The July 7th 2005 Transport Bombings
Chapter 5 focuses on the coverage of the July 7th 2005 transport bombings (July 7th–20th 2005). It seeks to consider the broader social, political and discursive consequences that can be said to arise from the BBC’s representations. In particular, the chapter shows how the Corporation’s representations systematically form the very thing they seek to depict; namely, the al-Qaeda phenomenon. But, rather than engender a single ‘al-Qaeda’, and thus a single set of consequences, the concept of ‘truth regime’ is employed to show how the two dominant modes of representation emerging during this period (the ‘Islamic’ mode and the ‘Elusive’ mode) form the conditions of possibility for very different policy and audience-related outcomes. Thus, while the initial coverage gives rise to a reductive, Orientalist-inspired ‘Islamic’ mode of representation, something which, moreover, can be said to produce policies that disproportionately impact upon Britain’s various Muslim communities, the appearance of a series of prosaic visual representations of the four bombers provides the conditions in which a more negotiated, albeit pervasive, understanding of this phenomenon can be developed.