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In 2003, two British students of radical Islamic preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed (Intel Report) traveled on their British passports to Israel with Chinese-made explosives. They stayed in Gaza, and from there the two — Omar Sharif and Assif Hanif — traveled to Tel Aviv. A popular beach-side caf?, called Mike?s Place, was the target of the dual suicide bombing the two had planned . Assif detonated his vest in the caf?, killing three people and wounding 55. Omar?s vest failed to go off. He fled and was later found dead on the beach. The two were members of Omar Bakri?s group ?al-Muhajiroun? . The group is connected to jailed London-based al-Qaeda recruiters Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada . Al-Muhajiroun is a radical group that celebrates the 9/11 attacks and whose leader has recently condoned terrorist attacks in Britain. A German paper of questionable reliability (Bild am Sontag) has reported that its sources in the Israeli Mossad say that the explosives used by the al-Muhajiroun members to bomb Mike?s Place are the same kind of explosives used in the London train attacks. The explosives were allegedly brought to Britain from a plant outside Beijing. Because of their material composition, they are easy to conceal. Omar Bakri denies sending the two to commit the attacks, but he also freely admits that he is ideologically aligned with al-Qaeda . His al-Muhajiroun organization organized a rally in honor of the 19 9/11 hijackers on the second anniversary of the attacks. The rally was called ?the Magnificent 19.? A top Israeli official, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, denies that there is a connection between the two attacks, but he did not deny specifically the intelligence that the explosives were the same. His denial is a little odd, considering that the London investigation is in such nascent stages that it is nearly impossible to determine what attacks, groups, or individuals its executors may have been connected to. The development is a shred of evidence that may connect the London attacks to one of the prominent Islamist groups operating in the city, but it is important to not point fingers until more is known. Al-Muhajiroun members make good suspects because they are one of the most visible presences of Islamic extremism in town. More evidence will have to be collected. It would not be surprising, however, given the radicalism of the organization, the fact that its members have carried out a bombing before, and its leader recently declared attacks in the United Kingdom permissible, if members of the movement were connected to the subway/bus bombings.

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