The Uk’s domestic security service, MI5 is facing embarrassing questions over whether it inadvertently recruited al Qaeda supporters. The centre-right leaning Daily Telegraph is running the story after opposition Conservative, Patrick Mercer, told the paper he’d been informed that up to six al Qaeda operatives had tried to break into the spy agency.
“The Home Secretary needs to reassure me, possibly needs to reassure himself that no successful penetration has gone on. And secondly, it’s desperately important that the public doesn’t lose sight of the fact that we are constantly under threat from subversive intelligence agencies and enemy organisations,” said Patrick Mercer. The individuals are said to have been considered by MI5 in the rush to find Islamic recruits in the wake of the July 7 bombings in 2005. Mercer, who is on a parliamentary counter-terrorism sub committee say’s although the candidates were rejected after concerns about their backgrounds, he wants to know just how far the men had got before vetting procedures weeded them out. There has been no comment from MI5 or the UK’s interior ministry.