Tuesday 12 April, 2022 INDEX

Sir David Amess MP & a short history of recent MI5 bungling
Ali Harbi Ali, the 26-year-old murderer of Sir David Amess, MP for Southend (close to where I live in Chatham), spent five years researching Islamic State material and at least two years deciding which MP to kill. He believed he was striking a blow for Syria and hoped that he would be shot dead by the police officers who came to arrest him after he knifed the MP.

Unfortunately for him the honest British bobbies were unarmed so he failed to achieve the marytyrdom he sought.

But whilst the police acted in an exemplary fashion the same can not be said for MI5, who wasted the five years when they should have been alerted by Ali's behaviour.

The Ali revelations follow hard on the heels of MI5 expressing deep and profound regret over its failure to prevent the Manchester Arena bomb attack. No doubt this made the families of the 22 people murdered in the bombing happier. But probably not as happy as they would have been if MI5 had done a proper job and the victims were still alive.

MI5 had earlier admitted to the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena Bombing, that it was so busy it had to sub contract tasks in the North West of England.

Salman Abedi, the arena bomber, was brought up in a 1960s terraced house in Elsmore Road on Manchester's Fallowfield estate. A neighbour told the Manchester Evening News that in 2015 there was a black flag or banner on the roof, with Arabic writing on it. The Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS have all used the black flag and the video in which ISIS claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing featured a black flag.The UK 'intelligence' services scheduled a meeting to discuss the threat posed by Salman Abedi nine days after he exploded a device that killed 22 people at Manchester Arena,

The Manchester Arena case was probably as bad a mistake as MI5's failure to keep tabs on Ali Harbi Ali, if you believe the Didsbury Mosque (you will have to research this mosque's allegations since I do not wish to repeat them).

Arriving in Britain from Calais hidden in a lorry, in 2015, Ahmed Hassan told immigration officials he had been kidnapped by ISIS and "trained to kill".

On September 25, 2017, Ahmed Hassan took a shopping bag containing 400 grammes (about a pound) of an explosive called TATP, also known as the 'mother of satan', surrounded by shrapnel. He covered the bag with an old pair of trousers to hide the explosives. In his pocket he had an initiator designed to detonate the device and a timer. Hassan was no suicide bomber.

There are believed to have been 93 people in car six of the District Line train at Parsons Green when the timer triggered the device. The bomb did not work as designed. Instead of an explosion, a fireball ripped along the carriage ceiling. 23 passengers were burned and 28 were injured from the crush.

Hassan destroyed a phone and a laptop in order to conceal evidence. Clearly if GCHQ's Tempora system, designed to extract all phone and internet traffic, had been tracking terrorists instead of trade unionists and political activists, it would have been possible to prevent the incident taking place.

Khuram Butt, 27, of Barking, London, appeared on the Channel Four documentary The Jihadis Next Door about extreme Islam in London, broadcast in 2016. At one point in the documentary, he can be seen helping unfurl a black banner in Regent's Park.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Butt had been reported to the authorities at least twice. A former friend claimed he phoned the anti-terror hotline because Butt expressed extremist views after watching videos by the American hate preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril. A neighbour said she went to the police after Butt attempted to "brainwash" and radicalise her children. The Telegraph also reported that he was thrown out of his local mosque two years earlier after clashing with the Imam about politics.

According to CNN, Butt was a member of al-Muhajiroun, a British group supportive of ISIS linked to terrorist plots involving UK nationals. CNN's Sandi Sidhu met him several times while reporting on the group in the United Kingdom between 2014 and 2016. Butt went by the name "Abz" or "Abu Zaitun".

On Saturday June 3, 2017, Butt was the leader of a gang of three who used a white van to mow down pedestrians on London Bridge and then leapt out of the vehicle to knife people in restaurants, pubs and on the streets of Borough. Eight people were killed and 50 injured.

Usman Khan was a terrorist, tried and convicted of plotting to blow up the stock exchange in London. Among other things he set up a terror training centre in Pakistan.

In 2012 he was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment but only served half, being released under licence in December 2018. Less than a year later he was on the streets of London, plannning to commit another terrorist atrocity using the latest methods (not sophisticated equipment which is too easy to track but simply knives and sheer bloody mindedness). He killed Jack Merritt (aged 25) and Saskia Jones (aged 23) at an University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology event at London Bridge.

Khan clearly left home intent on causing mayhem because he was wearing what police describe as a hoax suicide vest. He also had on a GPS tag so the security services knew exactly where he was at all times.

The Liverpool terror attacker was killed by the blast from his improvised explosive device. Emad al Swealmeen died in a taxi outside Liverpool Women's Hospital when the device detonated on Remembrance Sunday on 14 November, 2021.

He made it with "murderous intent" and could have killed "many, many innocent people". Al Swealmeen, 32, had called his brother in America two days before the blast and suggested he might do "something bad". "He replied something like 'don't do s***', advising him as an older brother, knowing his previous issues.

Clearly if GCHQ's Tempora system, designed to extract all phone and internet traffic, had been tracking terrorists instead of trade unionists and political activists, al Swealmeen would have been stopped long before he got into the taxi.

Malik Faisal Akram was killed by American intelligence officers in January this year, after he took four people hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, 27 miles from Dallas.

Akram, was the subject of an MI5 investigation in late 2020 but by the time he flew to the US he was assessed to be no longer a risk, according to a report on the BBC. Far from being harmless, as MI5 judged, he was reportedly armed with 'backpacks of explosives', and had bought a gun on the streets in America.

See BBC report of the trial of the killer of Sir David Amess

Jonathan Brind
Tuesday 12 April, 2022