UK Report on July 7th Terrorist Bombings

About the Intelligence and Security Committee:

Parliamentary oversight of SIS, GCHQ and the Security Service is provided by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994. The Committee examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the three Agencies. It operates within the ‘ring of secrecy’ and has wide access to the range of Agency activities and to highly classified information. Its cross­party membership of nine from both Houses is appointed by the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The Committee is required to report annually to the Prime Minister on its work. These reports, after any deletions of sensitive material, are placed before Parliament by the Prime Minister. The Committee also provides ad hoc reports to the Prime Minister from time to time. The Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee is the Right Honourable Paul Murphy. The Committee is supported by a Clerk and secretariat in the Cabinet Office and can employ an investigator to pursue specific matters in greater detail.

They have released the "Intelligence and Security Committee Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005," and the UK government has issued a response.

Posted on May 31, 2006 at 11:19 AM • 9 Comments

Comments

Clive RobinsonMay 31, 2006 12:07 PM

@Bruce,

Unfortunatly neither the report or the UK Gov response answer the questions of the families of those killed and injured.

In fact the UK Gov when pressed for more clarity and detail went into a tail spin and instead of answering questions offered more financial compensation.

Like many other Londoners it was pure chance that I was not on one of the tube trains. I was due to go to a job "up in town" and would have been traveling through one of the affected stations at that time, but due to a supplier problem the visit was canceled the night befor.

So like the victims and their families I definatly want answers as well.

geoff laneMay 31, 2006 12:54 PM

Sadly the government is backing the trial of airport style scanners in a few rail stations.

Not only are these totally inapproriate when you have to move thousands of people an hour (and the trains won't wait for you if you are stuck in some security scanner queue) the fact that train stations are not secure buildings doesn't seem to have occured to the politicans.

You can scan all you like, but if someone can throw a bag of C4 over the fence to a suicide bomber who has passed through the scanner then there is not much point to the scanner.

AleMay 31, 2006 1:10 PM

"127. Post-July, GCHQ is aiming to increase the amount of proactive target
discovery and analytic work undertaken on the threat with a consequent further
increase in the number of people doing that work. It is also accelerating investment
in the skills required to master an increasingly complex communications
environment."

If it has happened in the US, it will happen with BT and other UK carriers. Privacy may become an increasingly elusive privilege.

another comment in Solove's BLOGMay 31, 2006 1:39 PM

http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2006/...

“Why did they do it?��? asks one major section of the government report.

There are no clear answers—nothing in the report that explains why one morning these British men blew themselves up and killed dozens of commuters and injured hundreds more.

According to the report, the men were serious about their religion—but then so are thousands of other members of the very same community. The men spoke out about politics at times but, of course, plenty of people do that.

Some evidence suggests that a local gym the young men attended attracted people with radical views. A local bookstore was rumored to stock radical writings and DVDs. The men liked to go on camping trips—leading to speculation that the trips were training programs. The report finds little significance in any of these things. The men had visited Pakistan with their families. Again, though, many Britons make the very same trip.

The report reaches some chilling conclusions. “The case demonstrates,��? it says, “the real difficulty for law enforcement agencies and local communities in identifying potential terrorists.��? There was “little in the backgrounds��? of the London bombers to “mark them out as particularly vulnerable to radicalization.��? On the whole, the men were “well integrated into British society.��? While they may have experienced moments of “instability��? there was nothing “extraordinary��? about their life circumstances.

Posted by: Another comment in Solove's BLOG at

John LetticeMay 31, 2006 1:50 PM

Simply using the facts (somewhat limited) presented in the various reports, it strikes me that one could perfectly reasonably have come to an alternative conclusion, along these lines:

1. They were looking in the wrong places.
2. They were expending considerable resources looking in the wrong places and (personal value judgment here) over-resourcing investigations into the couple of right places they were looking.
3. They had spent rather a long time crying wolf with alert states, and decided to stop it at the right time, on the basis of the data they had, but the wrong time, as hindsight now tells them. Possibly, this suggests alert states are pointless, or across you nail yourself to.
4. They had some knowledge of the potential for home-grown terror (there's been some work by the FCO and Home Office signposting this well in advance of 7/7) but they seem to have underestimated this.

I really don't think conclusions along these lines are wildly out of sync with what's in the reports.

RvnPhnxJune 1, 2006 11:46 AM

@tinfoil
Crawl back into the hole you came from, Troll!

In any case, the article does bring to mind an important possible problem (not the perceived one that article talks about--well beyond tinfoil hats there...): That security exercises could be exploited by terrorists.
Guess what....this is nothing new or unknown--it has happened for centuries. We don't need new anti-terror techniques or any other new BS for it. About the only reason that this kind of "coincidental" information would be useful now is that it would make tracking down the actual terrorists easier--and using traditional police techniques to boot.
Hmm......speaking of things which come to mind... More people need to read the writings of Sun Tzu.

VQFJune 3, 2006 8:55 PM

As of now, the first "Intelligence and Security Committee" hyperlink leads to www.schneier.com. There is an error on line 165 of this page's HTML source. The = after the href attribute is missing.

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