MI6 knew of of second group of London bombers
THE intelligence services are preparing to make a robust defence of the decisions they took in the months before the July 7 suicide bombings and the July 21 failed terrorist attack.The UK appears to be having its own round of finger pointing after the terrorist attacks.
A leaked “top secret” document published in The Sunday Times yesterday indicated that there was intelligence on one of the July 21 suspected bombers. One of them was reported to have been subjected to a short-term intelligence operation. It has already been admitted that MI5 had two of the July 7 bombers under surveillance a year before the suicide attacks in London that killed 52 people last year. Neither of the two, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, was judged to be a serious threat at that stage, and MI5 felt that it was unjustified to commit extensive resources to a lengthy surveillance operation.
MI5 and MI6 have been giving evidence to the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which is investigating the secret material available in the lead-up to the July 7 bombings. The ICS report is due in April.
After the leak yesterday of an intelligence document that included comments from the head of MI6 about the July 21 failed attack, security forces were adamant that there had not been “an intelligence failure” before the London incidents. John Scarlett, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), is quoted in the document as saying that MI5 had asked his agency to check on a suspect known to be visiting Pakistan. The suspect later featured in the investigation begun after the July 21 incident. According to the document it was a “low-level” investigation and nothing came of it.