Very shortly before Parliament rises for the recess the newly strengthened Intelligence and Security Committee will produce their report on the circumstances that led to the atrocious murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
This report is very significant because it is the first to be completed where the MPs have had the powers to compel MI5 and MI6 to release all their information on the case.
Therefore it is not surprising as I have reported in Exaro that the security services have hit back and made robust demands for redactions in what the MPs might have to say about their conduct.
We should be able to see how successful they have been if the report acknowledges where there have been redactions.
The soldier, a drummer in the Royal Fusiliers, was hacked to death in May last year in Woolwich, south-east London as he returned to his barracks. His killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, are understood to have been known to MI5 for several years.
Adebolajo’s relatives say that MI5 had even approached him in 2011 to become an agent after he was deported from Kenya. He is said to have rejected the approach.
I understand the row between the intelligence officials and parliamentarians is understood to centre on UK’s intelligence operations in Kenya. The officials say that the report contains too much detail of these operations.
What alarms me is that security services appear to be involved in a spin operation in the mainstream media to cover up their failings by demanding new extra powers and even emergency legislation to allow them to read anyone’s website on the back of any informed criticism of their actions
Let me make it clear to any bored security operative who might be reading this blog that I have not seen or read a word of the MPs report. But I am aware that there is a fierce battle going on- and while I respect the role of the security services in fighting terrorism to keep us safe – I don’t want to see a blanket removal of our civil liberties or our right to privacy.