Britain’s top intelligence agency MI5 failed to respond to vital information that could have thwarted a suicide attack on an Ariana Grande concert in north-west England in 2017 that killed 22 people, an investigation found on Thursday. Went.
The inquiry, led by retired judge John Saunders, found the agency failed to act promptly after an MI5 officer admitted receiving intelligence on bomber Salman Abedi.
Abedi’s information was considered a potential national security threat, but the matter was increasingly discussed among the agency’s aides.
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MI5 director general Ken McCallum said in a statement: “Secret intelligence is difficult to gather, but if we had succeeded in the small chance we have, those affected would not have experienced such horrific loss and trauma Will happen.”
McCallum said he was “deeply sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack.”
22-year-old Abedi was killed after a bag full of explosives was detonated at the entrance of Manchester Arena as thousands of people, including children, were attending the concert.
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The bombing, believed to be an Islamic extremist attack, killed 22 people, including an 8-year-old child, while more than 200 were injured.
The incident raised many questions as to how this happened in the first place.
Saunders said he could not say with certainty whether the attack could have been prevented, but noted that his investigation found “there was a real possibility that actionable intelligence could have been obtained, which Because action could have been taken to prevent the attack.”
The inquiry apparently found that had MI5 acted on intelligence at the time, the agency could have intercepted Abedi when he arrived at Manchester airport from Libya four days before the attack.
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Saunders was unable to provide additional information regarding his investigation due to national security concerns, although the admitted findings may leave family members of victims wanting more.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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