NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with British British foreign secretary William Hague and PM David Cameron at the Libya Conference in London, 2011. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau /WPA Pool/ Getty)

Manchester arena inquiry lets David Cameron off the hook

The final inquiry report, published on Thursday, has found that the Security Service, MI5, missed opportunities to stop suicide bomber Salman Abedi.  The head of MI5 has rightly apologised for his agency’s failings – a highly significant admission which might offer some solace to the bereaved families of the 22 victims. But there is a […]

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The UK’s 83 military interventions around the world since 1945

The British military has used or threatened to use military force much more in the postwar world than is conventionally remembered or believed. Declassified has documented 83 interventions by the UK armed forces since 1945, in 47 different countries. The most striking of the British uses of force have been the overt invasions or armed […]

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11 years after toppling Gaddafi, UK gets Libya’s oil

Last month Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) agreed for BP to start drilling for and producing natural gas in a major project off the coast of the north African country. The UK corporation, on whose board sits former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, controls exploration areas in Libya equivalent to nearly three times the size […]

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How Jeremy Hunt’s mental health cuts fuelled terrorism

Community organisers in Manchester say David Cameron’s aggressive foreign policy exposed a young generation of Libyans in Britain to extreme violence. And his austerity agenda – zealously implemented by Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary – left them without psychological support to treat their trauma. The warning comes amid Hunt’s return to frontline politics as Chancellor, […]

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‘Blood on their hands’

The father of the youngest person to be killed in the Manchester Arena attack believes the government and MI5 “have blood on their hands” for failing to prevent the suicide bombing. Salman Abedi, a British man of Libyan heritage, murdered 22 people at a pop concert in May 2017. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed […]

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Manchester bombing: A blood price for British foreign policy?

Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 a number of people – including then MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller – warned it would make the streets of Britain more dangerous. These warnings were ignored by Tony Blair. Even when MI5’s prophecy was proven tragically accurate with the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, Blair (who did […]

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How UK security services obstructed the Manchester bombing inquiry

Part 4 of Declassified UK’s investigation into the Manchester Bombing The Manchester Arena inquiry, which was meant to investigate the radicalisation of the bomber Salman Abedi, is unlikely to get to the truth about his connections to the UK military and security services. The inquiry began taking evidence in September 2020 and closed its hearings […]

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Nato knew terrorists would gain from toppling Gaddafi

Part 3 of Declassified UK’s investigation into the Manchester bombing Britain’s military knew that fighters from an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation were benefiting from the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, but continued to support Nato airstrikes in Libya for another two months. The revelation raises serious questions about British foreign policy and whether the […]

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Counter-terrorism officials allowed Manchester bomber to operate in Libya warzone

Part 2 of Declassified UK’s investigation into the Manchester bombing Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, his father Ramadan and brothers Ismail and Hashem were  allowed to freely operate in the war zone of Libya for years before the 2017 atrocity. Evidence that emerged from the official inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack shows Salman Abedi was […]

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Manchester bomber was a UK ally

Part 1 of Declassified UK’s investigation into the Manchester Bombing The Manchester bomber and his closest family were part of Islamist militia forces covertly supported by the British military and Nato in the Libyan war of 2011. The UK facilitated the flow of arms to Libyan rebel militias at the time, and helped train them, […]

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Ian Martin with the then UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. (Photo: Prakash Mathema / AFP via Getty)

Nato bombing of Libya ‘exceeded UN mandate’

A common criticism of Sir John Chilcot’s marathon inquiry into the Iraq war is that by the time it made recommendations to Whitehall, another intervention had already taken place in Libya.  But at least Britain’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 was seen as sufficiently disastrous to warrant a high-level probe. David Cameron’s adventure in Libya, […]

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Vladimir Putin visits Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, 2008. (Photo: Artyom Korotayev / Getty)

Russian mercenaries invited to Libya via Western security firm

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi paid an Australian special forces veteran to help organise the defence of Tripoli during Nato’s bombardment of Libya’s capital in 2011, a book reveals. John Gartner, director of Osprey Asset Management (OAM), claims he arranged for up to 150 South African and Russian mercenaries to support the North African dictator.  However, anti-Gaddafi […]

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Salman Abedi holding heavy gun.

Manchester bombing: What are the security agencies hiding?

After thanking those who tried to save eight year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos, the youngest of those murdered at the Manchester Arena in May 2017, her mother told the inquiry into the atrocity: “I also want to say to the professionals and MI5, this inquiry isn’t about protecting your job, your reputation, or your uniform.” Officers from […]

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Four failed wars must finally force the UK to adopt an ethical foreign policy

“We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies,” Lord Palmerston famously told the British parliament when he was foreign secretary in 1848. Over a century and a half later, during the so-called war on terror, Britain has abided by Palmerston’s morally ambiguous approach towards international relations, with disastrous results.  The head of […]

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Government approves ex-minister for oil company role after he lobbied two prime ministers for its CEO

Sir Alan Duncan, an oil salesman turned British foreign minister, has been approved by the UK government to take up a role at Vitol, the world’s largest petroleum trader. Declassified reveals the potential conflict of interests at the heart of the appointment.

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David Cameron celebrates in Benghazi, Libya, with French president Nicholas Sarkozy in 2011. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau / Getty Images)

Four terrorists who murdered Britons fought in David Cameron’s war in Libya

The public inquiry into the 2017 Manchester terrorist attack shows no sign of investigating the UK’s covert role in the Libya war of 2011 — in which the Manchester bomber had fought. He is one of four terrorists from that conflict who went on to slaughter 63 people, mainly Britons, in separate attacks — and they may even have received military training from UK-allied forces.

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David Cameron walks with Libyan rebels upon his arrival at Benghazi Airport on 15 September 2011 (Photo: Stefan Rousseau / AFP via Getty)

Did the UK’s secret Libya policy contribute to the Manchester terror attack?

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The official inquiry into the 2017 Manchester bombing has yet to probe the links between the terrorist, Salman Abedi, and UK covert action during the 2011 war in Libya – yet there is no point in the inquiry unless it asks difficult questions the British establishment would rather avoid.

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Abduction and denial — the UK’s role in torture

Their role, and desperate attempts at denial, notably in seizing two Libyan dissidents and handing them over to the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi’s secret police, is one of the most shameful episodes in the recent history of Britain’s foreign adventures. And it is far from reaching a conclusion. British ministers continue to break a promise […]

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Britain’s seven covert wars: An Explainer

The United Kingdom is fighting at least seven covert wars

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