Sunday, July 17, 2005
How can Mr Clarke have been so wrong and Monsieur Sarkozy so right?
Last Wednesday, Mr Clarke, Mr Sarkozy and other EU justice and home affairs ministers met at an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the London bombing. M. Sarkozy said some of the bombers had been "subject to partial arrest" last year.
"I am absolutely staggered he should make that assertion," Mr Clarke was heard to splutter. The BBC microphones recorded his angry retort and a BBC report on Thursday, 14 July, 2005 repeated this:
- The Home Secretary, ".. vehemently denied claims by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy that some of the suspects had been arrested in 2004 but were freed in a bid to catch a wider network.."
However, it seems clear now that M.Sarkozy was right and that he had indeed been correctly informed.
By whom is not clear.
Is it conceivable that Mr Clarke was not privy to the same information as the French interior minister? According to the BBC news today, Sunday 17 July,
Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, was "subject to a routine assessment by the security service because of an indirect connection to an alleged terror plot.
He was one of hundreds investigated but not considered a risk." See BBC
Did Mr Clarke not know that this was so? Or did he indeed know and preferred not to say because the admission seemed so embarrassing? Or was M. Sarkozy informed by a secret service that chose not to let on to Mr Clarke?
How can it be that the french interior minister knew last Wednesday what our own Home Secretary professed not to know?
I think we should be told.