MI5 officials had bugged the ringleader of the July 7. 2004 London bombings, but witheld information about the tapes from a parliamentary watchdog investigation the bombings, the Sunday Times reports in today's cover story.
Ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan was recorded talking about how to build the bomb then advising those involved to leave the country to avoid police scrutiny.
Not having knowledge of the tapes or their transcripts, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee concluded MI5 had no reason to suspect Khan. The committee took Mi5 official's word when they said they had no reason to believe Khan was a priority target. Khan was under surveillance when he met with individuals plotting a separate attack.
The paper quoted Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman on homeland security, as saying: “Unless there is a proper independent inquiry, there is a danger of the committee’s report being interpreted as a whitewash.”