Report: Government, police & security services failed to learn lessons before 2017 attacks

A report by the Intelligence and Security Services Comittee has concluded that MI5 had recognised that it had been too slow in establishing how dangerous the Manchester bomber Salman Albedi was.

22 people were killed when Abedi detonated a bomb inside Manchester Arena in May 2017.

It also said the government failed to learn lessons from attacks as far back as 13 years ago.

Concerning the Manchester and Parson Green bombings of 2017, the ISC said the system for regulating and reporting the purchase of ingredients used to make explosives was “out of date”.

MI5 had been actively investigating Abedi in 2014 and 2015 but closed the case on him before putting him on a list of 20,000 previous subjects of interest.

It highlighted the fact that the security services took no follow up action after Abedi visited an extremist prison in person before repeating previous criticisms stating that Abedi should have been placed under closer travel surveillance.

“There were a number of failures in the handling of Salman Abedi’s case and while it is impossible to say whether these would have prevented the devastating attack on 22 May, we have concluded that, as a result of those failings, potential opportunities to prevent it were missed,” the report said.

This shows that the authorities cannot afford to take their eye off the ball concerning the very real terror threat we face.