middle bit from MEE omitted (link provided)

The MEE article is here and comes from here. Oborne’s article is here – RB

British intelligence received warnings that Manchester bomber was plotting attacks
Laura Tiernan, WSWS, May 29 2017

Explosive allegations have emerged that MI5 had prior warning of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi planning a terrorist atrocity. On May 22, Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden IED outside a performance in Manchester by American singer Ariana Grande, killing 22 people, many of whom were children, and wounding 116. According to the Mail on Sunday:

The FBI told MI5 that Abedi was part of a north African Daesh cell plotting to strike a political target in Britain.

The FBI passed these warnings to MI5 in January, after placing Abedi on their terrorist watch list in 2016. An unnamed “security source” told the Daily Mail:

The FBI informed MI5 that Abedi belonged to a North African terror gang based in Manchester, which was looking for a political target in this country. Following this Pindo tip-off, Abedi and other members of the gang were scrutinised by MI5. It was thought at the time that Abedi was planning to assassinate a political figure. But nothing came of this investigation and, tragically, he slipped down the pecking order of targets.

The claims by PM May that Abedi acted as a “lone wolf” and was known by Britain’s security services only “to a degree” lie in shreds. It is simply not credible that an individual planning to assassinate a British “political figure,” that could conceivably include the prime minister, foreign secretary or the queen, would be allowed to “slip” under the radar. Abedi was effectively given a free hand by MI5 to launch a terrorist attack. The Daily Mail’ s revelations add to mounting evidence of the role of British intelligence services and successive governments in cultivating Islamist terror networks, and protecting these “assets” as part of their regime change operations in Libya and Syria. On Thursday, a report by Middle East Eye … (omitted – RB). In Saturday’s Daily Mail, Peter Oborne alleged direct collusion between MI6 and terrorist organisations in Libya and Syria. Oborne, associate editor of the Spectator and former chief political commentator at the Daily Telegraph, wrote:

MI6 officers were complicit in creating a generation of British-born jihadis who are prepared to do anything, and kill anyone, even young children, in their efforts to destroy this country. This brings us directly to the Manchester suicide-bomber. Along with his father and brother, Salman Abedi fought as a 16-year-old in the Libyan civil war. There have been reports, too, that he received military training in Syria. There is every reason to speculate that Salman Abedi’s evil handiwork at the Manchester Arena on Monday night was in part a direct consequence of MI6’s meddling in MENA affairs.

Oborne singled out MI6’s role under the Labour government of Tony Blair, when its former chiefs, Sir Richard Dearlove and Sir John Scarlett, “allowed it to become a propaganda tool for the Labour PM’s clique of war-mongers.” Scarlett drafted the infamous dossier on Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, used by Blair to stampede Britain into war. Oborne wrote:

I believe that MI6 has failed to learn the lessons from this debacle. Above all, it has made very serious mistakes that have endangered this country’s security. Often with the connivance of MI6, during the early years of the Syrian War, hundreds of British citizens were allowed to travel abroad to join Jihadi organisations. The reason MI6 certainly approved such involvement was because spy chiefs had taken it upon themselves to meddle in the internal affairs of Middle East countries. In the case of Syria, they wanted to topple Assad. There was a similar policy towards Libya. British citizens, among them the father of the Manchester suicide-bomber, were undoubtedly encouraged to travel to Libya to fight Gaddafi.

Britain’s sordid dealings with the LIFG and other AQ-linked groups stretch back to the 1990s. The LIFG was spawned from the mujahedin and built up by the CIA in Afghanistan as part of its destabilisation of the Soviet Union. Since then, the fate of the LIFG has directly tracked shifts in Pindosi & British foreign policy. In 1996, British intelligence agencies paid LIFG leaders huge sums to attempt to assassinate Gaddafi, according to leaks from senior French intelligence officials and also David Shayler. In 2004, after the Blair government’s rapprochement with the Libyan regime, MI6 helped seize LIFG leader Abd’el-Hakim Belhaj and his deputy Sami al-Saadi. According to British historian and author Mark Curtis:

Belhaj was handed over to the CIA, tortured and then sent back to Tripoli to spend six years in solitary confinement, where MI6 agents reportedly questioned him. In 2011, anti-terrorism control orders against LIFG leaders were lifted because, according to Curtis, the British government “once again found that its interests, mainly concerning oil—coincided with those of Islamist forces in Libya.

The 22 dead and scores injured in Manchester, no less than the people of Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other countries invaded and occupied, are the victims of British imperialist intrigue and are regarded as “collateral damage.” These explosive revelations raise a number of questions that must be answered:

  1. Why did MI5 drop its investigation into Salman Abedi, and who authorised this?
  2. Why was he able to travel freely throughout the EU and MENA, including to known terror hubs?
  3. Did MI5 inform Theresa May’s government of the threats to strike a political target in Britain?
  4. How was he able to receive thousands of pounds in student loans to finance his activities, including travel and the renting of multiple residencies in the lead-up to last Monday’s attack, despite not attending university?

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn earned the enmity of the media for pointing to the obvious connection between Britain’s involvement in colonial-style wars and the heightened danger of terrorism. The Guardian led the attack. Jonathan Freedland insisted:

It’s a delusion to think that the terror attacks are just about foreign policy.

Paul Mason declared:

The ‘blowback theory’, which blames Islamist terrorism directly on western expeditionary warfare, is both facile and irrelevant in this case.

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