A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

American intelligence withholds info because of Britain’s open courts – Telegraph

In News, Politics on April 4, 2012 at 17:40

American intelligence agencies spooked by Britain’s open courts 

The CIA warned MI6 that al-Qaeda was planning an attack 18 months ago, but withheld detailed information because of concerns it would be released by British courts.

British intelligence agencies were subsequently forced to carry out their own investigations, according to Whitehall sources.

Several potential terrorists were identified with links to a wider European plot, but it is still not known whether the British authorities have uncovered the full extent of the threat.

The breakdown in relations came after the release of US intelligence in the case of Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee who took legal action over his incarceration. The Government was subsequently forced to pay millions in compensation to him and other detainees.

Conservative ministers are proposing establishing a system of “secret justice” to allow sensitive intelligence to be heard in British courts behind closed doors, but are facing mounting opposition from the Liberal Democrats.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader, has written to the National Security Council and warned that the security services “cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the principle of open justice”.

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