Wednesday, July 20, 2005

 

Unease

I'd like to say that I have confidence in the Prime Minister, his Cabinet, MI5, the Metropolitan police and all the rest who are telling us about evil ideologies and saying that now is not the time for an inquiry but rather for a decision on what legal steps are needed against terror.

I'd like to.

It would indeed be a triumph of officialdom if it could legislate against fear.

Why is it that I feel such unease about the official line taken on the London Bombs? Why is that when Mr Blair and Mr Straw talk about "evil ideologies" I feel the hairs rise on the back of my neck and know that nothing to do with Islam is the cause but rather an instinct, a nose for a bad smell? Am I just a born-again dissenter - or is there really something rather strange going on here when the official line is contradictory and unclear?

Some points raised that question the official line on the London Bombings include:



  • The men who were described as 'suicide' bombers left valid parking tickets on the windows of a Nissan Micra and a Fiat Bravo in the station car park. They boarded the 7.48am to London carrying return tickets A Scotland Yard spokesman has said,"We do not have hard evidence that the men were suicide bombers. It is possible that they did not intend to die." news reports One of the young men was expecting to become a father within days.


  • There is no actual evidence to suggest there was an Al Qaeda mastermind. The young men had been to Pakistan in 2004 but that in itself provides no proof that they were Al Qaeda terrorists.


  • Have I missed some important evidence being reported? What was the proof that led the police so quickly to descend on Leeds ( beyond the acetone peroxide found in the houses)? If they were already under surveillance, how was it that they could get so far?
    Early reports said the explosives had been of military origin and that the bombers must have had "someone on the inside who enabled them to get out of the military establishment." Independent Why were the early reports wrong - if they were?



  • The Egyptian, Magdy el Nashar, challenged officials to find any credible evidence to implicate him. They have failed and his innocence is loudly supported by Egyptian authorities. Zaman.com The Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adli told the newspaper al-Cumhuriyya that all claims linking al-Nashar with al-Qaeda were baseless. "Adli has also denied claims that British security units were present during al-Nashar's interrogation in Cairo."
    But where is the truth? Were they there or were they not?




  • A "drill" was taking place on the same morning.
    On a BBC Radio 5 interview that aired on the evening of the 7th, the host interviewed Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants said: "At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now." audio The same stations?


  • Israeli authorities have confirmed that they did receive prior warning of the attacks and warned Benjamin Netanyahu to stay inside his London Hotel. USA today on 7 July


  • There will be 'No internal inquiry' into the blasts


  • Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst and former counterterrorism intelligence officer, says that it " would indeed be evidence of an enormous failure," if MI5 agents had dropped a crucial lead about Mohammad Sidique Khan , suspected of links to al-Qaeda. Lord Falconer said no internal inquiry had been launched into why the London bombers were not picked up by the security services. He said "now is not the time" for an inquiry, but for a decision on what legal steps were needed against terror.

    Charles Clarke vehemently denied that anyone connected to the bombing was investigated last year by MI5 when M. Sarkozy said last Wednesday in Brussels that this was so. Indeed, Mr Clarke sounded incandescent. But the BBC said otherwise. The Independent today (Wednesday) reports that the Intelligence and Security Committee will question Sir John Scarlett and other intelligence chiefs about ".. the lessons to be learnt." (A phrase we have heard before and one that hardly fills one with confidence.)

    The official line has been questioned by the London Mirror and the Independent among others - reports can be seen here.
    I'll add to them - or refute them - when I can.
    I would much rather not be looking at these questions. But can one really trust the official line? The Jonathan Freedland Guardian article Yes, they did lie to us continues to haunt me.

    Dammit. How much more comfortable to pull the covers over one's head.



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