LONDON – Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York so closely identified with his city's recovery after the Sept. 11 attacks, was in London Thursday morning, just yards from Liverpool Street (search) station, when the bombs went off.
Mr. Giuliani, who was given an honorary knighthood by the Queen in recognition of his leadership in 2001, said Thursday's events strongly recalled the attacks on the World Trade Center (search).
"They are a very eerie reminder of Sept. 11. I was right near Liverpool [Street] station when the first bombing took place, so I could hear the sirens and then kept hearing reports of different bombings, in different parts of the city," he told Sky News television.
Mr. Giuliani was in the City as the Underground system was evacuated and roads were closed in a rush of emergency vehicles and evacuations. A bomb on a Tube train between nearby Aldgate and Moorgate killed seven people and injured dozens.
"As we were walking through and driving through the streets of the city, it was remarkable how the people of London responded calmly and bravely," said Mr. Giuliani.
The former mayor, who now runs Giuliani Partners (search), a security consultancy and investment bank, said that New Yorkers would be full of sympathy for Londoners caught in today's violence.
"We feel a tremendous empathy with them. I think every New Yorker would join me in saying we feel we very much understand what you are going through," he said.
"This is a difficult time, but the people of London have responded in the exactly right way, with bravery and by moving forward. The emergency services people appear to have responded as if they have been very, very well trained and as if they were expecting attacks, they seem to be prepared for it."
"In a strange way a lot of our response to Sept. 11 was modeling ourselves as much as we could on the people of London during the Second World War and the incredible way they withstood the attacks during the Battle of Britain."
Mr. Giuliani said the apparently "resolved and determined response" to the attacks had undermined this morning's attempt to induce panic in London today, although he conceded that cities such as London, New York and Madrid would always present targets to extremists intent on killing civilians.
"All three cities are big, gigantic, open spaces. They have democracy and freedom of movement. Just by that very nature the number of targets is endless."
"No matter how good your policing, and the policing in London is right at the very top, one of the very, very best, unfortunately these people can try to figure out the places where people aren't concentrating, aren't looking," he said.