The Intelligence and Security Committee today published their report into the London July bombings. The report blames a lack of resources for the for the Security Services failure to prevent the attacks which killed fifty two people.
As a consequence of ongoing Police investigations into the events of 21 July 2005, some of which remain sub judice, the report focuses on the events of July 7th.
Addressing media reports that Siddeque Khan was known to the Security Service before prior to the bombings the Committee finds that although Khan and Shazad Tanweer were “the subject of reporting” by intelligence services “their identities were unknown to the Security Service and there was no appreciation of their subsequent significance”
The panel believe that “in light of the other priority investigations being conducted and the limitations on Security Service resources, the decisions not to give greater investigative priority to these two individuals were understandable.”
The report questions the “usefulness” of the UK’s warning system “in which changes can be made to threat levels with little or no practical effect” and recommends that a new system be developed which allows “users to determine their security responses” and takes into account “the limitations of intelligence coverage and the possibility of attack planning going on without detection”
Concerns are also raised that “across the whole of the counter-terrorism community the development of the home-grown threat and the radicalisation of British citizens were not fully understood”.
A lack of resources is cited as the main reason for the failure to detect the plot.
The report states that “the story of what was known about the 7 July group prior to July indicates that if more resources had been in place sooner the chances of preventing the July attacks could have increased.”
The full report – ‘Intelligence and Security Committee Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005’ – can be downloaded from the Cabinet Office website.