Bush, Blair Condemn London Terror Attacks
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2005 President Bush condemned today's coordinated terrorist attacks in London and instructed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials to encourage local and state officials to be "extra vigilant" to prevent similar attacks in the United States.
Scotland Yard reported seven explosions at four different sites, timed during London's morning rush hour on the opening day of the G8 summit hosted by Great Britain in Gleneagles, Scotland. Details of the attacks and the casualty toll are still unfolding.
Bush, speaking in Gleneagles, said the attacks demonstrate the stark contrast between what terrorists and freedom-loving people offer the world.
At the G8 summit, leaders of the world's industrialized nations were working together to find ways to alleviate poverty in Africa, rid the world of the AIDS pandemic, combat global warming and tackle pollution worldwide, he pointed out.
"And on the other hand, you have people killing innocent people," the president said. "The contrast could not be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty and those who kill."
Bush said he's impressed by the resolve expressed Blair's "steadfast determination and strength" and by all the G8 members' refusal to give terrorists the upper hand. "We will not yield to terrorists," he said. "We will find them, we will bring them to justice, and at the same time, we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate."
During a separate news conference, British Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the attacks as "barbaric," particularly because their timing coincided with the G8 summit.
He praised the G8 leaders' commitment to the same principles. "Each of the countries around that table have some experience of the effects of terrorism and all the leaders ... share our complete resolution to defeat terrorism," he said.
The G8 countries, as well as leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa and the heads of several international organizations represented in Gleneagles, issued a four-point statement on the bombings:
- We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We send our profound condolences to the victims and their families. All of our countries have suffered from the impact of terrorism. Those responsible have no respect for human life. We are united in our resolve to confront and defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one nation, but on all nations and on civilized people everywhere.
- We will not allow violence to change our societies or our values. Nor will we allow it to stop the work of this Summit. We will continue our deliberations in the interests of a better world. Here at this Summit, the world's leaders are striving to combat world poverty and save and improve human life. The perpetrators of today's attacks are intent on destroying human life.
- The terrorists will not succeed.
- Today's bombings will not weaken in any way our resolve to uphold the most deeply held principles of our societies and to defeat those who would impose their fanaticism and extremism on all of us. We shall prevail. They shall not.
"It is important ... that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world," Blair said before leaving the summit for London. "Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world."
British authorities are still piecing together details about the attacks, and the death toll is still uncertain.
"There are obviously casualties, both people who have died and people who are seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers, of course, are with the victims and their families," Blair said. Bush expressed condolences to the British people for their loss.
The G8 meeting is scheduled to continue in Blair's absence.