Blowing people up raises risk of being blown up, admits former MI5 chief

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The invasion of Iraq and blowing stuff up in that country “substantially” increased the threat of terrorists blowing stuff up in the UK, the former head of MI5 has admitted.

In a stunning insight into the minds of military strategists, Baroness Manningham-Buller told the Iraq inquiry, that blowing things up tended to make people who’d had their things blown up, want to blow your things up.

Giving evidence, the Baroness explained she had advised the Government that blowing things up would probably lead to other things being blown up that we didn’t want blown up – a concept senior government officials struggled to grasp.

“I made it clear, I told them that to blow Iraqi stuff up, and to therefore raise the risk of having our stuff blown up, we’d better have some bloody good evidence – and frankly they didn’t.”


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Baroness Manningham-Buller said she had advised officials a year before the war that the threat posed by Iraq to the UK was “very limited”, unless the government decided to “start blowing the bejesus out of everything over there”.

“I may have put it as plainly as this, ‘if you blow them up, people will want to blow you up’.  I’m not sure how I could dumb the message down any further to be honest.”

The inquiry continues.

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