"All governments are lying cocksuckers, I hope you know that." - Bill Hicks
Iraq has become a "dominant issue" for Islamic extremists operating in Britain, domestic intelligence agency MI5 said.
In an analysis titled "Threat to the U.K. from International Terrorism" posted on the agency's Web site, a team of MI5 analysts concludes, "Though they have a range of aspirations and 'causes,' Iraq is a dominant issue for a range of extremist groups and individuals in the U.K. and Europe."
In the wake of the July 7 bombings Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted there was no link between Britain's role in the Iraq invasion and the attacks. Their views came in contrast to a leaked assessment by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center, based at MI5, which claimed three weeks before July 7 that Iraq was continuing to act "as a focus of a range of terrorist related activities in Britain."
Blair has since acknowledged that terrorists may use Iraq for recruitment.
In their analysis, the MI5 officers add: "Some individuals who support the insurgency are known to have traveled to Iraq in order to fight against coalition forces. It is possible that they may return to the U.K. and consider mounting attacks here."