News you may have missed #0148

  • Secret special service held to commemorate 100 years of MI5 and MI6. The Queen has attended an unpublicized special service at London’s Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of MI5 and MI6. It appears that the heads of the security and intelligence services were present for the unique ceremony in the cloisters of the Abbey. The service was also attended by prime minister Gordon Brown, foreign secretary David Miliband, and home secretary Alan Johnson, among others.
  • Canadian court ends spy services’ free rein in deporting foreigners. The Federal Court has dealt the government another setback in its attempts to deport alleged terrorists, based on the controversial security-certificate provision, which allows the government to use secret evidence in order to detain and deport foreigners. Thus, the deportation from Canada of Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui has been halted. Last July another deportation case, that of Hassan Almrei, a Syrian immigrant who was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of belonging to an Islamist-tied forgery group, was also halted on similar grounds.
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News you may have missed #0063

  • UK government ministers, MI6 boss, reject torture accusations. Britain’s home secretary, Alan Johnson, and foreign secretary, David Miliband, have rejected claims that the UK operated a “policy to collude in, solicit, or directly participate in abuses of [war on terrorism] prisoners” or to cover up abuses. The outgoing director of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, has also said that there has been “no torture and there is no complicity with torture” by British agents.
  • Ex-spy may succeed Kazakh leader. An unnamed senior security official may eventually succeed Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan for 20 years.
  • Congressman tells Holder to widen torture probe. Several news outlets are verifying earlier rumors (reported on by intelNews on July 13) that the Obama Administration is considering the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the use of torture by US intelligence agencies after September 11, 2001. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, has said he wants US Attorney General Eric Holder to extend the rumored investigation beyond CIA interrogators, and determine whether high-level officials of the Bush administration committed war crimes.

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Al-Qaeda may have infiltrated Britain’s MI5, says lawmaker

Patrick Mercer

Patrick Mercer

The chairperson of Britain’s House of Commons subcommittee on counter-terrorism has raised the possibility that MI5, the country’s premier domestic intelligence agency, has been infiltrated by al-Qaeda operatives. MP Patrick Mercer (Con.) revealed on Saturday that he had been told MI5 had expelled as many as six British Muslim recruits after red flags were raised about their backgrounds. He has since called upon Home Secretary Alan Johnson “to detail how far down the recruitment process the men had got before they were weeded out” by MI5 vetting officers. There are allegations that some of the six potential recruits had been trained in al-Qaeda-run camps in Pakistan, while others had “unexplained gaps in their curricula vitae”. No response has so far been issued by the British government, but The Daily Telegraph has quoted an “unnamed senior security source”, who has denied the allegations.

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