UK's MI5 may have hired Al Qaeda sympathisers psot-7/7 terror attack

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London, Aug.1 (ANI): MI 5 targeted by Islamic extremists in rushed recruitment drive after 7/7 terror attacks on London, and now is facing questions over why it undertook the recruitment.

The recruitment drive was signalled in January 2006 - seven months after the attacks - when MI5 announced plans to hire another 200 officers as their budget expanded, more than 70 per cent of these would be devoted to counter-terrorism.

According to The Telegraph, the security breach took place as intelligence and police outfits battled to fill the intelligence gap following the July 7 2005 bombings on London's transport network, which resulted in the deaths of 52 people.

The Security Service was desperate to understand why and how four men from Leeds had plotted the attacks to give them a better chance of identifying future threats.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that six new Muslim recruits were thrown out of the service because of serious concerns about their pasts.

Two of the six were said to have attended training camps in Pakistan where they could have come into contact with al-Qaeda recruiters. The remainder had unexplained gaps of up to three months in their curricula vitae.

Patrick Mercer, the chairman of the House of Commons' Home Affairs sub-committee on terrorism, said he was now writing to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary urging an investigation.

Mercer said he was worried that the Security Services might not have rooted out all al-Qaeda sympathisers because of the urgency to build up knowledge about the Muslim community.

Counter-terrorism officials were reported to be worried that 'insiders' or their associates are almost certainly working undetected in sensitive posts and are actively supporting extremists. (ANI)

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