Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 11, 2006

UK House of Commons reports on 7/7 London bombings

The Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK House of Commons released its “Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005” today. The government’s official response to the report is available at this link. CNN provides a synopsis:

If more resources had been in place sooner there would have been a greater chance of preventing the July 7 Tube and bus bombings in London, an official report says.

The report by the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee also recommended a more transparent threat level and alert system in Britain.

It said it was likely two of the bombers had links with al Qaeda — though the extent of al Qaeda involvement in Britain’s worst-ever terrorist atrocity remained unclear.

The chances of preventing the July 7 attacks, which killed 52 people and wounded 700 others, might have been greater had different investigative decisions been made by Britain’s security services, the report said.

The section of the report on threat assessment and public warning is particularly interesting, and relevant for the U.S. debate on the same issues – a debate that has become dormant in the past year but is still far from resolved.

Update (5/11): In response to the report, new UK Homeland Security John Reid told the House of Commons that the British government has prevented three terrorist attacks since 7/7.

Update 2 (5/11): Here’s a related report from the UK Home Office, also released today.

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