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July 27, 2006

Sharing the Blame: Britain's Anti-Terrorism Cock-ups

UK Times correspondents Sean O'Neill and Daniel McGrory have a new book (The Suicide factory) detailing the mistakes and"intelligence failures" (to use the US term) that led to the rise of Sheikh Abu Hamza's terrorist recruiting center in London's Finsbury Park mosque. (Abu Hamza is the Egyptian-born cleric who recruited shoe bomber Richard Reid and is currently awaiting trial in the UK on numerous terrorism charges.)

Today's Times has some excerpts worth reading. Here is the money quote:

Government departments pointed the finger of blame at one another; politicians complained that the police and the spymasters did not investigate him properly; Scotland Yard moaned about MI5 and vice-versa. Detectives felt that the Crown Prosecution Service let them down; the CPS moaned that the court system was stacked against them. The judges retorted that they did not make the laws; if anyone was to blame it was the civil servants and politicians at Westminster. The blame game went round and round as Tony Blair banged the table in exasperation.

Every chance there had been to pursue Abu Hamza seemed to have been missed, wasted or blocked.

For more than twenty years there had been a catalogue of bureaucratic foul-ups and a lack of resolve by the British authorities to tackle him, even when presented with a clear opportunity to do so.

More excerpts are available online here and here.

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July 27, 2006 at 08:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006


Imagine Auric Goldfinger as the host of a variety show on Russian TV in a post-apocalyptic alternate universe, and this is what you get. (Via Popbitch)

July 7, 2006 at 09:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack