Norm Geras provides the story through his series of updates.
JOHN adds: The death toll is now up to forty, with more than 350 reported injured.
I’m afraid we may have an urban legend in the making. Benjamin Netanyahu is in London to give a speech at an economic conference, and it has been reported that he got advance warning of the impending attacks:
Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources reported a short time ago that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred.
The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address and economic summit.
I have just spoken to a source very close to Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was scheduled to speak later today at an economic conference in a London hotel directly above the site of one of the subway explosions.
“The explosion happened just beneath the hotel at the same time the meeting with businessman interested in investing in Israel was expected to begin,” said an aide to Netanyahu.
There were published reports early this morning that Scotland Yard officials contacted the Israelis minutes before the attacks to warn them of imminent terrorist strikes.
My sources in the Israeli Government are denying those reports. They say the Israeli Embassy and the Netanyahu security team received reports immediately AFTER the first explosion, warning Netanyahu not to go to the hotel.
“There was no early information about terrorist attacks,” said Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on Israel Army Radio. “After the first explosion an order was given that no one move until things become clear.”
I’d be surprised if left-wing and anti-Semitic groups don’t seize on the incorrect early report to spin out idiotic conspiracy theories, just as they did with no provocation in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.