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Saturday, 18 November, 2023

Manchester Arena bombing might have been prevented inquiry finds

Manchester Arena bombing ‘might have been prevented’, inquiry finds

The Manchester Arena terror attack might have been prevented if MI5 had acted on key intelligence received in the months before the attack, an inquiry has found.

Two pieces of information about suicide bomber Salman Abedi were assessed at the time by the security service to not relate to terrorism.

But inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said having heard from MI5 witnesses at the hearings into the May 2017 atrocity – that killed 22 people and injured hundreds – he considered that did not present an “accurate picture”.

One officer admitted they considered a possible pressing national security concern on one of the pieces of intelligence but did not discuss it with colleagues straightaway and did not write up a report on the same day.

In his 207-page report, Sir John said: “The delay in providing the report led to the missing of an opportunity to take a potentially important investigative action.

“Based on everything the Security Service knew or should have known, I am satisfied that such an investigative action would have been a proportionate and justified step to take. This should have happened.

“Although I accept that Salman Abedi demonstrated some security consciousness and that this might have affected the efficacy of the investigative action that I have identified, there was the real possibility that it would have produced actionable intelligence.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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