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London mayor: West created terror

Livingstone said Western policy in the Middle East was motivated by oil.



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Acts of terror

LONDON, England (CNN) -- London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said that Western "double standards" in the Middle East have contributed to the growth of Islamic extremism and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda.

Livingstone told BBC radio on Wednesday that Western intervention in the Middle East since the end of World War I had been motivated by a desire to control the flow of oil.

While condemning suicide bombings, Livingstone indicated that he recognized the conditions that had led Palestinians to take that route in Israel.

"Under foreign occupation and denied a right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs ... I suspect that if it had happened here in England we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves," said Livingstone.

"But I don't just denounce suicide bombers. I denounce those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy."

Livingstone later praised Londoners' resilience and solidarity in the aftermath of the July 7 bomb attacks that killed 56 people, including the four suspected bombers, and injured hundreds more.

He said the city would never concede to the threat of terrorism.

"London's communities will continue to stand together in condemnation of anyone who attacks the city," Livingstone told London Assembly members.

He said the city's Underground system would likely be disrupted for some time to come. Three of the four bombings occurred on tube trains.

One of the bombed carriages was lifted out of Edgware Road station Tuesday and taken to an undisclosed location for further forensic examination.

Rail operators say the station will probably remain closed for another two weeks.

Transport police said on Wednesday that sniffer dogs had been deployed on the Underground network for the first time.

"They operate just like dogs who search for drugs except they have been trained to sniff our explosives," a police spokesman told the UK's Press Association.

"They have already started patrolling the Tube with their handlers and they will carry on indefinitely."

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke is set to brief parliament on Wednesday on proposed legislation to expand anti-terror laws.

His proposals may include ways to exclude from Britain people who are likely to support acts of terror.

In a bid to tackle homegrown Islamic extremism, British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Muslim leaders on Tuesday. (Full Story)

Blair said that those present -- clerics, lawmakers and business leaders --shared a "strong desire" to "confront this evil ideology, take it on and defeat it by the force of reason."

Lawmaker Shahid Malik, parliamentary representative for Dewsbury where one of the bombers lived, said that Muslims faced a "profound challenge."

"We recognize we've got to work better at confronting those evil voices -- as minute as they are -- inside our communities," he said.

On Monday, British imams issued a fatwa condemning violence that will be read at mosques during prayers later this week. The religious edict ruled that suicide bombings were "vehemently prohibited."

Speaking after Tuesday's meeting, Blair rejected speculation that British foreign policy had influenced the London bombers.

"When people talk about the links between Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine and what has happened, yes it is true these people will use these things as an excuse," Blair said.

"My view is that they will use whatever is going on in foreign policy to justify what they do ... or just generally the fact that Britain is an ally of America.

"It is not that their means are wrong but their ends are right. Everything about their ideology and what they stand for is wrong."

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