[just a holding post, as this isn't going away any time soon...]
MI5 had previously told the MPs that Khan and Tanweer had been "on the periphery" of an investigation. Neither were known to have terrorist intentions nor had they been identified and listed as terrorist targets, MPs learned. The BBC understands however that MI5 did in fact know Khan's surname in June 2004 after checking ownership of his car.
Speaking in November 2006, the outgoing MI5 chief Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller conceded the security services were under such pressure that they would not "always make the right choices".
Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David, was among those killed by Khan on the London Underground, called for a public inquiry - saying the security services had to account for what they knew.
"On 7 July and immediately after the attacks, one part of the security services were running around shouting 'clean skins, clean skins', meaning that these were home-grown terrorists and they were unable to identify them," said Mr Foulkes in a BBC interview.
"The security service is clearly disjointed and dysfunctional in that they are not talking to each other or they are not disseminating the information in a coherent way."
Independent Public Inquiry anyone?
Mrs Rachel North is back:
It is the public who daily run the risks on the tubes and trains and uses, in the shops and clubs and streets. It is the public that the Government and Security services are sworn to serve and protect. It is the public who deserve truthful answers about what was known before 7 July and what happened on and after that day. It is the public who have been failed, and who continue to be failed by the overt politicisation of intelligence, by the posturings of politicians who pass legislation but who do not tell the whole truth. It is particularly distressing for those who were most affected by 7/7 - the families, the injured and the survivors, to find out that perhaps the ringleaders of the London bombings could have been picked up and might have been facing sentencing today along with their acqaintences - or friends - in the Crevice plot that was stopped. And I prommised many of these people that I would do what I could in my small way as a blogger and writer, to get an inquiry into 7/7 over a year ago.
It's not just survivors and families who are calling for an inquiry. It is many members of the public, including many British Muslims who are adding their voices to the calls. The Lib Dems and the Tories are also calling for one. There is much to learn about July 7, and what could be learned and shared would help us understand, help us prepare, help us deal with the aftermath as a country of many faiths and races who seek to live peaceably and productively together, and undoubtedly spare suffering and save lives in the future.
Meanwhile, the spin on the few Radio Bulletins I have caught this afternoon seems to be split along two lines, depending on whether it is the government, or the security services doing the spinning:
- That the correct decision was made when it was decided not to follow up the involvement of MSK and ST because, as suspected fraudsters associated with the biggest 'terror investigation in the UK they weren't important.
- Or that the security services really would have quite liked to follow them up, but there weren't sufficient resources.
Which begs the question, if the correct decision was made at the time, then how can it have been a resource issue...? You don't need resources to NOT follow up on somebody. Either MI5 wanted to pursue these 2 men's involvement but couldn't, or they didn't feel they needed to.
The government and establishment are still resisting an Inquiry. Given their collective duplicity and evasive wriggling over the last 2 years, it appears protecting their own reputations with spin and flannel is still a higher priority than protecting us...
Hindsight is a poor tool for altering history, but a damn fine tool for planning ahead.
Tonight's edition of Newsnight should be interesting. I've just received their e-mail alert:
Tonight on Newsnight we have an exclusive on the links between the bomb plotters found guilty today and the terrorist mastermind behind the 7/7 attacks in London. What were the failings of intelligence and did MI5 mislead MPs?
Home Secretary, John Reid, speaking in the Commons has rejected calls for an inquiry into the 7/7 bombings. He's said MI5 are putting information on their website, and a parliamentary committee will look at the case again.
Richard Watson reveals in astonishing detail how the 7/7 ringleader was being watched by MI5 and knew the bomb plotters. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis reminded the Commons today that the government said the bombings had come out of the blue. We hope to be getting answers tonight to the key questions following this trial.
We're hoping to speak to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee that took evidence from MI5. We should also be joined by opposition politicians, an intelligence chief, a 7/7 victim and a Muslim community leader. And in the second part of his investigation for the programme tonight Richard Watson goes on the trail of the terror network in the UK and Pakistan, confronting the men suspected of organising it.
See you at 10.30pm on BBC2.
For anyone who missed the show, it can be seen from here (briefly).