Lee Rigby atrocity: The acid test facing the MPs who hold the security services to account

The lack of effective supervision and democratic control of the intelligence services has been a major issue for some time. It is the raison d’etre for the parapolitical magazine, Lobster. Robin Ramsay, its editor, started it back in the 1980s out of concern for the stories of official British intelligence involvement in a number of areas, such as MI5’s smearing of Harold Wilson as a KGB spy; collusion between the British state and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, and the death of Hilda Murrell. It raised similar concerns to this article after 7/7 bombings in London. It was concerned about the way the intelligence services had acknowledged they had made mistakes, and demanded a larger budget, without actually providing any concrete information to the government about how it was going to improve, or be made accountable for its mistakes, mistakes that had resulted in the deaths and mutilation of hundreds of people.
MIke on his reblog of this article rightly warns about the way Lee Rigby’s murder is being used by extreme Right-wing groups to promote their own racist and xenophobic agenda. In this regard, it needs to be noted that the security services have been helped considerably by members of the Muslim community here in Britain. And I remember hearing on the news, way back in the first days after 9/11, that when the extremist group that eventually became Al-Muhajiroun appeared openly trying to raise money and praising the terrorists, their stall was attacked and they were done over by an outraged British Muslim. One of the complaints I’ve heard from liberal British Muslims is that there simply is not enough media coverage of their campaigns against the fanatics and preachers of hate. They are around, and they do hold marches and demonstrations against the viciously intolerant. So, be aware of this the next time someone tries to present British Islam as monolithic, or claim that they are all somehow sympathisers with Rigby’s killers.

Westminster Confidential

Lee Rigby; Pic courtesy of AP Press Lee Rigby;
Pic courtesy of AP Press

Britain’s only body that holds MI5 and MI6 to account is soon to produce a report on one of the most savage terrorist killings in this country – the hacking to death on the streets of Woolwich in south London of drummer Lee Rigby.

I am told that the security services have had to hand over highly sensitive material to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee about the security services knowledge of his killers as changes in the law last year stopped our spies duping the committee by pretending they don’t have it. This duplicity came to light after the inquiry by Sir Peter Gibson  Dame Janet Paraskeva and Peter Riddell, a very through journalist, discovered information on the treatment of detainees  who are alleged to have been tortured abroad which had been withheld from MPs on the committee.

His report is here .

The committee has had…

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