According to a new report, the Manchester Arena bomber had been a ‘subject of interest’ and opportunities to stop him were missed.
The report by David Anderson QC, Britain’s former independent reviewer of terror legislation, reviews a series of terrorist attacks in the UK this year and stops short of apportioning blame on MI5 and counter terror police for failing to stop four attacks since March.
“It is conceivable that the Manchester attack in particular might have been averted if the cards had fallen differently,” Anderson stated.
The independent assessment report said MI5 “wrongly” interpreted intelligence on the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, missing a potential opportunity to prevent the attack which killed 22 people.
The report has also highlighted shortcomings in the way the security service and the police work together and share intelligence with local police forces and local authorities.
“But the shock of these incidents has prompted intensive reflection and a commitment to significant change. In particular, MI5 and the police have identified the need to use data more effectively, to share knowledge more widely, to improve their own collaboration and to assess and investigate terrorist threats on a uniform basis, whatever the ideology that inspires them,” Anderson adds.