MI5 to escape criticism over 7/7 bombings

(TimesOnline/UK) – The long-awaited Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report into the suicide bombings which left 52 people dead and hundreds injured in July 2005 will effectively clear MI5 and the police of failing to prevent the attacks.Sources have revealed that the report, to be published on Tuesday, will state that no new intelligence has emerged since the publication of the first report in May 2006.

MI5 will not face any substantial criticism over the intelligence failures which led to the 7/7 London tube bombings, it can be revealed

The long-awaited Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report into the suicide bombings which left 52 people dead and hundreds injured in July 2005 will effectively clear MI5 and the police of failing to prevent the attacks.

Sources have revealed that the report, to be published on Tuesday, will state that no new intelligence has emerged since the publication of the first report in May 2006.

The ISC report is said to be the most detailed ever compiled by the committee and will contain accounts of the tactics used by MI5 and the police during the monitoring of suspected terrorists.

The document will also reveal that MI5 monitored meetings in early 2004 between Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, who planned the 7/7 attacks, and Omar Khyam, the ring leader of a plot to blow up shopping centres and nightclubs.

Details of their conversations will appear in the report but sources have said that there was no intelligence to suggest that the London bombings were being planned at that time.

The ISC document will show that MI5 knew that Siddique Khan and Tanweer were planing to travel to Pakistan to take part in Jihad, or holy war, in either Kashmir or Afghanistan, and that the two men were also involved in fraud to fund their activities.

But, crucially, the report will show that at no time did MI5 obtain any intelligence that the 7/7 ring leaders were planning the attacks.

An intelligence source said: “MI5 had to put its resources into those suspects who represented a threat to life. It was known that Khyam was planning to carry out bomb attacks.

“That was not the case with Tanweer and Siddique Khan. Difficult decisions had to be made and those two men, although of interest, were not a prime threat.

“They were just two of many associates of Khan, and neither MI5 or the police had the capability to monitor them all.”

The report’s findings are unlikely to satisfy the survivors and family of those who died, especially if key questions remain unanswered.

The investigation into the bombings cost £100 million, the biggest inquiry in modern times, yet it failed to yield a single conviction.

The police and MI5 have conceded that it is now unlikely that anyone will be brought to justice for the attacks even though intelligence officials believe that 20 people were involved in the attacks.

Last month the only three men to be charged in connection with the suicide bombings were acquitted.

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