|The full extent of the missed opportunities that allowed the July 7 London bombers to slip through the net can be disclosed for the first time today after five of their associates were jailed for life.|
Two of the suicide bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, were under surveillance by the security service, MI5, almost 18 months before the four simultaneous attacks that claimed 52 lives.
MI5 officers followed the pair as they drove hundreds of miles around the UK, photographed them and recorded their voices. They followed Sidique Khan to his mother-in-law's home, made inquiries about his telephone, and listened to bugged conversations in which he talked about waging jihad.
Yet they failed to identify either man, and cut short their investigations into the pair after deciding that they did not pose as high a risk to the country as other suspects under investigation.
The revelations led to calls for a public inquiry from bereaved families and opposition parties, and provoked MI5 into an unprecedented public defence of its role.
How MI5 missed July 7 links
MI5 stopped watching two bombers
Victims join calls for public inquiry
Briefing: Richard Norton-Taylor
Leader: A clear and present danger
Full text: MI5 answers its critics