MI5, the British Intelligence agency, reportedly had information that could have been utilized to prevent the bombing that took place at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert back in 2017 which resulted in the deaths of 22 people and the injury of hundreds of others, as reported by a recently concluded inquiry.
As part of an inquiry from this past Thursday, retired Judge John Saunders explained that MI5 had been in possession of intelligence that indicated that the suicide bomber had been a “possible national security concern,” but failed to speak out about it with their colleagues in a quick enough manned to do anything about it, as reported by the Associated Press.
“I have found a significant missed opportunity to take action that might have prevented the attack,” explained Saunders.
Britain's domestic intelligence agency didn't act swiftly enough on key information and missed a significant opportunity to prevent the suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in northwest England, an inquiry found Thursday. https://t.co/EgA4VFVnjd
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 2, 2023
The judge also stated that the spy agency could have probably put a stop to the terrorist attack at the Manchester Airport when he made his return trip from Libya just four days prior to the actual attack taking place with the intelligence it had gathered.
“I have concluded that there was at least a period during [the terrorist’s] journey to violent extremism when he should have been referred,” stated Saunders, seemingly putting authorities on blast that he said failed to refer the suicide bomber to the counter-terrorism group for the country, known as Prevent.
The bomber had considered a “subject of interest” in 2014 by the British Intelligence agency, but his case was shut down shortly after due to his being deemed as entirely low-risk, explained the outlet.
Ken McCallum, the Director General of MI5, issued a statement that he was “profoundly sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack.”
“Gathering covert intelligence is difficult, but had we managed to seize the slim chance we had, those impacted might not have experienced such appalling loss and trauma,” expressed McCallum.
As the mother of 19-year-old Liam Curry who was killed in the bombing at the Manchester Arena, Caroline Curry expressed that she would never in her life forgive the agency for its abject failure.
“From top to bottom, MI5 to the associates of the attacker, we will always believe you all played a part in the murder of our children,” Curry explained to the gathered press.
The inquiry from this past Thursday marked the third and final look into the devastatingly deadly attack from 2017 which took place during the closing set for Grande as the suicide bomber detonated close to the exit of the venue.