Connect with us

News

Manchester Arena bombing: MI5 officer accepts ‘different actions could have stopped plot’

Published

on

MI5

Manchester Arena bombing: MI5 officer accepts ‘different actions could have stopped plot’

A senior MI5 officer has accepted that stopping and questioning the Manchester Arena terrorist, Salman Abedi, when he returned to the UK from Libya could have led police to the bomb.

The inquiry being held into the atrocity, which killed 22 concertgoers and injured hundreds of others, was hearing evidence from an intelligence officer given the pseudonym Witness J.

Visible only to lawyers and inquiry chair Sir John Saunders, Witness J said it was conceivable that different actions would have prevented Abedi carrying out the plot.

Abedi was born in Manchester to Libyan parents who fled the country after becoming opponents of Colonel Gaddafi.

Pete Weatherby QC, representing some of the bereaved families, said Abedi had left the UK with his family on a one way ticket to Libya on 15 April 2017.

He returned five weeks later carrying only hand luggage, four days before carrying out the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.

The inquiry heard Abedi bought a new phone and sim card and took “anti-surveillance” measures to stay “off grid” by getting a bus and taxi to where he had left the bomb components

Weatherby said a “port stop” or “port action”, where someone is questioned and searched, could have revealed Abedi’s plans by something he said or something being uncovered on his phone.

“It’s certainly possible you would have observed slightly unusual behaviour at the airport then followed it on and, as I say, he would have led you to the bomb.

“If he had been stopped by police, putting that together, there’s a chance it would have stopped him carrying out the plot?”

Witness J replied: “Conceivably, yes.” But he added: “To offer some context, for us, or the police in combination, to follow the trail would have required us to be running a very high priority investigation.

“It would require almost certainly surveillance, normally allocated high priority investigations.

“We had fragments of what we know now. We had a blurred picture at that time and we did not conclude we had intelligence related to attack planning.”

On Monday Witness J had agreed that not stopping Abedi, taking a port action, had been a missed opportunity. He said: “Yes, I think that would have been the better course of action based on the information we had at the time.”

The MI5 officer, giving evidence from inside a specially built wooden box, said post-attack reviews concluded a “successful pre-emption of the attack would have been unlikely.”

He added: “I support that judgment because I have seen the material. The planning was well under way by the time he went to Libya.”

Saunders said he would be “looking critically” at the issue during closed hearings, where families of the bereaved, their lawyers and the press will be excluded while matters of national security are examined.

The hearing has heard that Abedi was a closed subject of interest (SOI) for MI5 at the time of the bombing, meaning he was not under investigation. He was one of 20,000 such closed SOIs with the security services also having 3,000 active SOIs on its radar.

In 2017, the inquiry has heard, MI5 was running about 500 investigations into individuals or organisations associated with Islamic terrorism, a scale described as “unprecedented in terms of the number of current investigations and number of subjects of interest”.

The inquiry is looking at all the background to the attack, which was carried out by Abedi with the help of his younger brother, Hashem, who was jailed for life for his part in the plot.

The hearing continues.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

one + 19 =

Lifestyle

Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

Published

on

Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

Nigerian music superstars, Tems and Wizkid bagged impressive wins at the recently concluded Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards ceremony on Monday, June 27.

On the eventful night that took place at the Microsoft Theatre, Los Angeles, Tems whose real name is Temilade Openiyi went home with two awards.

First, Tems and Wizkid alongside Canadian recording artiste, Justin Bieber received an award for ‘Best Collaboration’ for the song, ‘Essence’; with the win, ‘Essence’ has emerged as the first African song to win a BET award and Wizkid becomes the first Nigerian and African to win an Award outside the Best International Acts category.

Moments later, Tems, emerged as the winner of the Best International Act.

The Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer was nominated with other talented acts such as Fireboy, Dave from the UK, Dinos from France, Fally Ipupa from Congo, Little Simz from the UK, Ludmilla from Brazil, Major League Djz from South Africa, and Tayc from France.

Tems also made history at the 2022 BET awards when she became the first African female to win the Best International Category.

With her win at the 2022 BET awards, Tems joins Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy as Nigerians who have won the BET Awards.

Watch the moment she received her award below.

In addition to the usual honors, Diddy was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He joins Whitney Houston, Prince, Queen Latifah, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Samuel Jackson, and many more in receiving the honor.

Check out the full list of winners below.

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST

Jazmine Sullivan — WINNER

BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST

The Weeknd – WINNER

BEST GROUP


Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) – WINNER

BEST COLLABORATION

Wizkid f. Justin Bieber & Tems – “Essence” – WINNER

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Megan Thee Stallion – WINNER

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Kendrick Lamar – WINNER

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – “Smokin Out The Window” – WINNER

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Anderson .Paak – WINNER

BEST NEW ARTIST

Latto — WINNER

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – An Evening with Silk Sonic – WINNER

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD

Lil Baby X Kirk Franklin – “We Win” – WINNER

BET HER

Mary J. Blige – “Good Morning Gorgeous” – WINNER

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Tems (Nigeria) – WINNER

BEST MOVIE

King Richard – WINNER

BEST ACTOR

Will Smith – “King Richard” – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS

Zendaya – “Euphoria” / “Spider-Man: No Way Home” – WINNER

YOUNGSTARS AWARD

Marsai Martin — WINNER

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Naomi Osaka – WINNER

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Stephen Curry – WINNER

Continue Reading

News

BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

Published

on

BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned, Channels Television learned on Monday.

Sources told Channels Television that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Information also has it that arrangements are ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to reports, a formal announcement will be made shortly.

Until his resignation, reports had it that Justice Muhammad was seriously ill.

Last week, 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written him a letter to lament the decrepit state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

Meanwhile, Justice Tanko Muhammed did not attend the opening of the training for Judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution organized by the National Judicial Institute, amidst reports of resignation.

Although no Supreme Court Justice is present at the event.

Training of Judges by the Institute is usually declared open by the CJN or any of his representatives. however, the Administrator of the Institute, Justice Garba has opened the session.

Continue Reading

News

2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Published

on

2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Sunday said he is still searching for his running mate.

He stated this in Abuja while delivering his keynote address at the 60th birthday celebration of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The ex-Lagos Governor also heaped praises on the Speaker for his contributions to his political ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President and democracy, while extolling the virtues of his Deputy, Hon Idris Wase, for being a dependable ally.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari described Gbajabiamila as a team player and a skillful parliamentarian.

A file photo of APC preisdential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, said the Speaker is one who looks beyond differences for the benefit of all.

“For him what matters is not so much the party differences but what unites Nigerians and that is why he is a passionate advocate for a peaceful democracy and unity of Nigeria. And no amount of parliamentary maneuvers or differences between parties would deviate him from this,” he said.

“He introduced the term legislative diplomacy. When there were issues between Nigerian and Ghanaian traders, he went to Accra and met with his colleagues and tried to resolve the issue.

“Mr President is very proud of the fact that he did not need to interfere in how the National Assembly runs because he had trust in the capacity in the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and therefore he feels that with capable hands in both chambers of the NASS there is no need to interfere.

“It is also a fact that under the Speaker and leader of the Senate, there is no automatic opposition and antagonism to the executive. The role of the legislature is not to be antagonistic as a matter of routine, but to be partners for good governance for the people of Nigeria. They are working together to make Nigeria better.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending