CIA freeze intel over Libya
Posted by Jamie at 8 20 PM on Saturday, September 5
BRITAIN was facing the likelihood of an increased terror threat last night — after America’s CIA chiefs threatened to stop sharing vital intelligence with us following the Lockerbie bomber’s release.
The Americans have already warned British intelligence services that sending cancer-stricken Abdelbaset al-Megrahi home to Libya has destroyed our “special relationship”.
But the fallout following the bomber’s release has now worsened with the CIA threat to stop sharing information on terrorists gathered by their agents.
They have also warned they may not pass on vital information picked up by their sophisticated eavesdropping satellites.
The Americans are furious at the bomber’s release — and at revelations this week that the Libyans had been told privately that Gordon Brown did not want al-Megrahi to die in jail.
Now senior security sources in Britain have told the News of the World the row threatens to put Britain’s security at risk.
They say American intelligence was vital in Operation Pathway — which thwarted a possible UK al Qaeda operation in April.
It also helped foil the plot to blow up an airplane flying out of Heathrow in 2006. Patrick Mercer, chairman of the House of Commons’ counter-terrorism sub-committee, also says: “We depend upon the US for much of our intelligence gathering. Gordon Brown must not let the co-operation be ruptured.
“To do so will endanger this country and its citizens.”
One security source revealed: “A large number of CIA agents are effectively British intelligence officers. They are doing a terribly important job.”
He addded that the FBI had joined forces with the CIA to show the US anger. The recent public letter from FBI director Robert Mueller lambasting the bomber’s release was written “because the CIA are so p****d off with us but dare not speak it, so the FBI are doing it instead. That is unprecedented.”
Tories stepped up demands for an inquiry into al-Megrahi’s release after Justice Secretary Jack Straw admitted trade and oil were central to the decision.