As mentioned in the Extra, Extra below another intelligence failure for the Met has come to light after a well placed source revealed that Mohammed Sidique Khan was under surveillance and secretly filmed and recorded speaking to a UK-based terror suspect. Radio Four and Newsnight investigations reveal that Khan had contact with al-Qaeda activists for five years.
Up until now it was assumed that Khan and his fellow bombers had been ‘clean skins’ – completely unknown to anti-terrorist intelligence services. Richard Watson of the BBC says that the news “would show the intelligence services had him well in their sights but allowed him to slip away”.
Radio Four also reveals that three other men met with Khan at this time and suggests that they could also have been involved in terrorist actions although none of them were Khan’s fellow July 7 bombers. When reporters contacted the anti-terrorist hotline with their findings the police were dismissive saying “no disrespect, but these people could have been anybody…”.
Radio 4′s File on Four repeats on Sunday but can also be listened to now via the Beeb’s News Player – link at the bottom of this page. It’s a fascinating report and includes coverage of a British extremist training camp in America’s “cowboy country”.