FBI 'gave prior warning to Britain about 7/7 bomber'
By JAMES KIRKUP
Scotsman" -- -- FURTHER evidence suggesting that
British security forces were alerted in advance to the danger
posed by the leader of the London suicide bombers emerged
Reports in the United States indicated American law enforcement
officers had raised concerns with their British counterparts
over Mohammad Sidique Khan, believed to have led the 7 July
According to the New York Daily News, the FBI told British
officials well before the bombings that Khan "was trouble" and
should be "checked out".
The information passed on by the FBI is said to have come from a
Pakistani-born al-Qaeda supergrass, who is currently in
protective custody having pleaded guilty to a range of terrorist
charges in the US. The informant cannot be named in Britain
because he is alleged to be connected to men about to stand
trial in London charged with terrorist offences.
Some critics have suggested the British authorities' prior
knowledge of Khan shows that the July attacks, which killed 52
people as well as the four bombers, were the result of an
Chuck Schumer, a US senator, likened the situation to the events
before the 11 September, 2001 attacks on American cities by men
who were known to the CIA. "This is the British version of
pre-9/11, where a country receives a generalised warning and
ignores it with terrible consequences," he said.
British security sources say the reality is that Khan was not
"ignored". They say that MI5 has already told ministers that
officers did, indeed, monitor Khan in 2004, as he was an
associate of one of the men about to stand trial in London. At
that time, MI5 officers judged the considerable costs of the
surveillance operation were not justified by a man whose
criminal activities were believed to be limited to shoplifting.
While the US report largely supports previously-known facts
about British intelligence before the July attacks, it could
also provide clues about how the investigation into those
attacks is proceeding.
If proven, a connection between Khan and the US-based informant
would be more evidence of the international dimension of the
July plot, and the much-theorised role of the al-Qaeda network.
MI5's continuing investigation into the July attacks is now
firmly focused on Pakistan.
Last night a senior French intelligence chief claimed the UK
failed to take action against radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza
for years, despite evidence that he was involved in terrorism.
Christophe Chaboud, director of France's national anti-terrorism
co-ordination unit (UCLAT), said evidence implicating Hamza was
passed on from French intelligence. He said Hamza sent dozens of
people from Finsbury Park mosque to terror training camps in
He said: "We thought it would have been necessary to take
action, to arrest and prosecute him." A report in today's
Guardian newspaper claimed France was so concerned that it ran
undercover missions with the mosque as the target.
Copyright The Scotsman
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