So the legal approach is to focus on intelligence failures that effectively allowed July 7th to happen and still hangs entirely on the notion of British suicide bombers in London. The problem with this, as mentioned in the article is, "'if there are gaps in the narrative they may well do something about it, but there will have to be obvious [intelligence] gaps.'" If no gaps exist in intelligence about British suicide bombers in London, there endeth the story.Families set to sue over 7/7 errors
Victims' lawyers claim that Tube bombers were allowed to slip through the security net
Mark Townsend, legal affairs correspondent
Sunday March 5, 2006
Families of the 7 July bombing victims are preparing to sue over intelligence failings that allowed the suicide bombers to launch their attacks on London.
City law firms representing them have disclosed that they are exploring legal action in the light of growing evidence that the atrocities might have been preventable had there not been crucial mistakes in intelligence in the run-up to the bombing explosions.
Sources at law firm Lovells said that if it was proved that the bombings were preventable, the government could face a costly negligence claim from families of the 52 people who were killed, as well as the 700 injured. Two of the bombers were placed under surveillance by MI5 16 months before the attacks, including ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan, but were judged not to have been a threat.
This development comes amid mounting disquiet over the government's decision to refuse a public inquiry into the bombings and instead publish a 'narrative of events' compiled by a senior civil servant. Although the narrative is based on evidence uncovered by police and MI5, there is no date set for publication and its terms of reference remain vague.
Yasmin Waljee, pro bono manager of Lovells, said whether the attacks could have been avoided could become a legal issue, depending on what the narrative revealed.
'It remains a possibility,' she said. 'Clients quite clearly want answers and if there are gaps in the narrative they may well do something about it, but there will have to be obvious [intelligence] gaps.'
Scotland Yard and MI5 already face questions over whether the public was misled in the weeks following 7 July. At the time, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the attacks came 'out of the blue', amid initial claims that the four bombers were 'clean skins' and unknown to intelligence officers. There is also concern among MI5 officials that details of what the security services knew about the suspects before the attacks may have been withheld from the public by ministers.
It has also emerged that lawyers representing relatives of the victims are looking to launch a judicial review of the government's decision not to hold a public inquiry. If the government's narrative does not fully address concerns over intelligence mistakes, lawyers believe the legal case for a public inquiry will be compelling. 'Some clients are very, very concerned about the fact that they haven't had a public inquiry and there are strong legal issues,' said Waljee.
Tony Blair ruled out an inquiry, arguing that it would distract the security services from fighting terrorism. At least one other major City law firm is exploring whether to challenge the government over this decision.
There is fresh concern, too, over the government's handling of compensation payouts for British terror victims. Lawyers are furious that the Home Office has ruled out awarding loss of earnings to victims while also appearing to contradict Blair's earlier promise to compensate British citizens caught up in terrorist attacks abroad.
Lawyers representing victims of the 7 July bombings and those involved in overseas attacks such as last summer's bombings in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have condemned the government's handling of the issue as 'ludicrous.' The consultation period to reform the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority following complaints about its performance after July's attacks closed last week.
Source: The Observer
To quote something else from the article, "Ludicrous!"