Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Exclusive to all papers: Keystone Terrorists foil dastardly plot whilst keystone cops look on

The verdict in the case of the hapless 21st of July 2005 bombers came in today, and some reporting restrictions have been lifted. (The BBC has this)

We know that their story that this was just some kind of protest was not believed by the jury who were convinced beyond reasonable doubt they intended to kill. They would have but for their own incompetence.

What is of somewhat more concern is that the leader of the plotters, Muktar Ibrahim from East Africa had not only been on a trip to Pakistan but questioned by special branch about it and found in possession of a large amount of cash and a military first aid kit. This did not, it seems, raise alarm bells.

It gets worse. We have Interpol criticising us for not accessing the database of known terrorists, (well we could be using our own copy) not giving information back to it (also fair enough because there are 186 countries in Interpol and we may not want them all knowing) but shockingly not checking with Interpol about known to be stolen travel documents. That is daft. (See the Telegraph here for the original allegation and the BBC here for some government response).

The thing is this, the government keep asking for extra powers. They are of no use unless they are directed at the right people and that is not a matter of what the law is but how the executive direct the resource to tackle terrorism combined with the political will to use it.

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