Ex-MI5 chief blames huge overreaction response to 9/11 for terror epidemic

October 18th, 2008 - 2:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London , Oct 18 (ANI): A former MI5 chief, whose services superannuated 12 years ago, has said that the worlds response to the 9/11 air attacks was huge over-reaction, and that the US invasion of Iraq had influenced young men in Britain to take to terrorism.

She described the air attacks on US twin towers like any another terrorist incident, which, according to her, was qualitatively different from any others.

Stella Rimington who left MI5 12 years ago, has already made it clear that she abhorred war on terror rhetoric and the governments abandoned plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge. Thats not how it struck me. I suppose I”d lived with terrorist events for a good part of my working life and this was as far as I was concerned another one, The Guardian quoted her as saying.

She criticised British politicians, including Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, for trying to outbid each other in their opposition to terrorism and making national security a partisan issue.

She said: It all began with 9/11. National security has become much more of a political issue than it ever was in my day. Parties are tending to use it as a way of trying to get at the other side. You know were more tough on terrorism than you are. I think that’’s a bad move, quite frankly.

She challenged claims made by former British premier Tony Blair that the war in Iraq was not related to the radicalisation of Muslim youth in Britain . To a question what impact the war had on the terrorist threat, she replies: Well, I think all one can do is look at what those people who”ve been arrested or have left suicide videos say about their motivation. And, most of them, as far as I”m aware, say that the war in Iraq played a significant part in persuading them that this is the right course of action to take.

So I think you can”t write the war in Iraq out of history. If what we”re looking at is groups of disaffected young men born in this country who turn to terrorism, then I think to ignore the effect of the war in Iraq is misleading, she added. (ANI)

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