London attacks 'surprised' police, top security official says

The London attacks of July 7 and July 21 took British police and intelligence services by surprise, Britain's top security official admitted Tuesday, the attackers' international links have not been revealed fully

Fifty-two commuters died when four suicide bombers blew themselves up on three London subway trains and a bus on July 7. Three weeks later, four men failed to fully detonate devices on similar targets. Four people alleged to have carried out those attacks are in custody _ three in Britain and one in Italy.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke, whose department deals with police and security, congratulated British police on the work they have done investigating the attacks, but acknowledged that police and security services had lacked prior intelligence about the strikes, the AP reports.

"There are lot of people who believe that we know what is going on and simply aren't acting effectively enough to deal with it," Clarke told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "The fact is we did not know of these proposed attacks and that has been the very striking fact of what has taken place."

Clarke said the government was investing more money in the intelligence services and policing, but added: "The fact is we do not know what people are planning, we can only investigate and hope to establish it."

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