Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New calls for a 7/7 inquiry

M15 Chief told MPs on 6/7/05: no imminent terror threat
Today's Guardian:

The director-general of the security service MI5 told senior MPs there was no imminent terrorist threat to London or the rest of the country less than 24 hours before the July 7 suicide bombings.
Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller gave the assurance at a private meeting of Labour whips at the Commons on the morning of July 6 2005, the Guardian has learned from a number of those present.
The whips are said to have been confident, on leaving the meeting, that they could brief fellow MPs that the security situation was under control, and are said to have been deeply alarmed by the following day's events.
Last month Dame Eliza announced that she is to retire in April. That announcement came weeks before details are expected to be made public of an MI5 operation which saw two of the July 7 bombers kept under surveillance, but not arrested.
It is now known that officers had trailed the bombers' leader, Mohammed Siddique Khan, more than a year before the attacks, and had listened as he spoke of his plans for waging jihad. They had also photographed him, yet had not been able to identify him.

We know. And more will come out once the Operation Crevice trial at the Old Bailey ends and the reporting restrictions are off...

However, the disclosure that MI5 had been so completely taken by surprise on July 7 will fuel calls for a public or independent inquiry into the events leading up to the suicide bomb attacks that claimed 52 lives and injured hundreds.
Grahame Russell, whose son Philip, 29, died in the Tavistock Square bus bombing, said: "Unless we have a public inquiry where witnesses can be called and questioned, we will never get the truthful answers about what happened before, during and after July 7 2005."

Too damn right.

We have had a series of leaks, a series of reports, from different bodies, saying different things, at different times. Some of the information we have even contradicts other information. There seems to me to be a desire to avoid blame for individual agencies and individuals. This is not about blame, it is about the nation knowing how safe it is, and having confidence in its leaders, its security services and those charged to protect and defend us and keep us safe and free from fear. It is about saving lives and sparing suffering and learning and acting on all the lessons of the worst terrorist atrocity and the biggest loss of civilian life on UK soil since the Second World War. It is desperately sad that, apparently for political reasons, we have still not been given the independent inquiry that we deserve. But it will come. In time, it will happen.

I am in touch with other survivors and bereaved through the group of us who are campaigning for an inquiry into 7/7 . I am off to do a pre-record for ITN's London Tonight in five minutes.

This never goes away. Sometimes I wonder why I keep fighting. But I believe in what I am doing; I didn't ask to be on that train, I am just an ordinary person, I could be anyone who travels to work on the tube. When the bomb went off, I couldn't do much to help at the time, all I could do was try and keep calm and help to evacuate as instructed, but I can do what I can to help now. I can write. I can talk. I can mobilise, and I can campaign for justice. And I am not alone: there are others at my side.

And over the next few weeks and months, as we approach the Crevice verdict, then the Coroner's reports into the deaths over the summer, I am sure that the public's calls for an inquiry will get louder and louder, and perhaps the next Prime Minister will heed them.

I will write more later: I am off to Russell Square to say what I have been saying for eighteen months all over again.

You can sign the latest petition to the current PM HERE.

UPDATE: 14/1 Observer: ''7/7 ringleader 'was watched since 2003'' The security services is bracing itself for further disclosures over Tube bombing intelligence failures


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didbn't we get told by Reid there was a pretty likely (if not imminent) threat we would have a terrorist attack for Christmas?
Waht happened to it.
Did Father "Bomber" Christmas decide we had been nice and not naughty or something.

Looks like MI5 and Reid should be working as BBC weathermen (replacing poor Michael Fish) for the ability to completely get their predictions wrong...

January 09, 2007 12:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Rachel! The more they obfuscate and wriggle, the more clear it becomes that we need a proper inquiry to establish what really happened, and what can be done to prevent it happening again.

January 09, 2007 1:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 9/11 in the US, there were almost daily alerts. Every rumour was turned into an alert. No one wants to be the one who said "this one isn't serious".

January 11, 2007 11:28 am  

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