms to address such problems of rational bias include independence from law enforcement, blind proficiency testing and separation of test from interpretation.

    Rational bias in forensic science — Law, Probability and Risk

    Along with:

    Indeed, as Allan went on to illustrate, even DNA evidence commonly understood as indisputable evidence of guilt or innocence is intrinsically a highly subjective and value-laden ‘science’. DNA matches are done by identifying ‘peaks’ which indicate the presence of human DNA. The higher the peak, the greater the quantity of DNA present. However, whether a peak can be identified, or how high or low the peak is, is relative to the baseline which is subjectively drawn. As such, DNA assessment is an essentially subjective and a potentially risky process, particularly where the amount of DNA available is of a minute quantity. Similarly, in ‘mixed-DNA’ cases involving mixtures of at least two different DNAs, it is almost impossible to conclude who, or how many people may have contributed the respective DNAs. Without calculations of the probabilities of false inclusions, little inferences can be drawn in such scenarios.

    The most significant message of Allan’s session, is perhaps the need for a healthy skepticism in our treatment of forensic science evidence and the caution that needs to be undertaken in taking science as the objective truth. The need for radical changes in the way scientific evidence is approached in the pre-trial/police investigation and trial stages is evident, but this change can perhaps only be driven by a public inquiry evoked by a miscarriage of justice where science is the culprit.

    United Against Injustice

    Just food for thought!

    1. The above , regarding DNA and peaks is really nonsense. DNA analysis does not depend on quantity since trace amounts are always amplified (replicated) by PCR type techniques. Mixed samples can also be dealt with and must be because all samples are contaminated by other DNA. Where DNA can be be fixed it is in the chain of custody, of both the samples taken and in this case also the body parts themselves.

  20. We do, of course, have a piece of evidence at our disposal that was not presented at today’s (Monday) session and almost certainly will not appear at all – unless someone realises its value. I am referring to the photograph of the Edgware Road train, which was leaked to ABC News and subsequently found its way into the British media for one day only. It can be found on the July 7 site, almost at the end of:

    For comparison purposes, a picture of an undamaged Refurbished C Stock carriage can be found here in Figure 2:

    Search for Exhibit INQ10282-8.pdf for the plan view graphic of the carriage where the explosion took place, and look at Exhibit INQ10282-9.pdf, which shows the position of some of the deceased after the explosion. Look at the point marked X where the explosion is said to have occurred.

    The damage photograph appears to have been taken through double door D3, looking towards double door D4. Passing vertically through the ‘U’ of the word EXCLUSIVE is the edge of the right hand side of the door aperture for D4. That can be confirmed by comparing the floor pattern with that in the photo of the undamaged carriage. Note that the pattern is across the carriage between door sets and along the carriage between the seats. We can now see where Danny Biddle said he was standing when the explosion occurred.

    DB said, in his inquest testimony, that he saw the young Asian man reach to the small rucksack on his lap, at which point the explosion occurred. The man was sitting in Seat 28, making it impossible for the detonation point to be where the X has been placed on the floor plans. INQ10282-9.pdf shows that Kahn is alleged to have ended up in the door area, on the other side of Point X. That is going to take some explaining, no doubt with some pretty fancy physics.

    There is a wealth of information in the photograph that shows that the explosion did not occur at Point X, but just forward of the wheels on the trailing end of the front bogie – the train was moving to the right. You can see a wheel through the hole in the floor, and the axle joining it to its companion on the opposite side of the bogie. Passing in front of the wheel in the picture, and over the axle appears to be one of the main floor bearers that runs along the length of the carriage. It is bent upwards and metal has been torn away from the top. It is clearly bent upwards, as can be verified by holding a straight edge (paper or ruler) along the bottom edge of the main floor support.


  21. Protruding through the damaged floor, at the point where the right hand side of the D3 aperture meets the floor, is a large piece of what looks suspiciously like ‘U’ channel, which has a torn end facing the tunnel wall. Taking the position of the photographer into account, there is no doubt that the bent-horizontal part of the channel is above floor level. Moving back to where the channel begins to bend downwards, there is a piece of torn metal pointing vertically upwards, looking as though it has been peeled back from the severed end of the channel.
    In the right foreground can be seen the seat framing on the non-tunnel-wall side of the train. The seat framing on the damaged side is not where it should be but seems to have been moved to the right. It has also rotated upward, as can be seen from the piece of flooring still attached to the bottom of the frame. That flat piece of metal, visible a foot or so above normal floor level, is, in fact, a view of the underside of part of the floor. Note that the left hand end of that piece of metal is torn and bent upwards.

    I think I’ll stop there, although there is more that could be said - and even more if the photo had been of higher resolution. What we are seeing are the results of an underfloor explosion, not the result of an explosion occurring inside the carriage, even if the device had been on the floor. The high forces necessary to form metal, in the way that can be seen, have to be very close, almost in contact - not sourced from a small bag balanced a couple of feet above the floor on someone’s lap.

    Think about it: the explosion was inferred by Danny Biddle to have been originated by the young man sitting in Seat 28, not more that three feet away from where he was standing. The explosion was powerful enough to cause a large part of the floor to be removed and shred his lower legs; yet, his upper body did not sustain similar damage, even though his only protection had been the Perspex draft screen adjacent to Seat 27. The explosion cannot have taken place on the lap of the young Asian man. If it had, Danny Biddle would not have been present at the Inquest and many more people would have died. The young Asian man, if he was there, seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It would seem that the Edgware Road photograph, leaked to ABC, is sufficient to cast doubt on the entire direction of the Inquest.

  22. Have all the train carriages involved in the bombings been destroyed?

  23. ^ Yes according to the response from TfL to this FOI request they were all scrapped:

    FOI request TFL

  24. A question I already knew the answer to I suppose. Ok, the response to your FOI request was 2 years after the event. Did you ever find out exactly when they were scrapped and on whose authority? I would be very interested to know how rushed it was and who gave the order, but for a bird that has already flown you might consider this a waste of time.

  25. ^^^ As for the bomb damage what do you think caused the explosions? Could it be electrical?

    Further evidence may be adduced when these issues are examined:

    Forensic issues regarding the bombs and the bodies of MSK, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay

    7. The likely components, manner of construction and mode of operation of the explosive devices.

    8. The likely involvement of MSK, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay in the development and assembly of the explosive devices.

    9. The presence at the scenes of MSK, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay, and their proximity to the explosions.

  26. Relatives of Tube bomber want another post mortem

    Rumours have it that Tanweers body was pretty much intact when returned to family.

  27. Interesting observation regarding the comment exchange above.

    Whatever Shehzad Tanweer might "perhaps" have been doing, the Inquests aren't supposed to be dealing with "perhaps" - or "maybe", "could have", "might have" or even "probably". They're supposed to be establishing facts.

    Here are some facts: there is no CCTV of Tanweer at King's Cross. There is no CCTV of Tanweer on the train. Nobody from carriage 2, the carriage he is alleged to have been in, has reported seeing anyone fitting his description.

    One conclusion we could draw from these facts, is that "perhaps" Tanweer wasn't there. But that would be speculation - an approach best left to anonymous commenters who would rather stay within the realms of "perhaps".

  28. In my view, it is extremely peculiar that Shehzad Tanweer's head was apparently not found. Heads tend to survive blasts relatively intact, as do hands and feet.

    Other things being equal, the blast energy required to strip a torso to a 3ft chunk of spine, greatly exceeds the energy necessary to separate the head from the neck, and turn it into a ballistic missile.

    As with the other inconsistent / controversial evidence regarding the 4 blast sites, a full (or perhaps even partial) release of the SOCO photographic record would prove the story one way or the other.

  29. 20 For example, the family of Lee Baisden, who was
    21 sadly killed at the Aldgate bombing, were not aware that
    22 in fact Mr Baisden was standing directly next to the
    23 bomber when the bomb went off, and this assisted them in
    24 understanding why identification of the body was
    25 difficult and why no personal possessions were ever


    1 returned to them.

    Yet Tanweer's wallet was found?

  30. will this inquest ever show the hard evidence that the public want to see? Why won't any CCTV footage be shown if there's apparently over 6000 hours of it? What people are too quick to dismiss is that if the government just came out and said "here are the videos showing the four men splitting up at Kings Cross", and then show videos showing them entering the trains that blew up then we wouldn't be arguing with pig minded people that are hell bent on believing a story that has been told without any proof being laid forward. I would seriously urge people who discount this site and its findings just because it offends the programmed opinion that terrorist threats to this Country are massive, to open their minds and start looking for the truth. There are numerous accounts, facts, pieces of information, and evidence that has been completely overlooked in order to support this theory. Anyone who believes outright that what we have been told about July 7th is the truth obviously has no mind of their own. Mass media and government control have turned us into a nation of ignoramuses that believe whatever is laid out in front of us in the paper or on the telly. The fact of the matter is, that without speculating on what could of happened, there has been NO solid evidence to prove that these four guys carried ou the attacks. The Madrid bombings were all caught on CCTV and shown around the world, what have we got to hide that they wont release any of it. Its insulting to the families of those affected and it's insulting to the public who have been conned into believing a false, unverified document. This inquest wont even look into the possibilities of foul play. They wont release videos or question why accounts and statements were made by government and police that were clearly untrue i.e. the train that the bombers allegedly took from Luton that wasn't running that day........ I really hope something good will come of this but it just seems like this inquest is just a publicity stunt and the government are just going to use it as another tool to back the false war on terror, by hearing horror stories from people affected. This has no bearing on the truth behind what has happened it only highlights the aftermath. It does not prove anything that happened.

  31. Anonymous said...
    PS I was working at the forensic lab at the time.
    November 8, 2010 3:11 PM In earlier comments in this thread I have allowed my indignation at what I have read on this blog to get the better of me. So I now admit I was bullshitting - I did not work at that lab or on the investigation - but I just get so angry when J7 portray forensic scientists as either stooges in a cover-up or incompetents who cannot assess clear crime scene evidence. Every day these people's work take rapists burglars and drug dealers off the streets. They are good people committed to justice. So my earlier points stand - HH, MSK, JL and ST died in the explosions. Its as clear as day.There is no way the evidence could be faked or tampered with.

  32. "but I just get so angry when J7 portray forensic scientists as either stooges in a cover-up or incompetents who cannot assess clear crime scene evidence"

    State prosecution witnesses have been known to engage in misfeasance in the past - see the cases of Elliott and Higgs, scientists from the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment (RARDE), who gave 'evidence' in the trials of the Maguire Seven & Judith Ward. The Court of Appeal and the May inquiry found that they had 'lied and suppressed evidence at the trials'. (See page 5 onwards of this paper).

    Surely you would have to agree that the use of 'consultant psychiatrist,' Dr Morgan Costello, as a forensic practicioner at the 7/7 crime scenes was a very strange choice?

  33. So brave "anonymous" proves the point by admitting blatant lies. Can't help themselves- fitting people up and lying is in the blood of the modern enforcers of the status quo. DISGRACEFUL

  34. Apologies if this is a silly question, but just to return to the issue of the bomb possibly exploding beneath the carriage floor (due to the ABC News photo and eyewitness accounts showing upwardly twisted metal through the bomb crater), if this was the case then wouldn't we expect some damage to the train tracks? Are there any reports of this?

  35. OK, the biggest fly in the ointment that I draw from reading this is the report of Tanweer's body being returned to the family relatively intact. If the largest piece of him that was allegedly found was a 30cm piece of spine then I would NOT call this 'relatively intact'! I would call this obliterated.

    Can we verify these reports in any way? Could there be interviews done with the family/witness statements made? I stop short of suggesting exhuming the body out of respect but even this would go a very long way to establishing the facts here.

    If it could be proven that his body WAS in mostly one piece then another, independent, post mortem could be of massive value even now.