A soldier fits Western journalists with gas masks before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. More than 600 journalists were embedded in military units. (Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty)

How British journalists are seduced by the Ministry of Defence and spooks

Two days after the 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001, I wrote in the Guardian: “Not long ago, I bumped into a very senior British military officer at a conference in Europe on international security. The more the US demonised Osama bin Laden, he said, the more support he will attract in the Arab […]

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Yunus Khales with President Ronald Reagan at the White House on 12 November 1987 (Photo: Dirck Halstead / Getty Images)

MI6 helped Bin Laden ally get medical treatment

When Osama Bin Laden fled Afghanistan after 9/11, an old friend helped him escape the US manhunt. Yunus Khales, the veteran commander of Afghan mujahideen group Hezbi Islami (Islamic Party), had long supported Al Qaeda’s leader.  In 1996, when Bin Laden was expelled from Sudan, it was Khales who welcomed him to Afghanistan, giving him […]

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British intelligence backed Afghan mujahideen from Jamiati Islami in the 1980s.

How MI6 backed ‘right-wing religious fanatics’ in Afghanistan

In 1980, journalist John Fullerton sat down for lunch in London with members of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), better known as MI6. The spooks asked the restless reporter to name five cities where he would like to work. He scrawled the answers unhesitatingly on a paper napkin. “The top one was Peshawar in Pakistan,” […]

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What was Britain’s most senior police officer doing with MI6?

During her career, Cressida Dick, Britain’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has repeatedly escaped full accountability over her role in controversial cases. One murky episode is her time in the ‘Foreign Office’, understood to really mean MI6.

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Revealed: MI5 and MI6 are flouting environmental legislation

The new head of MI6 says his agency will monitor other countries’ climate commitments, but the UK’s intelligence agencies are refusing to provide any information on their own environmental footprint.

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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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‘Colonialism never ended’: The elite British cabal propping up a Gulf dictatorship

Some of the most senior figures in the British establishment have secretly served as ‘privy councillors’ to a highly repressive dictatorship in the Gulf state of Oman. The elite UK group has included heads of MI6 and the military, a foreign minister, an oil executive, the ex-governor of the Bank of England and one of Queen Elizabeth’s closest aides.

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‘Tacit approval’ for killings: UK Foreign Office and police support to Kenyan anti-terror unit ‘operating like a criminal gang’ revealed

Britain’s Foreign Office knew Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) was involved in renditions of terror suspects yet paid for its new headquarters and continues assistance programmes, along with London’s Metropolitan Police, disclosures obtained by Declassified UK show.

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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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MI6 has a long history of being a law unto itself

After Declassified UK’s revelation that Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6, ‘misled’ two inquiries into the arrest of a suspected British terrorist in Kenya, Richard Norton-Taylor outlines the long history of MI6 operating outside of democratic control.

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Revealed: MI6 ‘misled’ two inquiries into arrest of Lee Rigby’s killer

Three intelligence officers tell Declassified UK that Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, tracked and arranged the arrest of Michael Adebolajo in Kenya, contradicting MI6’s testimony to two intelligence oversight reviews.

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Alternatives: Britain’s unaccountable intelligence agencies could be held to account – here’s how

The need for proper scrutiny of the UK’s security and intelligence agencies, such as MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the military’s special forces, is becoming increasingly urgent. A number of practical measures would make these agencies more transparent and accountable to the public.

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Revealed: The CIA and MI6’s secret war in Kenya

A covert Kenyan paramilitary team armed and trained by the US and supported by UK intelligence is behind renditions and controversial killings of terror suspects in night-time raids, Declassified UK can reveal. 

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Revealed: MI5 and MI6 are training senior spies from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt

Britain’s intelligence agencies are teaching the next generation of spymasters from some of the world’s most repressive dictatorships, it can be revealed for the first time.

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Revealed: How Britain’s profiteering spymasters ignored the country’s biggest threats like coronavirus—and endangered the public

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There is money and power in identifying Russia and cyber attacks as the key security threats facing Britain — but not in addressing the more important issues of pandemics and climate change. Former UK intelligence chiefs are personally profiting from the ‘revolving door’ between government and business, and the public is paying the price.

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British security services have ignored global health pandemics — the UK’s biggest threat

The risk of a global pandemic that could kill hundreds of thousands of British people has been raised by UK policy-making officials for more than 15 years without the UK’s security and intelligence agencies prioritising the threat, new analysis shows.

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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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Explainer: Is the UK a rogue state? 17 British policies violating domestic or international law

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab recently described the “rule of international law” as one of the “guiding lights” of UK foreign policy. By contrast, the government regularly chides states it opposes, such as Russia or Iran, as violators of international law. These governments are often consequently termed “rogue states” in the mainstream media, the supposed […]

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How the UK military and intelligence establishment is working to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister

The stories — which quote former or current members of the army, navy and special forces, as well as MI5, MI6 and an ex-senior civil servant — have averaged one every six weeks since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September 2015. There have, however, been significant spikes in frequency during […]

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