Fear has been covered up by an uneasy sense of normality | VailDaily.com
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Fear has been covered up by an uneasy sense of normality

LONDON – London’s sweaty subway cars are as jam-packed as ever this summer and red double-decker buses still roll through the capital crowded with commuters and photo-snapping tourists.A year after suicide bombers brought carnage and chaos to three Underground trains and one of the city’s iconic buses, life in the capital has returned to normal – almost.The fear isn’t entirely gone. It’s just covered over by a veneer of calm, an uneasy sense of normality that could be shattered by another attack.Britons got an unnerving reminder of their vulnerability Thursday, a day before the anniversary of the attacks, when al-Jazeera television broadcast a video made by one of last year’s bombers promising more terror.”What you have witnessed now is only the beginning of a series of attacks that will continue and increase in strength,” said Shehzad Tanweer, 22, whose backpack bomb killed seven people and himself aboard a Circle Line subway in east London.Memories of July 7, 2005, when an ordinary Thursday morning commute turned horrific, are never far from the surface. The bombs, which killed 52 commuters and injured 700, have changed Britain in ways large and small.News that the four young attackers were all born or raised in Britain stunned many and strained ties between the country’s large Muslim community and the wider population.Rights activists, meanwhile, worry new anti-terror powers threaten civil liberties, and two mistaken shootings by officers have undermined public trust in the police.Londoners were hardened by years of Irish Republican Army bombings in the 1980s and early ’90s. And fearful or not, many must rely on public transportation in aSee London, page A29


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