"The press is having it both ways: it must be illogical in one set of circumstances to condemn the credulity of intelligence officers while in another to attack them for not acting on every piece of information received, however peripheral it seems. Having sat through the inquiry into David Kelly's death and read Lord's Hutton's report with disbelief, I am disposed to a sceptical line on government reports.
But the two accounts of the 7 July bombings and the intelligence failure do not have the glare of whitewash, nor the slightest glimmer of it. They seem to provide an accurate picture of what happened and the difficulties faced by the security services and Special Branch. What Siddique Khan and his three companions planned was essentially unknowable. MI5 might conceivably have got closer to the bombers, but, given the enormous number of leads it has to follow up and its finite resources, it would have been extremely lucky to have frustrated this attack as well as three subsequent plots, all of which are now sub judice"