UK report concludes security services not to blame for 7/7 attacks

The second installment of an extensive evaluation of the intelligence background to the July 7, 2005, bombings in London, has been published by Britain’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The parliamentary committee, whose cabinet-appointed members have access to highly classified material, have concluded that Britain’s foremost counterintelligence agency, MI5, which is also known as the Security Service, as well as the Special Branch, lacked the resources necessary to detect and foil the 7/7 attacks. The report, which is publicly available online in a heavily censored version, reveals that MI5’s resources enabled it to provide “reasonable” intelligence coverage of no more than one in every 20 militant suspects . As a result, 54 targets described as “essential” in the report, completely escaped surveillance in 2004. Furthermore, the ISC report reveals that at the time of the 7/7 bombings, MI5 and Special Branch had directed most of their investigative resources to Operation Crevice, an alleged plot to “detonate fertilizer bombs at shopping centers and nightclubs” across the UK. The heavily redacted report was almost immediately condemned as inadequate by the 7/7 Inquiry campaign, a group that represents the victims of the 7/7 bombings. In a statement, the group accused the ISC members of working too closely with MI5.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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