Sunday, May 14, 2006
MI5 Hid Terror Tapes from Parliamentary Committee
If it is indeed true, as the Sunday Times alleges, that MI5 withheld from the Parliamentary Intelligence & Security Committee transcripts of bugging tapes of Mohammad Sidique Khan talking about how to build bombs and then leave the country, then there will be a huge political fallout. It highlights just how unaccountable our security services have become that they think they can get away with this. What it also does is highlight the need for a full public inquiry. 7/7 victim Rachel North (and a blogger) told the Sunday Times: "I am shaking with anger. In the absence of an independent public inquiry answering the public's questions I had hoped that those who heard the evidence behind closed doors on our behalf would find out the answers for us. They did not find out the whole truth and I feel badly, desperately let down." I am not surprised she feels let down. David Davis, I imagine, will be calling for a statement from the Home Secretary tomorrow. He says: "It seems that MI5 taped Mohammad Sidique Khan talking about his wish to fight in the jihad and saying his goodbyes to his family - a clear indication that he was intending a suicide mission...he was known to have attended late-stage discussions on planning another major terror attack. Again, I ask the Home Secretary whether that is true." I heard John Reid on 5 Live on Thursday saying that an independent inquiry would take resources away from the fight against terrorism, a very weak argument if ever I heard one. The whole point of an independent inquiry would be to help us understand what happened and why it happened. A blame game would be ridiculous. But the results of such an inquiry should help us to prevent a similar outrage happening again. If the Home Secretary really wants to make a good start in his new job he should annouce tomorrow that such an inquiry will start work as soon as possible. He'd get the full support of all Opposition parties and the country too. And Rachel North might be able to sleep at night.