MI5 chief drops titbits for agency’s centenary

….there had been 86 successful prosecutions in terror trials since January 2007, and more than half of the accused had pleaded guilty…. That has had a chilling effect. We have probably seen fewer ‘late-stage’ attack plans over the last 18 months,”

MI5 chief Jonathan Evans’ appearance before selected journalists is part of a trend by government agency chiefs directly to provide public assurance and objectivity for their work,outside the framework of ministerial accountability. By itself this can be seen as a tacit admission that politicians have failed to do the job by themselves. This certainly applies to MI5’s accountable minister Jacqui Smith’s discredited insistence on 42 days detention without trial for terrorist suspects. Evan’s keynote statement means that there were enough prosecutions without 42 days to deter – surely an logical contradiction of the government’s now abandoned position. Of course, just over a year since MI5 moved into their regional HQ “ Loughside” ( reminiscent of the old Helen’s Bay Laneside of the 1970s ), there’ll be many saying that Evan’s public appearance is just another twist of the spin.. Personally, I find his report fairly convincing as far as it goes. Nothing was revealed about MI5’s methods.
Update. Irish Times NI angle I missed. Added for the record, no surprises. Thanks Grassy Noel.

  • I find Bob’s claims just more self-serving baloney.

    Operation Crevice, for example, was an unmitigated disaster which led to the unnecessary murder of Steven Oake, and utilmately to the 7/7 attacks – what the Security Service claimed was a total success by belatedly seeing to the guys whose problems made the suicide bombers from Leeds imprisoned.

    Then there were all the problems that Bob aka William Perkins – you know the bald guy, sometimes sporting a Zapata moustache – caused in Operation BROOM, especially the incompetence in handling Sean McNulty.

    For more, see Anne Machon, Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers, p. 98ff.

    Then there is all kinds of subsequent shit in Northern Ireland he has never accounted for.

    It’s guys like Jonathan Evans who thrive in Britain’s paranoid police state.

  • Grassy Noel

    Brian,

    you should have linked to the Irish Times’ coverage which referred to his remarks about dissident republicans here and an upsurge in their activities – including their disturbing plans to engage in sectarian murder.

    Quite horrific, really, but when you consider the level of recruits and the leadership – and their past dirty dealings with loyalists, drug-dealers, and the criminal underclass, then not really surprising.