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Father of London suicide bomber breaks silence

I would soon try to find out the reasons (for the suicide mission) and will tell the world says, Tanweer.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2005 08:09 IST

The father of one of four London suicide bombers has spoken publicly for the first time of the "awful" attack and pledged to find out why it happened.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Mohammed Mumtaz Tanweer, from Leeds, northern England, said his family had no idea why Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and three other British Muslims blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus.

The July 7 attacks -- the worst terrorist atrocity on British soil -- left 52 innocent people dead and more than 700 injured.

Tanweer, 56, speaking in Pakistan after burying his son there last Thursday, said: "All the bombings and killings were awful. Only the group of four (bombers) or God alone knows why they carried out this terrible act."

Shehzad Tanweer killed himself and seven others when he detonated a bomb hidden in a rucksack on a subway train at Aldgate station, east London.

Born and raised in West Yorkshire, his father appeared to be at a loss how to explain his son's decision to attack Britain.

"As far as I can understand, my son was more British in his orientation than anything else. He has planned his career in sport. Even on the night before he died, he was playing cricket," said Tanweer senior.

He told the newspaper that his first priority had been to give his son a proper burial in his ancestoral graveyard in the village of Chak-477 in Samoondran, in southern Punjab province. Its unusual name is because of a system of irrigation divisions drawn up by the British in colonial times.

"Since I'm able to do this only now, I would soon try to find out the reasons (for the suicide mission) and will tell the world," Tanweer said.

The young man's remains were handed over by British investigators to the family on Tuesday, The Sunday Telegraph said.

Speaking in a Yorkshire accent, the father accused the media of giving a biased account of what happened and of "hate reporting" against Muslims.

"They have called us murderers, killers, slaughterers and assassins. What worse can they do?" he said.

Shehzad Tanweer carried out the attacks along Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, and Hasib Hussain, 18 -- both British Muslims of Pakistani origin -- and a fourth Briton of Jamaican origin.

Security experts said the blasts had all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda network headed by Osama bin Laden, who is wanted for masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

First Published: Oct 30, 2005 08:09 IST