UK Security Committee Slams Authorities For Failure To Thwart 2017 Terrorist Attacks
Sumaira FH 21 days ago Thu 22nd November 2018 | 06:50 PM
The UK Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has criticized the nation's government and security forces for failing to take into account the experience of past terrorist attacks in the country as well as the body's recommendations in order to try to prevent last year's deadly attacks.
"It has been striking how some of the issues which arose in relation to the 7/7 attacks [2005 London bombings] and the killing of [UK soldier] Fusilier Lee Rigby [in 2013] have also been seen as having been a factor in the 2017 attacks. We have previously made recommendations in these areas, yet they do not appear to have been acted on," the committee said in a report.
According to the report, the UK government notably failed to act on the committee's warning that the authorities had a hard time dealing with the increasing amounts of extremist materials online, which are consumed or shared by those who plan to commit terrorist attacks.
"In 2014, we urged Government to engage with the CSPs [Communications Service Providers] to get them to accept responsibility and take steps to prevent their systems becoming a safe haven for extremist content and terrorist communications. While the major CSPs are beginning to engage more with this issue, there has still been little tangible progress over the last four years," the report added.
Another reason for the committee's concern has become the security services' failure to take into consideration its recommendations regarding the approach toward "low-level Subjects of Interest" (SOI) until only recently.
"The issue of how often Closed SOIs are subject to review arose again in the cases of the Manchester Arena attacker and the Westminster attacker [on March 22]. In the case of the latter, he had not been flagged as potentially posing a renewed risk by any review of Closed SOIs prior to his attack. In the case of the former, while he had been flagged for review, MI5's [UK domestic counterintelligence service] systems moved too slowly, and this had not happened before he launched his attack," the report said.
The report also slammed the authorities for failing to refer one of the perpetrators of 2017 attacks to the Prevent Program, which is part of the country's Contest Counter Terrorism Strategy, despite the fact that the ISC had raised this issue back in 2014.
According to the report, attacks in 2017 also demonstrated that MI5 still had problems with sharing its intelligence with the country's Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).
In 2017, the United Kingdom saw five major terrorist attacks the Westminster attack, the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks and the Parsons Green train bombing that claimed a total of 36 lives.