Friday, February 24, 2006


MI5 withheld evidence before Omagh bombing

MI5 wanted to see this kind of carnage Really shocking news from RTE today (hat tip Slugger) that British security service, MI5, withheld vital anti-terrorism intelligence just months before the Omagh bombing in 1998.

According to security sources in Northern Ireland, MI5 failed to inform Special Branch of the threat about the bomb plot.

The details have only just emerged as part of an investigation into an FBI agent who infiltrated the Real IRA, which carried out the attack.

Relatives of some of the 29 people killed in the bombing have said they are astonished by the disclosure.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said: 'Allowing MI5 to have a lead role in intelligence in Northern Ireland would be like appointing Herod as children's commissioner.'

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan, 21, was among those killed, said: 'At best, this is criminal negligence. At worst, it's assisting a terrorist murder plot.'

Three dissident republicans were arrested and later released without charge at the time of the foiled April 1998 bomb plot four-and-a-half months before Omagh was attacked.

It is incredible news but it's not the first time we've heard about this kind of thing. If you read my sidebar which details excerpts from Joe Tierney's book on the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, he reveals that MI5 were heavily involved in the loyalist's bombing of Dublin and Monaghan in 1974 as well as other attacks on the Republic.

Even British Prime Minister Harold Wilson felt that extreme right-wing elements within MI5 were trying to undermine him and to destroy his political career.

Why didn't MI5 inform Special Branch of the bomb plot, you ask? Because quite simply they want to see the peace process fail!

Now the British government want to entrust MI5 with a lead role in intelligence in Ireland's north. It's madness!

I urge all parties in the North to come together and to reject this idea entirely.

Murderers cannot be entrusted with this kind of power.


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