A Multinational List Of Missing in London
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
LONDON, July 11 -- Shahara Akther Islam, a slender and fashion-conscious woman of 20, set off for her job as a bank cashier last Thursday, her beloved plaid Burberry handbag slung over her shoulder.
It was to pay for such purchases that Islam -- a cosmopolitan, British-born worker and the dutiful Muslim daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants -- had decided to take a job right after high school, according to her uncle, Nazmul Hasan.
Like many other commuters in Thursday's morning rush hour, Islam never made it to work. Her travel path put her on one of three Underground trains that rolled out of King's Cross station about 8:40 a.m., each carrying a bomb that exploded about eight minutes later. A fourth bomb blew the roof off a bus about an hour after that.
The official death toll stood at 52 Monday, and at least 20 more were still missing. About half of the people whose names have been released so far by families are foreign-born, Muslim and Hindu as well as Christian -- all victims of a terrorist attack believed to have been carried out by Islamic militants.
In Washington, officials confirmed that one U.S. citizen was missing and presumed dead. The individual has not been publicly identified. Four other U.S. citizens were previously reported injured.
Police here confirmed that British officials met in London over the weekend with representatives from foreign governments to seek help in tracking down the bombers.
Meanwhile, British authorities released the first formal identification of a victim: Susan Levy, 52, a mother of two who worked in a law office. A second victim, Gladys Wundowa, 50, a cleaner from Ghana, was identified by her employer, University College London.
In a capital that is one of the world's most multicultural cities, the list of the missing was a telling cross section of nationalities.
There was Neetu Jain, a Hindu being sought desperately by her Muslim boyfriend. There was Anthony Fatayi-Williams, whose mother, Marie, flew in from Nigeria seeking news of him. "He's the love of my life, my first son," she told reporters.
There was Monika Suchocka, a Pole. There were last names such as Outoo, Matsushita, Gunoral, Ikeagwu, Yuen.
Of them all, Islam -- now presumed dead -- has received perhaps the most public attention as a young, attractive woman killed by militants from her own faith.
"They're making a big deal out of it because [it is seen as] Muslims killing Muslims," said her uncle, Hasan. Like many Muslims here, he asserted that the perpetrators of Thursday's attacks cannot call themselves true Muslims.