The British government operated an “open door” policy that allowed Libyan exiles and British-Libyan citizens to join the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi even though some had been subject to counter-terrorism control orders, Middle East Eye can reveal.
All this should put an above-average level of scrutiny on the conduct of the security services. MI6 appear to have funnelled foreign fighters with suspected links to al-Qaeda from the streets of Britain to Libya. Salman Abedi and members of his close family, who are now arrested, were among these people. Abedi would go on, it is alleged, to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
It is now a depressingly familiar cycle. First comes the collapse of a regime and factional fighting. This is followed by intense foreign or Western military intervention before those same powers then turn their back on the country in turmoil. As a consequence a dangerous power vacuum is created and in turn jihadist groups move to exploit it. And so a launch pad for Islamist-inspired terrorism comes into being.
Amid reports of multiple arrests and the ‘immense progress’ made by police and the security services in ’rounding-up’ the alleged terror network behind the Manchester bombing, a vital piece of the story has been wilfully ignored by the BBC and other leading media.