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U.K. Police Name Two Bombing Suspects

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

From NPR West, this is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.

Coming up, a Texas tough guy wins a bicycle race in France and still many fellow Lone Star Staters are not ready to swap their pickups and ponies for two-wheelers.

First, the lead. New developments today in the London terrorist bombing investigation. Police have named two of the four men whose pictures they released last week after the failed bomb attacks on the city's public transit system on Thursday. The head of the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Squad, Peter Clarke, also says they've recovered another unexploded bomb.

Mr. PETER CLARKE (Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Squad): Initial forensic examination of the four partially detonated bombs has revealed clear similarities with yet another bomb that was found by a member of the public last Saturday, the 23rd of July.

CHADWICK: This is the largest manhunt in British history. Thousands of police officers, many of them armed, searching for those behind both sets of bomb attacks in London this month. Joining us now from London is NPR's Rachel Martin.

Rachel, what further details did police give about the suspected bombers?

RACHEL MARTIN reporting:

Hello, Alex.

Peter Clarke, head of the anti-terrorist police force in London, who you heard in that clip--he spoke about five minutes to reporters today and he released the names of two of the four suspected bombers and published additional photographs of them. He identified the men as 27-year-old Mukhtar Said Ibrahim and 24-year-old Yassin Hassan Omar. Clarke released details about the routes the suspects took last Thursday. Three of the men entered the subway at Stockwell station in south London around roughly the same time. Incidentally, this is the same station where police shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian man, last Friday. Clarke then reiterated his appeal to the public for help. He detailed all the roads and streets traveled by the suspects on that day, even going so far as identifying where one of the bombers sat on that double-decker bus.

CHADWICK: What about these bombs that were used in the attacks? Are they learning anything more about those? They've recovered some from these bombs that didn't go off on Thursday.

MARTIN: Yes, and forensic experts have been working and analyzing those devices. Clarke confirmed reports that the bombs were homemade. He said they were all placed in common plastic household containers. Clarke made a plea to shopkeepers who carry a specific kind of Indian-made container to notify police if they've sold more than five or so of them at a time to any one customer. And as you heard Clarke say in the clip, forensic evidence now links the four partially detonated bombs on three subway trains and the bus with another explosive device found Saturday. Now apparently a member of the public found one of these plastic containers with explosives in a flower bed in a park.

CHADWICK: Did he give any details about the overall kind of status of the investigation?

MARTIN: Yes, there's more news on that front. Today police arrested another two men under the terrorism act, bringing the total number of arrests to five. Some British papers had speculated that one of those men was a suspected bomber, but that's not true. And the police say they're continuing to look for the four bombing suspects who are still at large. Police are concerned the men may be planning new attacks and they still may have access to more explosives.

CHADWICK: Rachel, what about this terrible development over the weekend, the finding that the Brazilian who was shot on Friday--Jean Charles Menezes, is it?--that he had nothing to do with it? They've begun an inquiry, haven't they?

MARTIN: Yes, they have. They've begun an independent police commission inquiry, but the news today came out of a coroner's report that revealed that instead of the five shots that had been reported to be shot into Menezes, police actually shot the man eight times. And so more information will be released from those reports soon.

CHADWICK: Thanks very much. NPR's Rachel Martin in London. Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: Thanks, Alex. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.