MI5 knew of 7/7 bomber's jihad
The disclosure has once again triggered demand for a public inquiry into the attacks, reports Vijay Dutt.india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 11:33 IST
Top MI5 and other security agency sleuths knew a year before the July 7 London bomb attacks that the ringleader of the suicide bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was planning to fight for Al Qaeda.
The disclosure, highly embarrassing for MI5, has once again triggered the demand for a full public inquiry into the July 7 attacks.
It is said that MI5 bugged Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, another of the bombers, for two months in 2004 as they talked about Khan's desire to fight an "Islamic war". He also talked about retuning to Pakistan, where he had attended a camp for British Muslim terrorists. The two also talked about engaging in crimes to raise funds.
But after all this, MI5 and police decided that the two men were not an "imminent risk". As a result their surveillance was discontinued.
The error in judgement has been discovered following a trawl by agencies of MI5 and police files on all the intelligence about the four suicide bombers.
It has also been calculated that the entire plot and execution of the July 7 attack cost around £10,000.
Officials have traced the origins of the July 7 plot back to 2003 when Khan visited a terrorist camp in northern Pakistan. The camp was set up by Al Qaeda soon after British troops went into Iraq.
Victims of the July 7 attacks have also now demanded a full inquiry to establish where and why intelligence failed, costing the lives of 52 people.
First Published: Jan 23, 2006 00:00 IST