Thursday, May 21, 2009

British 7/7 Report Released

At least it has apparently been released; all I can find are summaries online. The details are maddeningly undetailed:

What does this amount to?

Before 7/7, Khan's name had appeared on a number of occasions in different places and apparently unconnected incidents. There were pictures of an unidentified man, who we now know to be Khan, with a target. But MI5 insists there was no intelligence of a threat. There were lots of dots - but dots that were not joined up.

Why were they not joined up?

It was fragmentary evidence. In theory, had the resources been there, MI5 could have connected all the information - but it says that it would not have made a difference because there was still nothing to suggest he was a danger.

What specifics there are seem to indicate more that MI5 was overwhelmed by the amount of terrorist threats in Great Britain, to the point where a loose thread that could have lead to Siddique Khan, the ringleader of the 7/7 bombings, was not tugged at.

As always when we talk about 7/7, we turn to Rachel North:

Ordinary, boring police work could probably have stopped him. M15 watch and wait, and evaluate; they cannot stop everyone they are interested in. But the would-be murderer Khan - if an ordinary copper had been tipped off by the security services about his GBP20k fraud, back in spring 2005, that might well have been enough to get in his face and disrupt him, stop him mixing the chemicals in his bathtub that tore apart so many lives in the summer of 2005. We'll never know.

In November 2004 he went back to Pakistan, after saying goodbye to his baby daughter. A few days after arrival in Pakistan he had been given new orders; along with his friend Mutkar Said Ibrahim, who attacked on 21/7/2005 using the same M.O and same recipe, a fortnight after Khan detonated a hydrogen peroxide organic compound based IED on the tube. Again, he too was not stopped.

Ibrahim's bomb failed to detonate: perhaps he had not been paying as much attention as his friends to the lessons that were given the UK jihadi class of 93-94 that last winter before they set off back to the UK to die.