Sunday, December 18, 2005

UK : Did Intelligence agencies have prior knowledge of 'London Underground' attack !

( The Times ) Spymasters warned Tony Blair before the July 7 suicide bombings that Al-Qaeda was planning a “high priority” attack specifically aimed at the London Tube.



A leaked four-page report by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which oversees all spying, is the first definitive evidence that the intelligence services expected terrorists to strike at the Underground.

The disclosure will fuel critics’ suspicions that Blair decided to rule out a public inquiry into the bombings last week because it could expose intelligence failings at the highest level.

The document, marked Top Secret and signed off by the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, the government eavesdropping centre, was based partly on the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Al-Qaeda’s then operations chief.

It stated: “The UK and its interests remain high in Al-Qaeda’s priorities . . . Plans have been considered to attack Heathrow, the London Underground and other targets.”

Ministers and senior security officials have insisted that there was no warning of an imminent attack ahead of the July 7 bombings, in which 56 people died.
While technically true, the leaked document dated April, 2003, will be seized on by critics to show that ministers failed to disclose that they knew Al-Qaeda was targeting the Tube.

A statement in September 2003 by the prime minister and Sir John Stevens, the then Metropolitan police commissioner, that a suicide attack was “inevitable”, did not name the Tube as a specific target.

The performance of MI5 has already been criticised because it lost track of Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the suicide gang, whom it placed under temporary surveillance 18 months before the bombings.

Officers judged that Khan was not an immediate threat to national security and decided to stop monitoring him.

Blair ruled out a public inquiry on the grounds that it would detract from the investigation into the July 7 bombs and the failed July 21 attacks.

The report dated April 2, 2003 is entitled International Terrorism: The Current Threat from Islamic Extremists. Mohammed, who organised the 9/11 attacks, had been arrested in Pakistan the previous month.

In a key passage it states: “The UK and its interests remain high in Al-Qaeda’s priorities. Interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other detainees confirms this. “It shows that plans have been considered to attack Heathrow, the London Underground and other targets.”
The report adds that terrorist suspects with links to east Africa are under surveillance.

“We do not yet know the full nature of their activity, but they do not appear to be planning attacks here (some were questioned by the police).”

JIC documents are circulated to a small group of senior ministers. These include the home secretary, the foreign secretary and defence secretary as well as top civil servants in Whitehall.

The Tories demanded the government publish the whole JIC document and disclose what other intelligence there had been about threats to the Tube. Patrick Mercer, the party’s homeland security spokesman, said: “This leak underlines our demand for an independent inquiry.”

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that would explain why they are so reluctant to have a public inquiry !

December 19, 2005 12:27 am  
Blogger Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from a blogger down under in New Zealand. Hopefully people won't forget when the elections roll around and vote for someone else. We don't know how lucky we are down under in NZ.
Merry Christmas

December 19, 2005 5:46 am  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

There is always "someone who knew before hand"... the sensationalized stories leave out that you have use your 20/20 hindsight to put the pieces together though...

Example:

Analyst: "Sir, we have a report that a terrorist orginization may try, at some point, to attack the tubes, with orginzied methods, on a future date.... what shoudl we do?"

Boss: "Do we know who?"

Analyst: "No"

Boss: "Where?"

Analyst: "No"

Boss: "When?"

Analyst: "No"

Well, we can either lock them down indefinatly, or we can just hope our current survalence measures pick it up...

December 19, 2005 8:36 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

they should at least have a public inquiry into the attack. why does Gump have to make excuses before finding out exactly what happened?

-Hype

December 19, 2005 11:32 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Hype, it might have been a "figurative measure."

December 20, 2005 12:21 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

LOL I hate to say it DJEB but that actually gets funnier each time you post it

and Hype as you say , a public inquiry is the key , if there was nothing to hide then there would be no reason to withold any inquiry

if this is what the press does know , then like the visual sighting of an iceberg , you can be sure that there is much more below the surfice that we can not see

December 20, 2005 12:29 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Oh and kelvin , thanks for, visiting , i appreciate your comment

December 20, 2005 6:03 am  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

I am amazed, especially coming from you H, that you wouldn’t be the first to state some probably reasons for no public inquiry.

I know Hype is an idiot, and I know DJEB has no potential of being able to actually spar with me on debate, so either's comments aren’t surprising, much less of any substantial value.

Here, let me give a couple of "off the cuff" reasons that the UK government may be less than open to a "public inquiry".

1. Risk of exposing sensitive intelligence gathering sources
2. Risk of exposing sensitive intelligence gathering methods
3. Risk of exposing vulnerabilities in intelligence gathering methods
4. Risk of exposing on-going operations
5. Risk of exposing active agents and/or operatives
6. Risk of exposing operational doctrine weaknesses
7. Lack of time, money, and/or effort for a fruitless endeavor
8. Because everyone doesn’t buy into the tin-foil hat theory you do.

Just chew on those for starters… then maybe we can actually have a discussion.

December 21, 2005 9:03 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

"I know Hype is an idiot"

"condescension"

"I know DJEB has no potential of being able to actually spar with me on debate"

Sorry, I don't accept non sequiturs, that's all. They are generally all you post, so there generally is not much debate possible.

As for reasons one to six, there are so oft repeated as to be cliche, like the declaration of noble intent every time any country ever attacks another. Commissions on terrorism have been carried out in the past in different parts of the world without the catastrophes you warn about occuring. As for number seven, you don't know that the endeavor would be fruitless until the inquiry is actually carried out, unless you have some magic crystal ball we don't know about. As for number eight, it's more "condescension" designed to make those who disagree with you afraid to speak on the matter.

December 22, 2005 2:12 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Let me set a few things straight

G: i know you have issues with Hype but I find his views interesting and worthy of debate . I do understand that you both have 'issues' with each other but wish we could learn to attack the 'comments' of each other and not the people

thats just being unkind to each other

as for you comment on DJEB again i disagree , from personal experience know that he is a very inteligent person with a range of resources that make mine seem like they live in cigarette box

He maintains a rule on his site in regard to comments that would mean 'most' of what you write would not meet the criteria set

There is an art in debating and for it to be worthwhile debates should move forward aiming towards conclusions and his do just that

mine do not ... for i often sacrifice sense and reason to allow anyone (who isnt obscene) to make a comment here , ( see the latest post on saddam for examples)

I like your posts for you do represent what many americans feel , i usually disagree with you and often feel that you base your comments very much on 'gut feeling'
and hence can not be argued with factually .

I do have a 'theory' as to why the UK government will not be having a public inquiry into the london attack , but it isnt covered by your 7 points ( the 8th is just a dig)

my views on your points 1 to 7 are identical to Djebs

I would just add that they are ALL written from a perspective that clearly assumes that they have decent and honorable reasons (for the country) for not doing so ..

rather the deep routed political reasons for not doing so

You americans are soooo trusting of people in authority its frightening

anyone who asks the slightest questions of accountabilty become "tin hat" types

where as it is more reasonable to suggest that those that dont ask such questions have become brain washed robots

December 22, 2005 2:51 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

The criteria on my site is essentially this.

"You americans are soooo trusting of people in authority its frightening"

It amazes me that the Right is supposed to be against government yet always seems to support the state when it carries out violence or support state institutions that carry out violence.

December 22, 2005 4:18 am  
Anonymous TJ said...

Does no one remember that it was just 4 local british pakistanis with no official ties to Al-Qaeda and that its actually just a name?

December 22, 2005 5:56 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

does anyone remember why they did it ? what the pre-recorded video statement said , that 2 of the bombers were known to MI5

I have not made any link to Al-Qaeda for i agree , there is none , but the worst terrorist attack ever on the UK mainland deserves a public inquiry

And refusing to have such an inquiry means that questions will and should be asked of the UK government

December 22, 2005 6:02 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

DJEB

As for reasons one to six, there are so oft repeated as to be cliché

Must be a reason for that… maybe because it’s true?

And “condescension” doesn’t come close to the way I address Hype, he gets much more special attention than that.

Also, your link for “criteria” on debate… that is cute and all, but seriously, are you trying to run a debate completion, or actively participate in the exchange of ideas? In a debate completion or class, you can win by simply finding the most relevant way, within the rules, to express your point. This is then “judged” by objective observes, and a winner declared. This seems to be what you are looking for in most cases.

To me, we enter into a topic of discussion with opinions that are based off many diverse things (i.e. news, history, personal experience, gut feelings, impressionistic theories, etc…), where one opinion may be shared, partially shared, or completely disagreed with.

But to come into this arena, and then attempt to completely dismiss any and all argument to a cause/issue that you support, simply on the premise that one (or more) of your “guidelines” were not met is either a quaint shield you use to protect yourself from uncomfortable situations, or an OCD complex disallowing you to enter “uncharted territory”.

Lets break it down into a quick and simple example: You wait three hours in line at the DMV, get up to the window, and the lady tells you that the little box that you checked was supposed to have an “x” in it, not a check mark. She then tells you to go back to the end of the line and try again.

You don’t win debate DJEB, you simply ignore the debate and try to detail it to death until your opponent loses interest and walks away. Much the way a turtle wins a fight, by hiding in the shell. Ignoring a point and/or facts (that you requested) does not make it go away, it does not make you right, and it does not accomplish anything. If H wants to play sycophant to you about your “resources”, that is fine, I will leave him to it, but please don’t expect me to get all weak in the knees when you use a English major’s word to try and dismiss relevant argument to issues which you support.

H, DJEB has yet to express or demonstrate anything to me that warrants your lauds and commendation. As far as Hype goes, you’ve seen him in action on my site and on Dions. The guy simply reads one/two talking points from someone else’s blog, and then tries to come around and regurgitate that same information into completely irrelevant discussions. When called on it, he then jumps immediately to either ridiculous accusations or standard cut/paste rhetoric from those same blogs.

Yes, 8 was a dig, meant for humor’s sake, not for actual consideration (Careful DJEB, there I go getting all crazy again). But I think it almost humorous that you (and DJEB) immediately dismiss the first seven reasons, and automatically assume the worst (and most complicated) scenario. For one, this defies one of your favorite analytical methods: Ockham’s razor. You accuse me of “trusting” too much, but at the same time overlook your fault seeing conspiracy too much. I promise that EVERYTHING is not a conspiracy. Sometimes things do happen for the most logical reasons. I don’t think government officials always have my best interests at heart, but I don’t think they ALWAYS have ulterior motives.

December 22, 2005 6:20 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

G , a per usual , flip your argument

nobody is saying they ALWAYS have ulterior motives , but in your mind they NEVER do

you listed 8 reasons and not one of them even touched on the idea that there may be more political reasons to do this than good honest reasons

Nobody here has claimed anything sinister went on , but only YOU have claimed that NOTHING sinister has gone on

you have no more information then me but you are so sure , Thas because your natural reaction is to trust your leaders

take a look at how many public inquiries wehave had this year alone in the UK , they are started at the drop of a hat

as per usual your leaping ahead of what anyone is saying ,

reading your comment you would think that a wrote " aliens kidnap tony blair and force him to attack london !!!"

all you are doing is trying to prevent legitimate questions by using Ridicule ( which is a comment tactic used my the right wing in the US , but does not work here )

I have an open mind as to the motives , where as you have a closed one , so which of us is being more sensible ?

December 22, 2005 6:35 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

as for a cliche being repeated enough then it must be true !!

does that mean you accept George bush is a fascist war criminal now then LOL

December 22, 2005 6:37 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

>"As for reasons one to six, there are so oft repeated as to be cliché”

Must be a reason for that… maybe because it’s true?


As I said before, "commissions on terrorism have been carried out in the past in different parts of the world without the catastrophes you warn about occuring." You seemed to miss that once already, so please allow me to repeat it a third time: "Commissions on terrorism have been carried out in the past in different parts of the world without the catastrophes you warn about occuring."

"And “condescension” doesn’t come close to the way I address Hype, he gets much more special attention than that."

So, you are cool with the hypocrisy then?

"Also, your link for “criteria” on debate… that is cute and all, but seriously, are you trying to run a debate completion, or actively participate in the exchange of ideas? In a debate completion or class, you can win by simply finding the most relevant way, within the rules, to express your point. This is then “judged” by objective observes, and a winner declared. This seems to be what you are looking for in most cases."

My link was in regards to comments _H_ made about my own site. However, if you have encountered a formal or informal fallacy in my reasoning, please point it out. If not, then I fail to see how logic is irrelevant.

"To me, we enter into a topic of discussion with opinions that are based off many diverse things (i.e. news, history, personal experience, gut feelings, impressionistic theories, etc…), where one opinion may be shared, partially shared, or completely disagreed with."

The "gut feelings" and "etc" are a wise choice in arsenal, aren't they. Logic is made irrelevant and you can always be correct because your "gut feelings" say so. Opinions are fine, but an opinion is just an unsubstantiated assertion. It is when people try to use this as a premise that they get into trouble.

"But to come into this arena, and then attempt to completely dismiss any and all argument to a cause/issue that you support, simply on the premise that one (or more) of your “guidelines” were not met is either a quaint shield you use to protect yourself from uncomfortable situations, or an OCD complex disallowing you to enter “uncharted territory”."

Again, if you have found an error in my logic, please point it out. Otherwise I don't see how logic is made irrelevant just because it is inconvenient for you. Oh, and the attack on me here is completely irrelevant.

"Lets break it down into a quick and simple example: You wait three hours in line at the DMV, get up to the window, and the lady tells you that the little box that you checked was supposed to have an “x” in it, not a check mark. She then tells you to go back to the end of the line and try again.

You don’t win debate DJEB, you simply ignore the debate and try to detail it to death until your opponent loses interest and walks away. Much the way a turtle wins a fight, by hiding in the shell."


First, your analogy is a faulty one. In your example, the conclusion is a foregone one. In discussing an issue, it is not. Again, show me the error in my arguments and I'll accept that. Otherwise, don't whinge about others not accepting illogical arguments.

"Ignoring a point and/or facts (that you requested) does not make it go away, it does not make you right, and it does not accomplish anything."

Nice charge. Where have I done this? Be specific. Where have I done this? I challenge you to show exactly where it is I have done this.

More on the real issue at hand in a moment, but this first:

"I promise that EVERYTHING is not a conspiracy."

I'll thank you not to use straw man arguments, please. No one is claiming conspiracy. We are discussing competence.


Now, back to the issue. I'll repeat what has been said in the hope that we can stick to the issue at hand.

_H_: "you listed 8 reasons and not one of them even touched on the idea that there may be more political reasons to do this than good honest reasons "

DJEB: "Commissions on terrorism have been carried out in the past in different parts of the world without the catastrophes you warn about occuring."

"As for number seven, you don't know that the endeavor would be fruitless until the inquiry is actually carried out, unless you have some magic crystal ball we don't know about."

December 23, 2005 1:41 am  

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