Mr Howard, who flew to Britain earlier in the morning from the United States where he met US President George W Bush, was due to hold talks with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday as well as other senior ministers.
After stopping at two London hospitals, he told reporters that one of the injured, Louise Barry, 29, had asked him whether he thought the July 7 attack was related to the conflict in Iraq, which Australia has strongly supported.
“My response was, I didn’t believe it was,” he told reporters.
“What do you think about all this sort of stuff then, do you reckon, because everyone says it’s all about…because of the Iraq war, do you reckon?” Ms Barry asked Mr Howard during his visit.
“No I don’t …different people have different views but I don’t…I mean, they had a go at us and they had a go at other people before Iraq started,” Mr Howard replied.
Then Ms Barry asked: “But what do you think about Australia? I mean, I remember arriving in London, I usually take the tube via King’s Cross, and you know I just thought to myself, you know, one day, it will probably sort of, you know it will go (off), but I just think….”
“It could happen anywhere unfortunately, it could happen in Australia, it’s a bit less likely.. Less likely…I don’t think there is the concentration of groups in Australia that might produce it, but I think it is possible, and I have said that. It can happen anywhere unfortunately and of course it has now emerged that the people who did it were not people that came from somewhere else,” said Mr Howard.
Mr Howard said the motivation was the same as that which prompted the October 2002 bombing of a nightclub in Bali, where 202 people died, including 88 Australians, which was before the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
He dubbed this driving force: “a perverted, twisted and totally immoral depiction of extreme Islam.”
Echoing words spoken on Tuesday by Mr Blair, Mr Howard said, “I remind you that terrorist attacks occurred before Iraq was on the radar screen, and those people who argue that this is really because of Iraq simply ignore those facts.”
Mr Howard praised the courage of Ms Barry, from Port Stephens, New South Wales, who has a serious neck injury after being caught in the blast on a Number 30 bus, and is recovering at London’s University College Hospital.
He also had warm words for the other victim he visited, Gillian Hicks, 37, from Adelaide, who was critically injured in one of the subway rail blasts, but is slowly improving at St Thomas’s Hospital.
“I think both of them are quite remarkable,” Mr Howard said.
University College Hospital chief executive Robert Naylor said Ms Barry is expected to check out in the next couple of days.
In total, nine Australians were injured in the explosions, including one who subsequently died, 28-year-old Sam Ly, from Melbourne, who was also on the targeted bus.