Another terrorist is jailed. A plot to mount attacks on a shopping centre and London nightclub is foiled. From far back, MI5 were on their tail, watching them, monitoring them, even swapping their bomb-making ingredients.
We should be proud of them. But instead, we are calling for an inquiry into their blunders – in particular, the way they briefly monitored the future 7/7 bombers and then allowed them to dip ‘below the radar’ because they were not considered threats.
A blunder? Yes, certainly; with tragic consequences. But we need a reality check here. For complete safety, MI5 need to get it right every time. The terrorists only need the occasional plot to get through.
The odds are stacked against counter terrorism. We need to get real and realize 100% security is not, and has never been, achievable.
© Anthony North, May 2007