From the TimesOnline:
ONE of the four suicide terrorists behind the London bomb attacks was scrutinised by MI5 last year, but was judged not to be a threat to national security, a senior government official said yesterday.
As a result, MI5 failed to put him under surveillance and his plans to become a suicide bomber remained undetected.
Mohammed Sidique Khan, a 30-year-old teaching assistant from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, who killed six other passengers when he blew himself up on a Tube at Edgware Road, was the subject of a routine threat assessment by MI5 officers after his name cropped up during an investigation in 2004.
That inquiry focused on an alleged plot to explode a 600lb truck bomb outside a target in London, thought to be a crowded Soho nightclub.
This weekend, as the death toll from the terrorist attacks rose to 55 and Scotland Yard released the first CCTV image of the four bombers, it emerged that MI5 found out in 2004 that Khan had been visiting a house used by a man who had met one of the suspected truck-bomb plotters. However, MI5 officers subsequently decided that because Khan was only “indirectly linked” to one of the bomb suspects he was not considered a risk. The intelligence service took no further interest in him.
The government official said a “quick assessment” had been made of Khan at the time. Like hundreds of others linked to the inquiry, he was judged to be “on the periphery” of the suspect cell’s network.
“You made quick assessments of them to decide whether or not they were a threat. None of the other people were a threat, including Khan,” the official said.
He conceded that the agency might be accused of being at fault if it turned out that it had overlooked a terrorist suspect. “MI5 is fair game at the moment,” he said. “We”ve only got finite resources. You can only concentrate resources on those people who are a direct threat to national security.”…