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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Five given life sentences for terrorist plot

The news on Monday that five people have been convicted of plotting to commit terrorism in the UK has brought to light the threats facing us today.

It also sheds some light on some of the warnings the Police and others have been giving. It has been difficult to discern the meaning of some of these warnings - to what extent do they refer to specific threats? But there has been no doubt that some threats exist and July 7th 2005 demonstrated that clearly of course.

This is a major victory for the security services and rightly so. I am not sure we should be blaming them too much for missing the July 7th bombers. Lessons have no doubt been learned and there are more resources available now. There is a wider question of why extremists were allowed to be so active over some years. I don't mean so much in terms of preaching as in terms of apparently being active parts of networks with links to terrorism.

Perhaps another observation is that our defence and security services seem to try their hand at news spinning on regular occasions and are not always very good at it. Accounts about who knew what and when seem to change day to day. It's time to have a rethink and just give us the facts. At the moment the confusions obscure the good work they do.

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