Iraq was not a threat to Britain: Ex-MI5 chief

The director-general of MI5 from 2002-07 revealed that pursuing Iraq was only a ‘distraction’.

London: Iraq did not pose any threat to Britain, when former prime minister Tony Blair took his country to war in 2003, a former MI5 chief has said.

Baroness Manningham-Buller, who was director-general of MI5 from October 2002 until her retirement in April 2007, revealed that pursuing Iraq was only a ‘distraction’.

“Iraq did not present a threat to the UK. It was the right thing to do. But yes, you do have to be aware of who you are dealing with,” Buller was quoted, as saying by the BBC.

“The service advised that it was likely to increase the domestic threat and that it was a distraction from the pursuit of al Qaeda. I understood the need to focus on Afghanistan. Iraq was a distraction,” she added.

Buller also described Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi as a ‘horror’.

“It is very difficult - do you just stand by and watch people being murdered. Intelligence isn’t complete without the full picture and the full picture is all about doubt,” she said.

The former director-general also defended MI5 against suggestions that it could have prevented the July 07, 2005 terror attacks on London.


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