Friday, July 08, 2005

"Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was yards away from one of the deadly explosions that struck London on Thursday..."

...said the attacks were an eerie reminder of Sept. 11, 2001.

Giuliani said he was in a hotel near Liverpool Street Station when a bomb exploded on a train in a tunnel nearby.

"It was very strange being here today and being a block or half a block away when the bomb went off," Giuliani told the Associated Press in a telephone interview later Thursday.

"We were in a hotel having breakfast when it happened and we were told originally that it was either an accident or a device, and then obviously when the second attack happened, we knew," said Giuliani.

The former mayor noted the time of day was almost identical to the 2001 attacks, beginning about ten minutes before 9 a.m. and ending before 10 a.m.

"I told the prime minister and the head of the fire department that it's the same perplexing thought and feeling, which is why do these innocent people have to be killed? The people who were killed were people who were on their way to work in virtually the same time frame as the attacks on Sept. 11," he said.

Giuliani, who was widely praised for his calm and resolute leadership after the Sept. 11 attacks, told Sky News television earlier in the day that New Yorkers would feel "tremendous empathy" with the people of London.

The mayor praised Londoners' response to the attacks, saying he was struck by how quickly residents tried to resume a semblance of normalcy Thursday evening, even with much of the city's businesses closed.

"As I was watching it, I was saying to myself, you can see the genes — these are the same people whose grandparents and great-grandparents withstood the Battle of Britain without flinching," Giuliani said, referring to World War II.

Giuliani, who received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his post-Sept. 11 leadership, left his post as mayor in 2002.

The London attacks don't increase the chances of a similar attack on transit systems in New York or elsewhere in the United States, he said, but remind Americans that such a strike is possible.

"Maybe it shakes up anyone that's being complacent," he said.

Giuliani said those he met Thursday in London said they had been expecting a terror attack eventually.

"They didn't know the day or the hour, but everyone I talked to here, whether it's government people or civilians, say they were shocked it happened this day, but they expected something like this," he said.


Yahoo! News

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