London bomber's secret lover comes forward
The secret girlfriend of London bomber Shehzad Tanweer spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday about their relationship, saying they spent a final night together days before the attacks.
The woman, identified only as Witness A, broke down in tears at the inquest into the victims' deaths, saying he gave no indication of the suicide bombing he was planning.
Tanweer, 22, was previously thought to be single. He and the woman had kept their relationship hidden for more than three years.
Tanweer and three other British Muslim accomplices committed the worst terror atrocity on British soil when they blew up three London Underground trains and a bus, killing themselves and 52 others on July 7, 2005.
The bomber and his girlfriend spent the night together in a hotel on July 1 and his mood seemed "fine", she said.
Hugo Keith, counsel to the hearing, asked her if Tanweer gave any indication of his feelings for her.
"Yes, I got good vibes from him that he loved me," she replied.
The inquest, held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, heard how the revelation of Witness A's identity would have a devastating effect on her reputation and safety, as well as that of her relatives.
Her family do not know of the relationship. She gave evidence via videolink from an undisclosed location.
The couple were "close but not intimate" during their time in the hotel, she said.
He told her that he was about to go to Scotland for a week, she assumed with family.
She said they had started seeing each other secretly in 2002. The woman described him as a sports fan who did not seem particularly religious.
They lost touch before Tanweer reignited their relationship in 2005, sending her a text message saying he was planning to move to Dubai in August.
Witness A said that in June 2005, they had discussed spending their future together.
"We felt our relationship had got stronger," she explained.
When Keith asked: "Did you discuss what the future would hold for him?" Witness A broke down in tears.
She said she was aware that he had been to Pakistan and when they met in June 2005 after his return "he had blonde parts in his hair and eyebrows and the hairs on his arms. He said it was sun-bleached from Pakistan."
Their bombs were made from peroxide-based devices packed into rucksacks. Tanweer killed seven innocent people on the Underground between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations.
Witness A said she was shocked by what he did and said she had been the subject of "gross deceit".
The four near-simultaneous attacks unleashed a wave of unease about the threat of homegrown extremism and how well integrated is Britain's Muslim community.
The long-awaited hearings, which began in October, are expected to conclude in March.
© 2011 AFP