MI5 Made Mistakes Ahead of Manchester Bombing – Report


According to the Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the intelligence and security activities of the UK, has released a scathing report criticising the performance of British intelligence services.

In 2017, the United Kingdom suffered five terrorist attacks in Westminster, the Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green, with 36 people losing their lives and dozens injured. 

The Committee reported that the system for regulating and reporting purchases of the ingredients used to make explosives was hopelessly out of date in dealing with the threat. The lawmakers concluded that the Government’s intention to improve co-operation and information sharing between retailers and law enforcement should have been done sooner and now must be kept under review. 

The report also stressed that the British Secret Service, MI5, failed to properly monitor individuals of interest not under active investigation at the moment but in the peripheries of more than one investigation. The perpetrator of the Manchester Arena bombing, Salman Abedi had been flagged for review, but MI5’s systems were too slow to review him, which allowed the terrorist to execute the attack on 22 May 2017.

One of the crosscutting issues, in the case of Abedi was highlighted by the Committee:

“We have seen that he visited an extremist contact in prison on more than one occasion, however no follow-up…

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