Wednesday 1 March 2017

UK ignored warnings on terror -- WikiLeaks

Christopher Hope and Heidi Blake in London

Foreign diplomats warned the authorities that the 2005 London Tube and bus bombings were a "natural consequence" of Britain's policy of sheltering terrorists.

A leaked US diplomatic cable, sent five days after the July 7 bombings, said Britain ignored repeated warnings to stop granting asylum to Islamic extremists wanted in other countries for terrorism offences.

After bombers killed 52 people on London's transport system in 2005, the cable said Britain "should have expected such blasts".

The minister in charge of counter-terrorism under Labour admitted that the last government had failed to get a grip on the problem.

Washington was told politicians had allowed "Londonistan" to develop. In the cable, obtained by the WikiLeaks website, a former military attache to the Algerian Embassy in Washington told US diplomats that Britain had been warned years ago to stop granting asylum to members of two "very dangerous" terrorist groups.

An Algerian politician said Britain invited the attacks by "aligning itself with the devil", according to the cable sent five days after the attacks on July 12, 2005.

He asked: "Did the English consider the risks of allowing Londonistan to develop? The British thought that sheltering terrorists was a good solution, but they did not realise that one can never align oneself with the devil, and they did precisely that for years and years."

The extremists used Hyde Park and other open spaces to raise money for terrorist causes, the cable said.

Earlier this week it was disclosed how terrorist recruits from across Africa and the Middle East flocked to London to claim asylum. Seven of the terrorists held at Guantanamo were given refuge in Britain before travelling to Afghanistan for terrorist training.

The files show at least 35 detainees were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated in Britain.

Lord West of Spithead, a former security minister in the Labour government, admitted that ministers had failed to get a grip on the problem. He blamed some of the failings on the Home Office's counter-terrorism strategy.

"I hope that this government is looking at it (counter-terrorism strategy) very closely, I am sure they are. We need to keep this pressure on," he said.

Meanwhile, a top al-Qa'ida figure and Nato's second-highest priority insurgent in Afghanistan has been killed in an air strike.

The death of Saudi Arabian national Abdul Ghani, also known as Abu Hafs al-Najdi, from a coalition air strike on April 13 ends a four-year hunt.

A NATO spokesman last night said that Ghani directed al-Qa'ida operations in the eastern border province of Kunar, where he was killed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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