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ISC clears MI5 of negligence in London bombings

Written by: Staff
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London, May 12 (UNI) An official report into the London bombings published by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which reports directly to the Prime Minister, cleared MI5, UK Security service of any negligence in failing to thwart the attacks.

However, the report acknowledged that had different judgements been made and further inquiries conducted into individuals, linked to other terrorist plots the outcome might have been a different one.

However opposition MPs had a different view. They called it an intelligence failure as three of the four suicide bombers who killed 52 people last July were known in some form to the MI5 but the security service had failed to follow up the leads.

The report said greater coverage by MI5 in Pakistan, or more available manpower generally, ''might have alerted the agencies to the intentions of the July 7 group''. The intelligence community had also failed fully to understand the threat from home-grown suicide bombers.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, saying that the report left many questions unanswered, noted it had exposed a serious intelligence failure that should be a subject of an independent investigation -- a demand echoed by relatives of the victims.

However, Home Secretary John Reid has ruled out a public inquiry, which he claimed would divert resources from MI5's continuing attempts to stop another outrage. He promised to meet the families to explain why he had reached this conclusion.

Officials also published yesterday an official account of the event of July 7, when Mohammed Sidique Khan (30), Shezad Tanweer (22), Germaine Lindsay (19), and Hasib Hussain (19) detonated their home-made devices costing around 8,000 pounds each to make on three underground trains and a bus.

The leader of the group was Khan, who left a video, later released by al-Qaeda, claiming responsibility for the attacks.

However, the extent of the link, if any, with the terrorist organisation run by Osama bin Laden remains uncertain and is still being investigated. Khan, along with Tanweer had visited terrorist training camps in Pakistan. Khan also visited Afghanistan at least five years ago before the fall of the Taliban.

Although it seems likely that the four bombers marked the extent of the plot, the narrative compiled by a Whitehall official said there could be others who had been involved in indoctrinating the group or in planning the attack.

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