Sunday, January 29, 2006

M15 'out of 7/7 leads'

'After the biggest MI5 and police inquiry ever mounted, a secret report for Tony Blair and senior ministers into the July 7 London bombings states: “We know little about what three of the bombers did in Pakistan, when attack planning began, how and when the attackers were recruited, the extent of any external direction or assistance and the extent and role of any wider network.”

The eight-page report, by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), admits that MI5 still does not know whether the attacks of July 7 and July 21 were linked and whether Al-Qaeda chiefs were behind them. '

'The leak of a JTAC report, seen by The Sunday Times, is unprecedented and some within the intelligence services are known to feel that there should be a public inquiry'

David Leppard, Sunday Times 29/01/05

Of course there should be a public enquiry.
I have said this many times, and I will keep saying it

Not just survivors and bereaved families want it, but it is the public who were attacked, the public who run the risks, the public who the politicians claim to represent who pay for the wars, the intelligence services, the police and the Home Office to do their jobs. And on 7th July we paid a heavy cost. We deserve to know what happened, but more than that, more than ever, we need to know why it happened. How else can we help to prevent it happening again?

The M15 leaks seem to indicate that not everyone who works for the Government is comfortable with Blair's insistence that we do not need an independent and transparent public enquiry but instead will be content with a 'narrative', to be published at some unspecified time.

Milan Lai, whose book '7/7 and the Iraq War' is to be published in April puts it well when he says 'Terrorism is the messenger, not the message'. To understand the message, we must look at why the bombings happened and try to understand the whole picture. If over a million people were sufficently angry about the Iraq war to take to the streets, then how angry are those extremists who are already radicalised, and how easy is it to turn that anger into hellish violence, revenge and retaliation, bloodshed and maimings and murder?

At the very least, an enquiry would show we were serious about understanding the problems we now face. You cannot bomb people until they like you. Bomb people, shoot people and you create a spiral of further violence and anger, refuse to listen and you fan the flames of rage.

We are about to send another few thousand soldiers to Afghanistan, where the war was supposed to have been won years ago. They will, says Simon Jenkins today be ''just offering target practice for mujaheddin.''

This is an ultimately hopeless strategy, and I cannot believe that we are in this quagmire, and that those in power seem to have so little idea of what to do and were so unprepared for this, despite the J.I.T's earlier warnings that occupying Iraq would increase the risk of terror attacks, despite the intelligence about the threat from Iraq being completely wrong. You cannot make war on abstract nouns; the 'war on terror' cannot be fought with guns and bombs. It is a war of ideas, and since the anger is fed by the idea that we do not care and we will not listen, doing some thing to show that we do care and we do listen would be a better start than sending more soldiers to die.

M15 admits it doesn't know what to do, this is unfamiliar territory. Even Blair admits this is a ''new'' and ''different enemy'' and says ''the rules have changed''. Well, do something new and different then, change the way you are behaving if the rules have changed. Ask questions, stop and listen, admit mistakes and learn from them. Then we might have a chance.

To: The British Government
We, the British Public, call for a fully comprehensive Public Inquiry into the July 7th 2005 London Bombings. Only this can provide us with the information we need as to what actually happened, how it happened and why it happened so that we will be better prepared to prevent such a tragedy happening again. We, the Public were attacked. We, the Public have questions. We, the Public want our questions answered, independently, transparently and honestly.

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Thank you.


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