London attacks anger local Brits

Members of South Whidbey’s large British community were shocked and outraged after terrorist attacks in London Thursday left scores dead and hundreds injured.

Michael Nutt of Langley said when he heard the news that several bombs had exploded in London’s Underground subway system, his first reaction was to think of family and old friends.

There was a chance they were traveling in the area at the time, he said.

Nutt later discovered that no one he knew was among the injured or dead. Still, he said, the bombings were appalling and he believes misguided political policies led to the attacks.

It wasn’t surprising because Tony Blair, England’s prime minister, sides with George W. Bush’s policies, Nutt said. Islamic fundamentalists have been spurred by the War on Terror, he said.

“Americans have been doing terrorist attacks for three years,” Nutt said.

South Whidbey has a large community of people with connections to Britain, and as many as 100 residents here have called the country home at one time.

Some said the terrorist attacks in London will leave a long-lasting impact.

Geoff Hornsby of Freeland said the news was awful.

“By shutting down the underground system, it will bring London to its knees,” he said.

Hornsby said his sister is the only relative he has that’s still in England. She lives 20 miles east of London in Detling, and Hornsby said she was probably safe.

As of Friday morning, an estimated 50 people were killed and hundreds were injured in three bombings in the London Underground and a bombing on a double decker bus.

The London Underground is a subway system buried deep underneath London, and millions of people use the underground transportation system daily to move through the city.

Some Whidbey residents with connections to Britain were angry that terrorists had targeted everyday commuters, tourists and workers in London.

They were innocent people who were not directly involved in any military conflicts, said Liz Van Dyke of North Star Trading Company in Langley.

When told of the bombings Thursday afternoon,

Van Dyke said she’s concerned about how an acquaintance who recently flew into England will move around the city.

Despite the horror of the terrorist attack, Van Dyke was pleased with what she saw on the Internet on how the British people were handling the bombings.

The bombings did not just impact British born locals, though.

American-born Patrick Murphy of Langley said his nephew Gavin Traeger, who married a British woman, works in London.

Traeger and his wife were uninjured in the bombings, but Murphy said he can easily visualize where the attacks took place.

Murphy, who visited the Traegers last September, said that all the London Underground passages are narrow and buried deeper underneath the ground that American subways.

He said the subways cars are also small and the routes run close to the subways’ tunnel walls.

The bombings probably created a confused and chaotic situation, Murphy said.

Remembering the confined set up of the London Underground, Van Dyke said she prefers the more open American transportation system.

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