Review: UK concert attack might have been stopped
The deadly suicide bombing at Manchester Arena might have been prevented if information had been handled differently, an independent review of the counter-terrorism performance by British police and intelligence services suggested Tuesday.
The review by lawyer David Anderson, ordered by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, said the May 22 attack that killed 22 people might have been thwarted “had the cards fallen differently.”
He also found that three extremists involved in four attacks in Britain earlier this year had at some point been investigated by counter-terrorism police or security services.
Nonetheless, he credits police and the MI5 domestic intelligence service with stopping most attacks at a time when Britain faces an unprecedented level of extremist activity.
“MI5 and counter-terrorism policing got a great deal right – particularly in the case of Manchester, they could have succeeded had the cards fallen differently,” Anderson said.
Some of these details had been known before, but Anderson raised the tantalizing prospect that MI5 might have been able to prevent the most lethal atrocity – the concert attack – had it handled information differently.