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Stupid mistakes or complacencey?

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  • Stupid mistakes or complacencey?

    MI5 ‘obliterated’ surveillance photo of 7/7 bombers

    The Times - February 22 2011

    The photo before editing.

    MI5 missed a glaring opportunity to identify the July 7 bombing ringleader when a clear surveillance photograph of Mohammad Sidique Khan was “appallingly” cropped in half, it emerged yesterday.

    Due to its subsequent poor quality the picture, which showed less than half of Khan’s head after it was altered by the Security Service, was not shown to an informant who could have established his terrorist credentials more than a year before the attacks.

    The July 7 inquests heard that the alterations “entirely obliterated” the defining features of Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, the Aldgate bomber, who had been photographed in a service station in February 2004 after they met known terror suspects. The informant was never shown the original.

    A senior MI5 officer, who earlier claimed there were no intelligence failings in relation to the plot, admitted that the altered photograph “could have been in better shape” but said that the officer who had changed it had been “under significant pressure”.

    Hugo Keith, QC, lead counsel to the inquests, told the spy, known only as Witness G: “I think one of my children could have done a better job of cropping out that photograph.” The grainy, black and white cropped picture of Tanweer was sent to US authorities for perusal by Mohammed Junaid Babar, an extremist turned informant. Babar did not identify him as they had never met.

    Witness G admitted that the cropped Khan picture was never shown as it was of even “poorer” quality.

    Although Babar had set up a terror training camp in Pakistan attended by Khan, 30, the previous year, he would only eventually identify the bomber from other photos after the attacks.

    Mr Keith told the hearing, at the Royal Courts of Justice, that “a little care might not have gone amiss” in the cropping. He added: “The systems must have been in place to allow a colour photograph to be transmitted to America.” Witness G said that it had to be sent “at speed”. Defending the decision to produce grainy photos, he said that MI5 could not send originals as it could expose detail about the “covert means” in which they were captured.

    Mr Keith noted that it would have only shown a Burger King at Toddington Services, on the M1 in Bedfordshire, which was visited by the pair after they met Omar Kyham, the ringleader of a foiled fertiliser bomb plot.

    John Taylor, whose daughter Carrie was murdered aged 24 at Aldgate, said: “In the grainy photo of Tanweer, I don’t think even his mother would be able to recognise him.”

    The inquests heard how MI5 had had four separate strands of intelligence on Khan before the bombings but failed to link crucial leads due to a lack of information-sharing and confusion about the spelling of his name.

    Witness G, the first member of the Security Service to answer questions publicly about July 7, expressed his “profound regret” that MI5 did not prevent the attacks. But he rejected any suggestion of “significant intelligence failings”, adding it would be “nonsensical and offensive” to suggest that the Security Service had an inkling of what was to befall London but did not act.

    He said it “would not have been appropriate” to conduct surveillance on Khan and Tanweer, even though they were meeting the people who planned to blow up targets including the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London. He argued that even if investigative steps had been taken, their later plot would not necessarily have been uncovered. Mr Keith detailed how Khan’s name, and variations of it, came up in a series of investigations between early 2003 and March 2005, but the Security Service did not put the strands together.

    Asked if systems existed at the time which would have enabled officers to put the names together to discover this “worrying element”, Witness G said that “they could have done” but that Sidique Khan was a common name.

    He detailed a series of changes to working practices and computer systems that have been put in place since the 2005 attacks.

    The hearing continues.
    Coroner's Inquests into the London Bombings of the 7 July 2005
    Attached Files
    sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

  • #2
    7/7 inquests: 'Unlikely' MI5 would have foiled bomb plot

    BBC News UK - 24 February 2011

    There was no "realistic prospect" of MI5 uncovering the 7/7 plot even if clues about the bombers had been followed up, the inquests into the attacks have heard

    Witness G, a senior security officer, said he did not believe more steps should "reasonably" have been taken to investigate ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan and his deputy, Shehzad Tanweer.

    Intelligence officers watched the pair meeting extremists planning a fertiliser bomb attack in 2004.

    However, they did not identify them.

    The two men were among four suicide bombers who killed 52 people on 7 July 2005.

    The top MI5 officer, giving evidence anonymously, insisted that there was not enough intelligence to make Khan and Tanweer priorities for surveillance before the July 7 2005 London bombings.

    James Eadie QC, counsel for the home secretary and MI5, asked him: "Knowing what you know now, do you consider that more steps should reasonably have been taken to investigate in particular Mohammad Sidique Khan and Tanweer?"

    The senior security officer answered: "I do not."

    Mr Eadie continued: "Even if further steps had been taken, do you consider there to have been any realistic prospect of uncovering the 7/7 plot?"

    To this, Witness G again replied: "I do not."

    BBC News - 7/7 inquests: 'Unlikely' MI5 would have foiled bomb plot
    sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?


    • #3
      And more complacancy , makes the original great escape look stoopid

      Breaking News

      Insurgents have tunnelled into the main jail in Afghanistan's Kandahar province and freed hundreds of prisoners, including many commanders, a provincial government official has confirmed.

      "We have the report that hundreds of Taliban managed to escape from the prison," the provincial governor's spokesman Zalmay Ayoubi has said.

      A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance force could not immediately confirm the report.

      The Taliban said in a statement that 541 prisoners have escaped through an extensive tunnel that took months to construct.

      Taliban insurgents blew open the gate of the same prison in 2008, allowing hundreds of prisoners including suspected militants to escape, including some 400 insurgent inmates.


      • #4
        And theres more , good old govt thinktanks and pennypinchers are causing this sort of thing , arseholes


        The SAS is facing a recruitment crisis because soldiers are too over-stretched to apply to join the elite regiment, a senior Army commander has warned.

        In a leaked letter, seen by The Daily Telegraphe head of the infantry Brigadier Richard Dennis said the "unrelentingly demanding" operations in Afghanistan were combining to "mitigate against Special Forces recruitment".

        He added that the SAS was also losing its unique status within the armed forces as "interesting operations are no longer seen as the preserve of Special Forces".

        The paper said it understood that the SAS - which has planned a key role in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in anti-terrorist operation - had a one third shortage of its front line strength.

        Although details of SAS wounded statistics are secret, it is said to have suffered similarly high casualty rates to some other Army units - including an incident last year in Afghanistan when eight soldiers were badly injured in a single attack.

        A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We do not normally comment on SF matters and we can see no reason to change that policy on this occasion


        • #5
          Neither. It was "conspiracy," I tells ya.
          "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.